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Life on the Edge: Ecological Genetics of a High Arctic Insect Species and Its Circumpolar Counterpart

Abstract : Arctic ecosystems are subjected to strong environmental constraints that prevent both the colonization and development of many organisms. In Svalbard, few aphid species have established permanent populations. These high arctic aphid species have developed peculiar life-history traits such as shortened life cycles and reduced dispersal capacities. Here, we present data on the distribution and population genetics of Acyrthosiphon svalbardicum in Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago, and compared its genetic structure with that of its close relative Acyrthosiphon brevicorne, sampled in the top of Scandinavian mainland. We found that A. svalbardicum is common butheterogeneously distributed along the west coast of Spitsbergen. We recorded this species up to 7912’, which constitutes the northernmost location for any aphid. Genetic structure examined using microsatellite markers showed more pronounced spatial dierentiation in A. svalbardicum than in A. brevicorne populations, presumably due to reduced dispersal capacities in the former species. Although populations of A. brevicorne and A. svalbardicum were well-delineated at nuclear loci, they shared similar cytoplasmic DNA haplotypes as revealed by sequence analysis of two DNA barcodes. These results raise questions about whether these two taxa are dierent species, and the colonizationsources and history of the Svalbard archipelago by A. svalbardicum
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Jean-Christophe Simon, Frédérique Maheo, Lucie Mieuzet, Christelle Buchard, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, et al.. Life on the Edge: Ecological Genetics of a High Arctic Insect Species and Its Circumpolar Counterpart. Insects, MDPI, 2019, 2019 (10), pp.427. ⟨10.3390/insects10120427⟩. ⟨hal-02391010⟩



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