Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1743–1756 | Cite as

Clash of the titans: a multi-species invasion with high gene flow in the globally invasive titan acorn barnacle

  • Ocean R. Cohen
  • Linda J. Walters
  • Eric A. Hoffman
Original Paper


The goal of this study was to investigate the phylogeny, invasion history and genetic structure of the global invader Megabalanus coccopoma. First, we created a Bayesian phylogeny using cytochrome oxidase I and 16S mitochondrial genes of samples we collected and sequences available on GenBank for all species in the genus Megabalanus. Second, we compared the genetic differences within and between native and invasive populations verified as M. coccopoma by constructing a haplotype network of the COI sequences and estimating gene diversity (h) and nucleotide diversity (π). Finally, we ran an analysis of molecular variance and calculated pairwise Φ ST to evaluate the similarity among populations. We identified several lineages that correspond to putatively different species of Megabalanus and uncovered nomenclature discrepancies among GenBank samples and undocumented lineages from our own collections. However, we found that the majority of samples were indeed M. coccopoma. Among populations of M. coccopoma, levels of within-population genetic diversity were not significantly different (p h  = 0.131, p π  = 0.129) between native (h = 0.970, π = 0.00708) and non-native populations (h = 0.950, π = 0.00605) and analysis of molecular variance analyses revealed that 98.34 % of the genetic variation was partitioned within populations with a significant global Φ ST  = 0.017. Our results revealed that invasions in at least the southeastern United States and Brazil are composed of multiple lineages; however, we found that most of the global invasion occurred from a single lineage, M. coccopoma, and that no significant genetic differentiation exists between native and non-native populations of this species.


Cytochrome-c-oxidase-subunit-I Invasive species Marine barnacles Megabalanus coccopoma 



Funding was provided by CSREES/USDA Award No.: 2008-32320-04574, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, the University of Central Florida, and The Arnold and Maybel Beckman Foundation. We would like to thank several people for aiding in the collection of samples from this study including Michel Hendrickx, Jacob Shalack, Dale Bishop, Sam Crickenberger, Pablo Mungia, and Colt Cook. Lastly, we would like to thank the Hoffman, Parkinson, and Walters laboratories for their guidance during the entire process of this study.

Supplementary material

10530_2013_624_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ocean R. Cohen
    • 1
  • Linda J. Walters
    • 1
  • Eric A. Hoffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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