Spanish freshwater ecosystems are suffering great modification and some macroinvertebrates like Austropotamobius italicus , the white-clawed crayfish, are threatened. This species was once widely distributed in Spain, but its populations have shown a very strong decline over the last thirty years, due to different factors. Three Spanish populations of this crayfish—from different scenarios—were analysed with nuclear (microsatellites) and mitochondrial markers ( COI and 16S rDNA). Data analyses reveal the existence of four haplotypes at mitochondrial level and polymorphism for four microsatellite loci. Despite this genetic variability, bottlenecks were detected in the two natural Spanish populations tested. In addition, the distribution of the mitochondrial haplotypes and SSR alleles show a similar geographic pattern and the genetic differentiation between these samples is mainly due to genetic drift. Given the current risk status of the species across its range, this diversity offers some hope for the species from a management point of view.
Matallanas, B., Callejas, C., & Ochando, M. D. (2012). A Genetic Approach to Spanish Populations of the Threatened Austropotamobius italicus Located at Three Different Scenarios . The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1100/2012/975930