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The invasive coral Oculina patagonica has not been recently introduced to the Mediterranean from the western Atlantic.

Leydet KP, Hellberg ME - BMC Evol. Biol. (2015)

Bottom Line: We found no genetic or historical demographic evidence to support a recent introduction of O. patagonica from the western North Atlantic or an expansion across the Mediterranean.We also found evidence of a fossil record of Oculina spp. existing in the eastern North Atlantic millions of years before the present.Accurate identification of species' invasive statuses will enable more effective research programs aimed at better understanding the mechanisms promoting the invasive nature of species, which can then lead to the implementation of efficient management plans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA. kposbi1@lsu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Effective policies, management, and scientific research programs depend on the correct identification of invasive species as being either native or introduced. However, many species continue to be misidentified. Oculina patagonica, first recorded in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966, is believed to have been introduced in anthropogenic times and expanding in a west to east direction. However, its present identification and status as a recently introduced species remain to be explored. In this study, we used multi-locus genetic data to test whether O. patagonica in the Mediterranean has been recently introduced from the western North Atlantic.

Results: We found no genetic or historical demographic evidence to support a recent introduction of O. patagonica from the western North Atlantic or an expansion across the Mediterranean. Instead, Mediterranean and Atlantic populations are genetically distinct and appear to have begun diverging about 5 Mya. We also found evidence of a fossil record of Oculina spp. existing in the eastern North Atlantic millions of years before the present.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that Mediterranean populations of O. patagonica have long been isolated from the western Atlantic, either in undetectable numbers or overlooked and undersampled sites and habitats, and have only recently been expanding to invasive levels as a result of environmental changes. Accurate identification of species' invasive statuses will enable more effective research programs aimed at better understanding the mechanisms promoting the invasive nature of species, which can then lead to the implementation of efficient management plans.

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Posterior probability distributions for migration between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Posterior probability distribution for migration (average number of migrants per 1000 generations) scaled by neutral mutation rate between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was 0.00139 (90% highest posterior density interval = 0.0008–0.0.0024). Migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was 0.000042 (0–0.002).
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Fig6: Posterior probability distributions for migration between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Posterior probability distribution for migration (average number of migrants per 1000 generations) scaled by neutral mutation rate between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was 0.00139 (90% highest posterior density interval = 0.0008–0.0.0024). Migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was 0.000042 (0–0.002).

Mentions: We estimated the time of divergence between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations using IMa [45]. We found that the populations diverged 5.4 ± 2.0 million years ago, long before recent times (Figure 5). The best supported IM model (Table 3) had two parameters for population size and two for migration, suggesting that migration has played a role in the history of WA Oculina spp. populations and O. patagonica in the Mediterranean. Models of strict isolation were thousands of times less likely than the best model. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was greater (0.00139 [90% highest posterior density interval =0.0008–0.0024]) than the reverse migration (0.000042 [0–0.002]) (Figure 6). In fact, the next best model was one in which migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was equal to 0.


The invasive coral Oculina patagonica has not been recently introduced to the Mediterranean from the western Atlantic.

Leydet KP, Hellberg ME - BMC Evol. Biol. (2015)

Posterior probability distributions for migration between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Posterior probability distribution for migration (average number of migrants per 1000 generations) scaled by neutral mutation rate between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was 0.00139 (90% highest posterior density interval = 0.0008–0.0.0024). Migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was 0.000042 (0–0.002).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4418043&req=5

Fig6: Posterior probability distributions for migration between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Posterior probability distribution for migration (average number of migrants per 1000 generations) scaled by neutral mutation rate between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of Oculina spp. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was 0.00139 (90% highest posterior density interval = 0.0008–0.0.0024). Migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was 0.000042 (0–0.002).
Mentions: We estimated the time of divergence between western North Atlantic and Mediterranean populations using IMa [45]. We found that the populations diverged 5.4 ± 2.0 million years ago, long before recent times (Figure 5). The best supported IM model (Table 3) had two parameters for population size and two for migration, suggesting that migration has played a role in the history of WA Oculina spp. populations and O. patagonica in the Mediterranean. Models of strict isolation were thousands of times less likely than the best model. Migration from the western North Atlantic to the Mediterranean was greater (0.00139 [90% highest posterior density interval =0.0008–0.0024]) than the reverse migration (0.000042 [0–0.002]) (Figure 6). In fact, the next best model was one in which migration from the Mediterranean to the western North Atlantic was equal to 0.

Bottom Line: We found no genetic or historical demographic evidence to support a recent introduction of O. patagonica from the western North Atlantic or an expansion across the Mediterranean.We also found evidence of a fossil record of Oculina spp. existing in the eastern North Atlantic millions of years before the present.Accurate identification of species' invasive statuses will enable more effective research programs aimed at better understanding the mechanisms promoting the invasive nature of species, which can then lead to the implementation of efficient management plans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA. kposbi1@lsu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Effective policies, management, and scientific research programs depend on the correct identification of invasive species as being either native or introduced. However, many species continue to be misidentified. Oculina patagonica, first recorded in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966, is believed to have been introduced in anthropogenic times and expanding in a west to east direction. However, its present identification and status as a recently introduced species remain to be explored. In this study, we used multi-locus genetic data to test whether O. patagonica in the Mediterranean has been recently introduced from the western North Atlantic.

Results: We found no genetic or historical demographic evidence to support a recent introduction of O. patagonica from the western North Atlantic or an expansion across the Mediterranean. Instead, Mediterranean and Atlantic populations are genetically distinct and appear to have begun diverging about 5 Mya. We also found evidence of a fossil record of Oculina spp. existing in the eastern North Atlantic millions of years before the present.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that Mediterranean populations of O. patagonica have long been isolated from the western Atlantic, either in undetectable numbers or overlooked and undersampled sites and habitats, and have only recently been expanding to invasive levels as a result of environmental changes. Accurate identification of species' invasive statuses will enable more effective research programs aimed at better understanding the mechanisms promoting the invasive nature of species, which can then lead to the implementation of efficient management plans.

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