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Anthropogenic transport of species across native ranges: unpredictable genetic and evolutionary consequences

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Human activities are responsible for the translocation of vast amounts of organisms, altering natural patterns of dispersal and gene flow. Most research to date has focused on the consequences of anthropogenic transportation of non-indigenous species within introduced ranges, with little research focusing on native species.
Here, we compared genetic patterns of the sessile marine invertebrate, Ciona intestinalis, which has highly restricted dispersal capabilities. We collected individuals in a region of the species’ native range where human activities that are known to facilitate the artificial spread of species are prevalent. Using microsatellite markers, we revealed highly dissimilar outcomes. First, we found low levels of genetic differentiation among sites separated by both short and large geographical distances, indicating the presence of anthropogenic transport of genotypes, and little influence of natural geographical barriers. Second, we found significant genetic differentiation in pairwise comparisons among certain sites, suggesting that other factors besides artificial transport (e.g. natural dispersal, premodern population structure) may be shaping genetic patterns. Taken together, we found dissimilar patterns of population structure in a highly urbanized region that could not be predicted by artificial transport alone. We conclude that anthropogenic activities alter genetic composition of native ranges, with unknown consequences for species’ evolutionary trajectories.

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Citation

Hudson, Jamie, Viard, Frédérique, Roby, Charlotte and Rius, Marc (2016) Anthropogenic transport of species across native ranges: unpredictable genetic and evolutionary consequences Biology Letters, 12, (10), p. 20160620. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0620).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 September 2016
Published date: 12 October 2016
Keywords: larval transport, dispersal pathways, population connectivity, range shifts, tunicates
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 401405
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/401405
ISSN: 1744-9561
PURE UUID: ed85c51b-4132-4cf3-a100-785ca37a0a3a

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Date deposited: 11 Oct 2016 14:06
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:02

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Contributors

Author: Jamie Hudson
Author: Frédérique Viard
Author: Charlotte Roby
Author: Marc Rius

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