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Tracing recent invasions of the Ponto-Caspian mysid shrimp Hemimysis anomala across Europe and to North America with mitochondrial DNA

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The mysid crustacean Hemimysis anomala (‘bloody-red shrimp’) is one of the most recent participants in the invasion of European inland waters by Ponto-Caspian species. Recently the species also became established in England and the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Using information from mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene sequences, we traced the invasion pathways of H. anomala; the inferences were enabled by the observed phylogeographical subdivision among the source area populations in the estuaries of the Ponto-Caspian basin. The data distinguish two routes to northern and western Europe used by distinct lineages. One route has been to and through the Baltic Sea and further to the Rhine delta, probably from a population intentionally introduced to a Lithuanian water reservoir from the lower Dnieper River (NW Black Sea area) in 1960. The other lineage is derived from the Danube delta and has spread across the continent up the Danube River and further through the Main–Danube canal down to the Rhine River delta. Only the Danube lineage was found in England and in North America. The two lineages appear to have met secondarily and are now found intermixed at several sites in NW Europe, including the Rhine and waters linked with the man-made Mittellandkanal that interconnects the Rhine and Baltic drainage systems.
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Keywords: Baltic Sea; Danube–Rhine; Mysida; biological invasions; canals; introductions; shipping

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecotoxicology, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria 2: Finnish Museum of Natural History, POB 17, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland;

Publication date: 01 March 2008

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