Original Paper

Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1907-1923

First online:

Pathways of cryptic invasion in a fish parasite traced using coalescent analysis and epidemiological survey

  • Wafa BouzidAffiliated withVenoms and Biological Activities Laboratory, EA 4357, PRES-Université de Toulouse, Jean-François Champollion University Center
  • , Jan ŠtefkaAffiliated withBiology Centre ASCR, Institute of Parasitology and Faculty of Science, University of South BohemiaEntomology Department, Natural History Museum Email author 
  • , Lilia Bahri-SfarAffiliated withUnité de Recherche Biologie, Ecologie et Parasitologie des organismes Aquatiques, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis
  • , Peter BeerliAffiliated withDepartment of Scientific Computing, Florida State University
  • , Géraldine LootAffiliated withLaboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, U.M.R. CNRS-UPS 5174, Université Paul Sabatier
  • , Sovan LekAffiliated withLaboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, U.M.R. CNRS-UPS 5174, Université Paul Sabatier
  • , Noura HaddaouiAffiliated withUnité de Recherche Biologie, Ecologie et Parasitologie des organismes Aquatiques, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis
  • , Václav HypšaAffiliated withBiology Centre ASCR, Institute of Parasitology and Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia
  • , Tomáš ScholzAffiliated withBiology Centre ASCR, Institute of Parasitology and Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia
    • , Tahani Dkhil-AbbesAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Aquaculture, INSTM
    • , Rafik MeddourAffiliated withLaboratoire de Pisciculture et Pathologie, Département des Sciences de la Mer, Faculté des Sciences, Université Badji Mokhtar Annaba
    • , Oum Kalthoum Ben HassineAffiliated withUnité de Recherche Biologie, Ecologie et Parasitologie des organismes Aquatiques, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis

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Abstract

Introduced species have the potential to outperform natives via the introduction of new parasites to which the native ecosystem is vulnerable. Cryptic diversity within an invasive species can obscure invasion patterns and confound proper management measures. The aim of this study is to use coalescent theory based methodology to trace recent routes of invasion in populations of Ligula intestinalis, a globally distributed fish parasite possessing both native and recently introduced populations in North Africa. Molecular analyses of mitochondrial DNA discerned a pronounced genetic divergence between introduced and native populations. Distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes demonstrated common origin of European populations with North African parasites sampled from introduced fish species in Tunisia. To test the suggested pathway of introduction, microsatellite data were examined in a model-based coalescent analysis using the software MIGRATE, where Europe to Tunisia direction of migration was favoured over alternative hypotheses of gene flow. Specificity of Tunisian populations to different host species was assessed in an epidemiologic survey confirming prevailing host-based division between introduced and native parasites in North Africa. This approach combining advanced analysis of molecular markers with host-specificity data allows revealing the evolution of host-parasite interactions following biological invasion and provides basis for devising future management measurements.

Keywords

Aquaculture Coevolution Directionality of migration Population split Ligula intestinalis Parasite introduction