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A glacial refugium and zoogeographic boundary in the Slovak eastern Carpathians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2018

Lucie Juřičková*
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, CZ-12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic
Jitka Horáčková
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, CZ-12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic
Anna Jansová
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, CZ-12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic
Jiří Kovanda
Dobropolská 26, CZ-10200 Prague 10, Czech Republic
Ján Harčár
Department of Geography and Applied Geoinformatics, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Prešov University, SK-08116 Prešov, Slovakia
Vojen Ložek
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, CZ-12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author at: Lucie Juřičková, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Viničná 7, CZ-12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic. E-mail address: (L. Juřičková).


Although the Carpathians in Europe have often been considered a glacial refugium for temperate plants, vertebrates, and molluscs, the fossil records, the only indisputable evidence surviving glacial periods, are as yet scarce. Moreover, the distribution of fossil records is uneven, and some areas have remained unstudied. We present here three molluscan successions from such an area—the border between the western and eastern Carpathians. This area is not only a geographic border but also a border between the oceanic and continental climate in Europe, and the molluscan fauna reflects this. We found a fluctuation of this zoogeographical border during the late glacial period and the Holocene for several snail species with their easternmost or westernmost distribution situated at this border. Such a fluctuation could reflect a small-scale shifting of climate character during the Holocene. For the first time, we recorded the fossil shells of three local endemics, Carpathica calophana, Petasina bielzi, and Perforatella dibothrion. We also found a fully developed woodland snail fauna radiocarbon dated to the Bølling period. This early occurrence of canopy forest snails indicates a possible eastern Carpathian glacial refugium for them, including local endemics, and may reflect a more moderate glacial impact on local biota than expected.

Research Article
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2018. 

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