Calanoida (Crustacea Copepoda) from the inland waters of Apulia (south-eastern Italy)


The currently available knowledge on biodiversity and species distribution of Italian fauna still presents some gaps to be filled, in particular in the southern part of the country. This study represents the first survey aimed at assessing the presence and distribution of Calanoida in inland waters of Apulia (south-eastern Italy). The research lasted five years and led to the mapping of 121 inland water bodies, most of which are characterized by temporary hydroperiods. Fifty-five of the sampled sites hosted at least one calanoid species, and 48 sites (among the 55 sites hosting Calanoida) are temporary water bodies. Thirteen calanoid species were detected in total; several of these are first records for Apulia and three species are new records for mainland Italy. The efficiency of the sampling effort was tested for both the entire Apulian territory and its main subareas, namely Gargano (in northern Apulia), and Salento (southern Apulia). Central Apulia showed the lowest species richness among the three sampled subareas. This is probably due to the scarcity of inland water bodies. Species composition of Apulian calanoid fauna was compared to the ones of the geographically close areas for which data are available: the other Italian faunal provinces (Alpine, Apennine, Padanian, Sardinian and Sicilian provinces) and the Balkans (Albania, Corfu, Croatia, Greece and Turkish Trace, Macedonia, Slovenia). Gargano and Salento showed a different assemblage of vicariant species but both the areas showed a remarkable presence of Mediterranean elements that, in fact, characterize the whole Apulian faunal province. The highest similarities for inland water calanoid fauna, which were observed between Gargano and the Apennine province, and between Salento and Sicily, are discussed, along with the total assessment of the whole Apulian calanoid fauna

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This paper was published in Directory of Open Access Journals.

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