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New data and hypotheses on the invasiveness, habitat selection, and ecological role of the limicolous earthworm Sparganophilus tamesis Benham, 1892

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A recent molecular barcode study certified the conspecificity of mutually distant European populations of the limicolous earthworm Sparganophilus tamesis Benham, 1892 with the most widespread species of Sparganophilus in North America, and that all the analysed European worms descend from a recent introduction, probably via one or more point-source events with subsequent dispersion. We present the first records from Belgium and the Atlantic coast of southern France, and further genetic evidence confirming the species' high dispersal abilities and historical movement within and across European drainage boundaries, as well as its capacity to establish in different types of aquatic ecosystems, including oligotrophic habitats. Experimental evidence suggests that the activity of Sparganophilus combined with that of oxygen-releasing plants, such as Lobelia dortmanna, may enhance the mobilization of refractory N pools within oligotrophic sediments, and, therefore, act as facilitator for both the macrophyte and the microbial communities in the rhizosphere.
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Keywords: FRESHWATER OLIGOCHAETES; INVASIVENESS; LOBELIA DORTMANNA; NEW EUROPEAN RECORDS; OLIGOTROPHIC HABITATS; SPARGANOPHILIDAE; SYNERGISM WITH MACROPHYTES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

This article was made available online on November 26, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "New data and hypotheses on the invasiveness, habitat selection, and ecological role of the limicolous earthworm Sparganophilus tamesis Benham, 1892".

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  • Fundamental and Applied Limnology is an international journal for freshwater research in the widest sense, including problems of marine biology and brackish water research. Papers dealing with ecological topics are especially welcome in association with experimental or physiological studies. All papers published in this journal are subject to peer review.

    Archiv für Hydrobiologie, now Fundamental and Applied Limnology has been published continuously since 1906.

    Volumes prior to vol. 168 were published under the previous title Archiv für Hydrobiologie.
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