Benthic foraminifera are a major component of the Antarctic biota. Coastal foraminiferal morphospecies are widely distributed in Antarctic waters. The question is whether these morphotypes are genetically identical or, rather, they represent a cohort of cryptic species. Here, we compared genetically nine benthic foraminiferal morphospecies from Admiralty Bay (South Shetlands) and the western Ross Sea (McMurdo Sound, Terra Nova Bay), separated by a distance of ~4500 km. Additionally, for three of these morphospecies, we included specimens from Rothera (Marguerite Bay), which is located between the two main areas of interest. Our study, based on SSU and ITS rDNA sequence data, shows that all examined morphospecies share the same genotypes despite the presence of considerable intra-individual genetic variability.
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