PhD defence Nele De Meester
Unravelling coexistence of cryptic Litoditis marina species:
This PhD thesis aims at improving our understanding of the coexistence of morphologically similar but genetically distinct species. Competition, niche differentiation and dispersal were studied in the cryptic species complex of the marine nematode Litoditis marina. Possible coexistence paradigms and the importance of dispersal for the cryptic species complex are discussed. Moreover, this thesis addresses the importance of incorporating cryptic species into conservation management. This PhD research has been promoted by Prof. Dr. Tom Moens and Prof. Dr. Sofie Derycke and was carried out at the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University (Belgium). Nele De Meester is trained as a master in Biology and worked as assistant academic staff at Ghent University. This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor in Science (Biology).