Little is known about the life histories, genetic structure and population connectivity of shallow groundwater organisms. We used next-generation sequencing (RAD-seq) to analyse population genomic structure in two aquifer species: Paraperla frontalis (Banks, 1902), a stonefly with groundwater larvae and aerial (winged) adults; and Stygobromus sp., a groundwater-obligate amphipod. We found similar genetic differentiation in each species between floodplains separated by ∼70 river km in the Flathead River basin of north-west Montana, USA. Given that Stygobromus lacks the above-ground life stage of P. frontalis, our findings suggest that connectivity and the magnitude of genetic structure cannot be definitively assumed from life history differences.
- aquifer ecosystem
- groundwater fauna