Colonization and dispersal patterns of the invasive American brine shrimp Artemia franciscana (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) in the Mediterranean region

Abstract

Cysts of the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana are harvested from the Great Salt Lake (GSL) and San Francisco Bay (SFB) saltworks in the USA, and marketed worldwide to provide live food for aquaculture. This species has become invasive across several countries. We investigated (1) if the introduced populations in the Mediterranean region could have originated from these USA populations, (2) how the genetic diversity of Mediterranean compares to that at GSL and SFB, and (3) if genetic patterns in the Mediterranean can shed light on colonization routes. We sequenced a fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and screened microsatellites loci from Mediterranean populations and the two putative USA sources. Haplotypes from Mediterranean populations were identical or closely related to those from SFB and GSL, and not related to other available American populations. Microsatellite analyses showed a reduced population diversity for most Mediterranean populations suggesting bottleneck effects, but few populations were showing similar or higher genetic diversity than native ones, which are likely to be admixed from both GSL and SFB because of multiple introductions. Results suggest natural dispersal, potentially via flamingos, between two Spanish populations. Our analyses show that all invaded populations could have originated from those commercialized USA populations.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to F. Hortas, M.I. Sánchez, and H. Rodríguez for assistance in collecting samples, and to J.M. Arroyo for assistance in microsatellite screening. This study was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Projects BOS2003-02846, CGL2005-02306/BOS, CGL2006-05085/BOS, and CGL 2008-03277 including FEDER funds). AG was supported by an Advanced NERC Fellowship (NE/B501298/1, UK).

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Correspondence to Joaquín Muñoz.

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Joaquín Muñoz and Africa Gómez contributed equally to this work.

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Muñoz, J., Gómez, A., Figuerola, J. et al. Colonization and dispersal patterns of the invasive American brine shrimp Artemia franciscana (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) in the Mediterranean region. Hydrobiologia 726, 25–41 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-013-1748-6

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Keywords

  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Biological invasion
  • Human- and bird-mediated dispersal
  • Microsatellites
  • mtDNA
  • Population structure