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Molecular and morphological data reveal non-monophyly and speciation in imperiled freshwater mussels (Anodontoides and Strophitus)

February 16, 2018

Accurate taxonomic placement is vital to conservation efforts considering many intrinsic biological characteristics of understudied species are inferred from closely related taxa. The rayed creekshell, Anodontoides radiatus (Conrad, 1834), exists in the Gulf of Mexico drainages from western Florida to Louisiana and has been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. We set out to resolve the evolutionary history of A. radiatus, primarily generic placement and species boundaries, using phylogenetic, morphometric, and geographic information. Our molecular matrix contained 3 loci: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, NADH dehydrogenase subunit I, and the nuclear-encoded ribosomal internal transcribed spacer I. We employed maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate a phylogeny and test the monophyly of Anodontoides and Strophitus. We implemented two coalescent-based species delimitation models to test seven species models and evaluate species boundaries within A. radiatus. Concomitant to molecular data, we also employed linear morphometrics and geographic information to further evaluate species boundaries. Molecular and morphological evidence supports the inclusion of A. radiatus in the genus Strophitus, and we resurrect the binomial Strophitus radiatus to reflect their shared common ancestry. We also found strong support for polyphyly in Strophitus and advocate the resurrection of the genus Pseudodontoideus to represent ‘Strophitus’ connasaugaensis and ‘Strophitus’ subvexus. Strophitus radiatus exists in six well-supported clades that were distinguished as evolutionary independent lineages using Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and coalescent-based species delimitation models. Our integrative approach found evidence for as many as 4 evolutionary divergent clades within S. radiatus. Therefore, we formally describe two new species from the S. radiatus species complex (Strophitus williamsi and Strophitus pascagoulaensis) and recognize the potential for a third putative species (Strophitus sp. cf. pascagoulaensis). Our findings aid stakeholders in establishing conservation and management strategies for the members of Anodontoides, Strophitus, and Pseudodontoideus.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Molecular and morphological data reveal non-monophyly and speciation in imperiled freshwater mussels (Anodontoides and Strophitus)
DOI 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.10.018
Authors Chase H. Smith, Nathan A. Johnson, John M. Pfeiffer, Michael M. Gangloff
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Series Number
Index ID 70195452
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center