Zoogeography of the millipedes (Diplopoda) of eastern Germany
In the framework of extensive studies of the millipede fauna of eastern Germany, 68 species are recorded from this area. The distribution of selected species is illustrated with maps and discussed in the light of their total distribution.
Eastern Germany is clearly divided into two major regions: the Central German Uplands in the south and the adjacent lowlands which extend to the Baltic Sea in the north. Several species are, in part strictly, restricted to the Central German Uplands and do not or hardly cross the 200 m contour towards the lowlands. Thus, the species number increases by 44 % from north to south. Other species are restricted to the lowlands.
In agreement with the Central European position of eastern Germany north of the Alps, the area can be expected to be a postglacial dispersal pathway for species from the western and eastern glacial refugia. A zoogeographical evaluation of the millipede species of eastern Germany confirms this. Approximately the same numbers of species have their main distribution of the western (18 %) and eastern (19 %) part of the area. Forty-one % of the species reach their eastern (8 species), western (9) or northern (11) distribution limit in eastern Germany.
The postglacial distribution history of selected species is discussed, under consideration of constancy, hybridisation, and evolution of subspecies.
distribution, ice age, re-immigration, post-glacial dispersal