Background: Islands have traditionally been the centre of evolutionary biological research, but the dynamics of immigration and differentiation at continental islands have not been well studied. Therefore, we focused on the Japanese archipelago, the continental islands located at the eastern end of the Eurasian continent. While the Japanese archipelago is characterised by high biodiversity and rich freshwater habitats, the origin and formation mechanisms of its freshwater organisms are not clear. In order to clarify the history of the planorbid gastropod fauna, we conducted phylogenetic analysis, divergence time estimation, ancestral state reconstruction, and lineage diversity estimations. Results: Our analyses revealed the formation process of the planorbid fauna in the Japanese archipelago. Most lineages in the Japanese archipelago have closely related lineages on the continent, and the divergence within the Japanese lineages presumably occurred after the late Pliocene. In addition, each lineage is characterised by different phylogeographical patterns, suggesting that immigration routes from the continent to the Japanese archipelago differ among lineages. Furthermore, a regional lineage diversity plot showed that the present diversity in the Japanese archipelago potentially reflects the differentiation of lineages within the islands after the development of the Japanese archipelago. Conclusions: Although additional taxon sampling and genetic analysis focused on each lineage are needed, our results suggest that immigration from multiple routes just prior to the development of the Japanese archipelago and subsequent diversification within the islands are major causes of the present-day diversity of the Japanese planorbid fauna.
- Continental islands
- Freshwater snail
- The Japanese archipelago
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics