Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 817–828 | Cite as

The invasion history of the exotic freshwater zooplankter Daphnia lumholtzi (Cladocera, Crustacea) in North America: a genetic analysis

  • Dagmar Frisch
  • John E. Havel
  • Lawrence J. Weider
Original Paper


Daphnia lumholtzi is a planktonic crustacean native to subtropical regions in Africa, Asia and Australia. Since its invasion to the southern USA in ~1990 it has spread across North America as far north as the Laurentian Great Lakes. We assessed invasion history using microsatellite makers and to explore the influence of mean annual temperature on the genetic structure along a latitudinal gradient in North America. Genotypic data were obtained from 9 microsatellite markers for 178 individuals from 13 populations (eight populations introduced to North America and five populations in the native range). Pairwise Fst values as well as Bayesian clustering showed a strong subdivision between native and introduced populations. Bayesian clustering identified multiple genetic clusters in recently invaded locations, suggestive of multiple invasions from various sources, including Asia and Africa. Using variation partitioning, we determined the amount of variation for genetic clusters of populations in the invaded range due to mean annual air temperature and the year of first detection. The results point to a primary introduction into the southern range of North America, with a subsequent northward expansion, and multiple introductions possibly from both the native range and by secondary spread from previously-invaded locations. Separate analysis of genetic clusters within the invaded range suggests additional effects of temperature conditions on geographic genetic structure, possibly as a consequence of D. lumholtzi’s tropical origin.


Biological invasion Macrogeographic genetic structure Range expansion Zooplankton Population genetics Microsatellites 



We are grateful to John Colbourne, Joachim Mergeay and Luc De Meester for sharing microsatellite primer sequences, to Robert Burdis, John Colbourne, Norman Davidson, Meghan Duffy, Wyatt Hoback, Ram Kumar, Chris Luecke, Anke Mueller-Solger, Brian Peterson, La-orsri Sanoamuang, Ron Semyalo, Jim Stoeckel and Colin van Overdijk for providing samples used in this study, and to Amy Benson, United States Geological Survey for providing us with a map of the temporal D. lumholtzi distribution in North America. DF was supported by a European Commision Outgoing International Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship (MOIF-CT-EVOLEXOTIC 40285). We thank two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10530_2012_329_MOESM1_ESM.doc (122 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 122 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dagmar Frisch
    • 1
    • 2
  • John E. Havel
    • 3
  • Lawrence J. Weider
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Oklahoma Biological StationKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Doñana Biological Station EBD-CSICSevillaSpain
  3. 3.Department of BiologyMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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