, Volume 723, Issue 1, pp 167-179

First online:

Colonization of Daphnia magna in a newly created pond: founder effects and secondary immigrants

  • Raquel OrtellsAffiliated withInstitut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València Email author 
  • , Joost VanoverbekeAffiliated withLaboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, KULeuven
  • , Gerald LouetteAffiliated withResearch Institute for Nature and Forest
  • , Luc De MeesterAffiliated withLaboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, KULeuven

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In habitats recently colonized by cyclical parthenogens, founder events lead to genetic differences between populations that do not erode quickly despite ongoing dispersal. By comparing the genetic composition during initial colonization with that of the diapausing egg bank at a local scale, we here present the relative contribution of the founding clones to the build-up of genetic diversity and differentiation of a newly established cladoceran population. We monitored the population genetic structure of Daphnia magna in one newly created pond as well as the diapausing egg banks of four water bodies in the neighbouring area. Our population was founded by four individuals. After the first growing season, the largest contribution to the sexually produced resting egg bank came from only two clones. Descendants of initially rare clones and potentially also additional immigrant clones profited from outbreeding vigour and increased their frequency during the first few years after colonization. Beyond this, no further significant changes in genetic structure were observed in the egg bank. At this point, priority effects became fully operational and led to sustained population genetic differentiation from nearby ponds. Our results support that colonization dynamics strongly influence within and among population genetic variation and evolutionary potential of populations.


Cladocera Ecological genetics Egg bank Monopolization hypothesis Temporary ponds