Dispersal of the Ponto-Caspian amphipod Echinogammarus ischnus: Invasion waves from the Pleistocene to the present
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The geographical range of the amphipod crustacean Echinogammarus ischnus has expanded over the past century from the Ponto-Caspian region to Western Europe, the Baltic Sea, and the Great Lakes of North America. The present study explores the phylogeographic patterns of this amphipod across its current distribution, based on an examination of nucleotide diversity in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Marked genetic divergence exists among populations of E. ischnus from the Black and Caspian Seas, as well as those from the drainage system of the Black Sea. This divergence suggests the prolonged geographic isolation of these native populations, reflecting the limited dispersal capability of E. ischnus. By contrast, invading populations are characterized by a lack of genetic variation; a single mitochondrial genotype of Black Sea origin has colonized sites from the Rhine River to North America. The dispersal pattern in E. ischnus is very similar to that in the Ponto-Caspian cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi. Despite their contrasting life history strategies, these invading species followed the same route of invasion from the northern Black Sea to the Baltic Sea region, and subsequently to North America.
Cristescu, M. E.A.; Witt, J. D.S.; Grigorovich, I. A.; Hebert, P. D.N.; and MacIsaac, Hugh J., "Dispersal of the Ponto-Caspian amphipod Echinogammarus ischnus: Invasion waves from the Pleistocene to the present" (2004). Heredity, 92, 3, 197-203.