Phylogenetic relationships among hadal amphipods of the Superfamily Lysianassoidea: Implications for taxonomy and biogeography

Heather Ritchie*, A. J. Jamieson, S. B. Piertney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)
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Amphipods of the superfamily Lysianassoidea are ubiquitous at hadal depths (>6000 m) and therefore are an ideal model group for investigating levels of endemism and the drivers of speciation in deep ocean trenches. The taxonomic classification of hadal amphipods is typically based on conventional morphological traits but it has been suggested that convergent evolution, phenotypic plasticity, intra-specific variability and ontogenetic variation may obscure the ability to robustly diagnose taxa and define species. Here we use phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence variation at two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rDNA) and one nuclear (18S rDNA) regions at to examine the evolutionary relationships among 25 putative amphipod species representing 14 genera and 11 families that were sampled from across seven hadal trenches. We identify several instances where species, genera and families do not resolve monophyletic clades, highlighting incongruence between the current taxonomic classification and the molecular phylogeny for this group. Our data also help extend and resolve the known biogeographic distributions for the different species, such as identifying the co-occurrence of Hirondellea dubia and Hirondellea gigas in the Mariana trench.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Early online date2 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 30/8/15

We thank the chief scientists, crew and company of the Japanese RV Hakuho-Maru (KH0703 and KH0803), the RV Tansei-Maru (KT-09-03), the RV Kairei (KR0716), the German FS Sonne (SO197 and SO 209) and the New Zealand RV Kaharoa (KAH0190, KAH1109, KAH1202, KAH1301 and KAH1310). This work was supported by the HADEEP projects, funded by the Nippon Foundation, Japan (2009765188), the Natural Environmental Research Council, UK (NE/E007171/1) and the Total Foundation, France. We acknowledge additional support from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) funded by the Scottish Funding Council (Ref: HR09011) and contributing institutions. We also acknowledge support from the Leverhulme Research Fellowship granted to SBP. Additional sea time was supported by NIWA’s ‘Impact of Resource Use on Vulnerable Deep-Sea Communities’ project (CO1_0906). From NIWA we thank Malcolm Clark, Ashley Rowden, Kareen Schnabel, Sadie Mills for logistical support at the NIWA Invertebrate Collection. We also thank Fredrik Søreide from Promare, USA, for supply of the Puerto-Rico samples, Marius Wenzel for helpful comments on manuscript drafts, and Dr. Tammy Horton (NOCS, UK) for identifying some of the earlier amphipod samples


  • Amphipoda
  • Deep sea
  • Hadal zone
  • Lysianassoidea
  • Phylogeny


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