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Following the cold: geographical differentiation between interglacial refugia and speciation in the arcto‐alpine species complex Bombus monticola (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
- MARTINET, BAPTISTE, LECOCQ, THOMAS, BRASERO, NICOLAS, BIELLA, PAOLO, URBANOVÁ, KLÁRA, VALTEROVÁ, IRENA, CORNALBA, MAURIZIO, GJERSHAUG, JAN OVE, MICHEZ, DENIS, RASMONT, PIERRE
- Systematic entomology 2018 v.43 no.1 pp. 200-217
- Bombus, allopatry, altitude, genetic markers, latitude, mitochondrial DNA, mountains, nuclear genome, refuge habitats, Arctic region, Italy
- Cold‐adapted species are expected to have reached their largest distribution range during a part of the Ice Ages whereas postglacial warming has led to their range contracting toward high‐latitude and high‐altitude areas. This has resulted in an extant allopatric distribution of populations and possibly to trait differentiations (selected or not) or even speciation. Assessing inter‐refugium differentiation or speciation remains challenging for such organisms because of sampling difficulties (several allopatric populations) and disagreements on species concept. In the present study, we assessed postglacial inter‐refugia differentiation and potential speciation among populations of one of the most common arcto‐alpine bumblebee species in European mountains, Bombus monticola Smith, 1849. Based on mitochondrial DNA/nuclear DNA markers and eco‐chemical traits, we performed integrative taxonomic analysis to evaluate alternative species delimitation hypotheses and to assess geographical differentiation between interglacial refugia and speciation in arcto‐alpine species. Our results show that trait differentiations occurred between most Southern European mountains (i.e. Alps, Balkan, Pyrenees, and Apennines) and Arctic regions. We suggest that the monticola complex actually includes three species: B. konradini stat.n. status distributed in Italy (Central Apennine mountains), B. monticola with five subspecies, including B. monticola mathildis ssp.n. distributed in the North Apennine mountains ; and B. lapponicus. Our results support the hypothesis that post‐Ice Age periods can lead to speciation in cold‐adapted species through distribution range contraction. We underline the importance of an integrative taxonomic approach for rigorous species delimitation, and for evolutionary study and conservation of taxonomically challenging taxa.