Timeline: March 1st 2024 - October 31st 2025

Expected grant: 58,440

Untangling CRYPtic diversity of endemic endangered spidERS in the Mercantour-Alpi Marittime Natural Park - CRYPTERS

This project aims at discriminating potential cryptic diversity of two Alpine endemic spiders, listed as Endangered by IUCN, i.e. Vesubia jugorum and Troglohyphantes konradi. These species live in extreme habitats within the biodiversity hotspot of Mecantour-Alpi Marittime Natural Park, in SW-Alps (Italy and France). According to their recent extinction risk assessment, they are both severely threatened by climate change. Previous genetic research for both species unravelled overlooked taxonomic diversity, paralleling high genetic isolation of the local populations. In light of this, we will develop multilocus genetic markers to gain more insights in the genetic structure of their populations and to untangle potential cryptic diversity. These markers will be validated by comparing their resolution with the variation of genome-wide SNPs. The information obtained by new molecular tools will be integrated into Species Distribution Models to support specific conservation measures in collaboration with the transboundary protected area of Mercantour-Alpi Marittime Natural Park.


Torino, Italy

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