Challenging species delimitation in Collembola: Cryptic diversity among common springtails unveiled by DNA barcoding
Jansen van Vuuren, B.
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Collembola is one of the major functional groups in soil as well as a model taxon in numerous disciplines. Therefore the accurate identification of specimens is critical, but could be jeopardised by cases of cryptic diversity. Several populations of six well characterised species of springtails were sequenced using the COI barcode fragment as a contribution to the global Collembola barcoding campaign. Each species showed high intraspecific divergence, comparable to interspecific sequence divergence values observed in previous studies and in 10 congeneric species barcoded here as a reference. The nuclear marker, 28S, confirmed all the intraspecific lineages found with COI, supporting the potential specific status of these entities. The implications of this finding for taxonomy and for disciplines relying on species names, such as evolution and ecology, are discussed.