Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 751–761 | Cite as

Different dispersal histories of lineages of the earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa (Lumbricidae, Annelida) in the Palearctic

  • S. V. Shekhovtsov
  • E. V. Golovanova
  • S. E. Peltek
Original Paper


Earthworms are among the most abundant and ecologically important invasive species, and are therefore a good object for studying genetic processes in invasive populations. Aporrectodea caliginosa is one of the most widespread invasive earthworms in the temperate zone. It is believed to have dispersed from Europe to all continents except Antarctica. It is known that A. caliginosa consists of three genetic lineages, and genetic diversity is high both among and between them. We attempted to use that high genetic diversity to study A. caliginosa dispersal in the Palearctic based on a sample of 40 localities ranging from eastern Europe to the Russian Far East, and to compare our data to other studies on this species in western Europe and North America. Two genetic lineages were found in the studied sample. Only negligible decrease in genetic diversity was observed for the lineage 2 of A. caliginosa from West Europe to the Far East, suggesting multiple human-mediated introductions. In contrast, lineage 3 is abundant in West Europe and Belarus, but is absent from the East European Plain, the Urals, and the Far East. However, it is present in West Siberia, where it has greatly reduced genetic diversity, indicating long-distance dispersal accompanied by a bottleneck event. Thus, although these two lineages of A. caliginosa are morphologically indistinguishable, they have dramatic differences in their distributions and dispersal histories.


Aporrectodea caliginosa Cosmopolite Earthworms cox1 Palearctic Genetic lineages 



We would like to thank all anonymous reviewers that helped to improve this and earlier versions of the manuscript. We are grateful to V. Ustinov and V. Gochakov for help with the collection of material and to O. Kosterin and O. Zaitseva for helpful comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by the 14-04-01121 Grant of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the MK-6685.2015.4 Grant of the President of the Russian Federation, and the State Contract 6.1957.2014/K.

Supplementary material

10530_2015_1045_MOESM1_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. V. Shekhovtsov
    • 1
  • E. V. Golovanova
    • 2
  • S. E. Peltek
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular BiotechnologyInstitute of Cytology and Genetics SB RASNovosibirskRussia
  2. 2.Omsk State Pedagogical UniversityOmskRussia

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