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Phylogeography of Mediterranean species: Lessons from butterflies

Personal acadèmic

The phylogeography of Europe is rather complex and three major phylogeographical groups can be distinguished: Mediterranean, continental and arctic/alpine taxa. Within the Mediterranean taxa, the respective ice age refugia and the postglacial expansion patterns can be traced by genetic analyses. Recent studies also show that typical Mediterranean species in some cases even survived in additional extra-Mediterranean refugia. Among the Mediterranean subcentres, the link between Italy and the Maghreb via Sicily seems to be of greater importance than previously thought. Within these subcentres, some species show remarkable patterns of further differentiation. All these aspects are discussed using examples from butterflies and some other invertebrate taxa.