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Morphometric and genetic analyses on freshwater fish, Pseudophoxinus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) populations in Turkey

Altun, Ayhan
With exceptional species richness and high level of endemism the Mediterranean region is recognized as one of the most important freshwater biodiversity hotspots in the world. One of the main temperate Mediterranean refugia is Anatolia with high biodiversity and strong genetic imprints. Complex patterns of population structure within the Mediterranean refugia are the results of the existence of fragmented distribution, dispersion process and gene flow occurred during range expansion in the interglacial periods. Pseudophoxinus is a highly diverse and endemic genus among freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. The number of species of the genus is 29 of which 21 inhabits the freshwaters of Turkey. Despite the presence of the species in the territories of countries such as Algeria, Azerbaijan, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia almost 70% of Pseudophoxinus (20 species) is endemic to Turkey. High endemism and diversity of the genus and vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems necessitate thorough studies to be conducted for taxonomic investigation and conservation of the species of the genus. In this study geometric morphometrics and molecular markers, allozymes and microsatellites, were used to determine phylogenetic relationship among 17 populations comprising six species and five populations with undetermined taxonomic status. Pseudophoxinus battalgili represented with four populations, Çavuşçu Lake, Oymapınar Dam Lake, Taşağıl Stream and Suğla Lake was clustered together in the same species complex in all three methods used. While allozyme and microsatellite analyses revealed close relationship between P. hittitorum inhabiting Eflatun Spring and P. battalgili, landmark based geometric morphometrics placed P. hittitorum in a group geographically close to each other. Three populations of P. burduricus were usually grouped together. However, the species complex of P. burduricus obtained from morphometric data included P. fahrettini and P. crassus from İnsuyu Stream as well as Kuğulu Park and Kırkpınar populations. P. egridiri morphologically placed close to P. battalgili. However, both allozyme and microsatellite results showed that this species genetically distinctly singled out from the rest of 16 populations. P. crassus was represented with two populations, Gök Lake and İnsuyu Stream. Although they were genetically found to be closely related, Gök Lake population was the most divergent taxon morphologically. This population recently was revised as a new species, P. iconii.