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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Oct;64(10):2060-8. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.06.029. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Ascidian introductions through the Suez Canal: The case study of an Indo-Pacific species.

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1
Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, USA. mrius@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Although marine biological invasions via the Suez Canal have been extensively documented, little is known about the introduction of non-indigenous ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea), a group containing particularly aggressive invasive species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to study the introduction of the ascidian Herdmania momus into the Mediterranean Sea. We reviewed its taxonomy and global distribution, and analyzed how genetic variation is partitioned between sides of the Suez Canal. The taxonomic revision showed that H. momus currently has a wide Indo-Pacific distribution. Genetic data indicated two well-differentiated colonization histories across the eastern Mediterranean. Our findings suggest that the range expansion of H. momus has been greatly facilitated by the combined effect of human-mediated transport and the species' ability to adapt to different environments. The integrative approach presented here is critical to attain a holistic understanding of marine biological invasions, especially when studying groups with a poorly resolved taxonomy.

PMID:
22857711
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.06.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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