Colonization routes of the invasive mosquitofish introduced to Europe


A new work from researches of the LIG has been released today in the Biological Invasions journal. In this paper, the authors try to clarify the main routes of colonization of the European continent by the highly invasive species of freshwater fish Gambusia holbrooki. Abstract:

Biological invasions are considered one of the main anthropogenic factors that reduce the abundance of native species. Understanding the patterns of population structure and behavior of introduced species is important to determine invasion sources and pathways. We set out to advance our knowledge about the invasive mosquitofish Gambusia spp. by screening variation at six microsatellite loci. We also evaluated six American samples (four of G. holbrooki and two of G. affinis) to identify the most likely source of the populations that established in Europe. The results showed that most introduced populations harbored a considerable amount of gene diversity, probably because of multiple introductions and secondary contacts. Populations displayed strong genetic differentiation that was mainly associated with geographical distance. At least two main routes of colonization of G. holbrooki seem to have occurred in Europe. The first, was consistent with the historical records of the species invading the Iberian Peninsula. A second, and more recent colonization, probably occurred in Greece and, from there, France.

Further information about the paper can be accessed here.


Sanz, N.Araguas, R.M. Vidal, O.Diez-del-Molino, D.Fernández-Cebrián, R.García-Marín, J.L. (2013) Genetic characterization of the invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia spp.) introduced to Europe: population structure and colonization routes. Biological Invasions. October 2013, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 2333-2346



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