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

Record type: Article

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.

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Rius, Marc and Shenkar, Noa (2012) Ascidian introductions through the Suez Canal: the case study of an Indo-Pacific species Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64, (10), pp. 2060-2068. (doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.06.029). (PMID:22857711).

More information

Published date: October 2012
Keywords: erythrean invasion, genetic diversity, lessepsian migration, population connectivity, species range, tunicates
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems


Local EPrints ID: 354669
ISSN: 0025-326X
PURE UUID: 9d7bb4a7-4cb8-4e39-9eb2-6679cdcf57a3

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2013 10:35
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:54

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Author: Marc Rius
Author: Noa Shenkar

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