Zooplankton of the family Bosminidae have a unique paleolimnological record in many Holarctic lakes that provides a near continuous record of morphological change for thousands of years. If this morphological change could be interpreted reliably, then a rarely achieved direct observation of macroevolution would be feasible. We tested paleolimnological predictions derived from morphological variation found in the genus Eubosmina using mtDNA and nuclear DNA sequence variation from geographically distant Holarctic sites. The mtDNA and nDNA trees were congruent but genetic divergence was inversely associated with morphological divergence. The three most genetically divergent groups belonged to Eubosmina longispina, whose phylogeography and genetic divergence was consistent with glacial vicariance. The genetic evidence also supported the hypothesis that at least two Nearctic species were recent European introductions. Finally, the genetic evidence was consistent with paleolimnology in the finding of several proposed species undergoing rapid morphological evolution and being post-glacially derived from European E. longispina. The results suggested that lacustrine bosminids are susceptible to geographic speciation processes, and that morphological interpretation of diversity in paleolimnology can be markedly improved by genetic studies.
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