Analysis of propagule pressure and genetic diversity in the invasibility of a freshwater apex predator: the peacock bass (genus Cichla)

Daniel Carvalho, Denise Andrade de Oliveira, Iracilda Sampaio, Luciano Beheregaray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An important step in invasive biology is to assess biological variables that could be used to predict invasion success. The study of genetics, evolution, and interactions of invasive and native species in invaded ranges provides a unique opportunity to study processes in population genetics and the capability of a species' range expansion. Here, we used information from microsatellite DNA markers to test if genetic variation relates to propagule pressure in the successful invasion of an apex predator (the Amazonian cichlid Cichla) into Southeastern Brazilian River systems. Invasive populations of Cichla have negatively impacted many freshwater communities in Southeastern Brazil since the 1960s. Reduction of genetic variation was observed in all invasive populations for both Cichla kelberi (CK) and Cichla piquiti (CP). For instance, heterozygosity was lower in the invasive range when compared to native populations from the Amazon basin (CP HE = 0.179/0.44; CK HE = 0.258/0.536 respectively). Therefore, despite the successful invasion of Cichla in southeast Brazil, low genetic diversity was observed in the introduced populations. We suggest that a combination of factors, such as Cichla's reproductive and feeding strategies, the "evolutionary trap" effect and the biotic resistance hypothesis, overcome their depauperete genetic diversity, being key aspects in this apex predator invasion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-116
    Number of pages12
    JournalNeotropical Ichthyology
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Invasion biology
    • Neotropical
    • Population genetics
    • Translocation
    • Tucunaré

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