Rapid movement and instability of an invasive hybrid swarm

Product Type: 

Journal Article

Year: 

2016

Author(s): 

Glotzbecker, D.M. Walters, and M. J. Blum

Suggested Citation: 

Glotzbecker, D.M. Walters, and M. J. Blum. 2016. Rapid movement and instability of an invasive hybrid swarm. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/eva.12371

Unstable hybrid swarms that arise following the introduction of non-native species can overwhelm native congeners, yet the stability of invasive hybrid swarms has not been well documented over time. Here we examine genetic variation and clinal stability across a recently formed hybrid swarm involving native blacktail shiner (Cyprinella venusta) and non-native red shiner (C. lutrensis) in the Upper Coosa River basin, which is widely considered to be a global hotspot of aquatic biodiversity. Examination of phenotypic, multilocus genotypic, and mitochondrial haplotype variability between 2005 and 2011 revealed that the proportion of hybrids has increased over time, with more than a third of all sampled individuals exhibiting admixture in the final year of sampling. Comparisons of clines over time indicated that the hybrid swarm has been rapidly progressing upstream, but at a declining and slower pace than rates estimated from historical collection records. Clinal comparisons also showed that the hybrid swarm has been expanding and contracting over time. Additionally, we documented the presence of red shiner and hybrids farther downstream than prior studies have detected, which suggests that congeners in the Coosa River basin, including all remaining populations of the threatened blue shiner (Cyprinella caerulea), are at greater risk than previously thought.

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