Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1769–1783 | Cite as

Neither variation loss, nor change in selfing rate is associated with the worldwide invasion of Physa acuta from its native North America

Original Paper


Whether bioinvasions are associated with a loss of genetic diversity and a change in mating system is instrumental for understanding the evolutionary fate of invasive species. Little loss is expected under strong propagule pressure which might be a general situation in widespread, efficient invader. In hermaphroditic species, we have few examples of a transition between outcrossing and selfing as a consequence of invasion, though this is classically predicted (as a corollary to Baker’s law). We estimated microsatellite variation in 44 populations of the widespread freshwater snail Physa acuta sampled at worldwide scale (including several populations from its native North America). Neither loss of variation (or bottleneck), nor increase in selfing rate was detected in invaded areas. Moreover there was no isolation by distance at large geographic scale, and limited geographic coherence in genetic patterns was detected using STRUCTURE software—the West Mediterranean area being an exception. Such patterns might be explained by (1) multiple introductions in the invaded areas, presumably fostered by aquarium trade, followed by regional spread in some cases—in which case mating partners might be numerous enough to prevent transition towards higher selfing rates, and (2) invasions from the whole native area. This suggests that P. acuta is an exceptionally efficient invader (which is not true of related species), but the reasons of its success remain elusive.


Bioinvasions Genetic diversity Mating systems Phylogeography Physa acuta Snail 



We thank R. Anderson, C. Appleton, R. Bromley, P.-A. Crochet, R.T. Dillon, A. Estoup, G. Feulner, H.A. Jambari, M. Kawata, A.V. Korniushin, M. Malaquias, F. Munoz, F. Nijokou, A.M. Ramos, R. Rojas Garcia, A. Sulikowska, S. Trouve, A. Tsitrone, A. Wethington, M.J. Wallace and M. Zeki Yildirim for sampling and sending snails, P.-Y. Henry and P. Sourrouille for help with the molecular analyses, and R.T. Dillon, K.A. Hayes and three anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript. L. Bousset was supported by a fellowship from INRA. The project was supported by funds from CNRS to P. Jarne.

Supplementary material

10530_2013_626_MOESM1_ESM.docx (385 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 384 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Bousset
    • 1
  • J.-P. Pointier
    • 2
  • P. David
    • 3
  • P. Jarne
    • 3
  1. 1.UMR 1349 IGEPPINRALe Rheu CedexFrance
  2. 2.USR 3278 CNRS-EPHE CRIOBEUniversité de PerpignanPerpignan CedexFrance
  3. 3.CEFE UMR 5175, Campus CNRSMontpellier CedexFrance

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