Marine Invasion Genomics: Revealing Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Biological Invasions

Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


Genomic approaches are increasingly being used to study biological invasions. Here, we first analyse how high-throughput sequencing has aided our understanding of the mechanisms associated with biological invasions. These include the transport of propagules to pre-invaded areas, an exploration of the consequences of hybridisation during range expansions, and the pre- and post-invasion adaptation of colonising populations. We then explore how contemporary genomic methods have been used to probe and monitor the spread of non-indigenous species. More specifically, we focus on the detection of species richness from environmental samples, measures of quantitative traits that may promote invasiveness, analysis of rapid adaptation, and the study of phenotypic plasticity. Finally, we look to the future, exploring how genomic approaches will assist future biodiversity conservationists in their efforts to mitigate the spread and effects of biological invasions. Ultimately, although the use of genomic tools to study non-indigenous species has so far been rather limited, studies to date indicate that genomic tools offer unparalleled research opportunities to continually improve our understanding of marine biological invasions.


Adaptation eDNA Environmental DNA Hybridisation Nonindigenous species Population genomics Propagule pressure Transcriptomics 



We are grateful to Marjorie Oleksiak and Om Rajora for the invitation to contribute to this book. Data for Fig. 4 was partly supported by the Adventure in Research Grant AAIR15 from the University of Southampton to M.R. and Mark Chapman. SDB and LEH were supported by the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number NE/L002531/1]. JH was funded by the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. We are grateful to Xavier Turon for helpful comments during the preparation of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography CentreUniversity of SouthamptonEuropean WayUK
  2. 2.Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife ConservationUniversity of JohannesburgAuckland ParkSouth Africa

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