The global invasion routes of the red swamp crayfish, described based on genetics

May 16, 2019

The researchers have reconstructed the invasion routes followed by the red swamp crayfish during its human-driven expansion based on the analysis of a mitochondrial gene (COI), which was sequenced from 1,412 crayfishes from 122 populations across the Northern Hemisphere.

Invasion routes

The article describes how different invasion scenarios have produced different genetic patterns among invasive populations. "For example, in the US there are two main invasion routes: west- and east-wards from the native area. The invasive populations in the west are genetically more diverse, because they have received more introductions, which probably involved more specimens of crayfish, starting in the 1920s", explains Francisco J. Oficialdegui, CSIC researcher at the Doñana Biological Station.

The genetic results show that western US (California), itself an invaded area, was the source of the crayfish populations established in Hawaii and a probable source of the crayfish introduced to Japan, and from there to China, in the late 1920s. The low genetic diversity of all red swamp crayfish populations studied in Asia supports documentary evidence that a small group of some 20 individuals may have been the origin of the Japanese and Chinese red swamp crayfish populations which now number into the millions.

Red swamp crayfish in Spain and Europe

The red swamp crayfish was introduced twice from Louisiana to south-western Spain in 1973 (near the city of Badajoz) and 1974 (in the marshes of the Guadalquivir River). These introductions were promoted by the aristocrat Andrés Salvador de Habsburgo-Lorena. Until now, it has been assumed that these introductions were the sole origin of all red swamp crayfish populations established across Europe, but the new study finds evidence of a separate later introduction.

"The large number of individuals involved in the two introduction events (around 500 in Badajoz and 6,000 in the Guadalquivir marshes) has led to the high genetic diversity levels we observed in Iberian populations, although diversity values tend to be lower as populations are further away from the introduction foci. However, in our study we also unexpectedly detected a genetic profile in central-western Europe that is not present in the Iberian Peninsula, a finding that suggests that additional unrecorded introductions of the red swamp crayfish into Europe may have occurred, either from the US or from other invaded territories", adds Oficialdegui.
-end-
Oficialdegui, F. J., Clavero, M., Sánchez, M. I., Green, A. J., Boyero, L., Michot, T. C., Klose, K., Kawai, T., Lejeusne, C. (2019). Unravelling the global invasion routes of a worldwide invader, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Freshwater Biology. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13312

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Related Crayfish Articles from Brightsurf:

Crayfish 'trapping' fails to control invasive species
Despite being championed by a host of celebrity chefs, crayfish 'trapping' is not helping to control invasive American signal crayfish, according to new research by UCL and King's College London.

Cashing in on marine byproducts
As exploitation of wild fisheries and marine environments threaten food supplies, Flinders University scientists are finding sustainable new ways to convert biowaste, algal biomass and even beached seaweed into valuable dietary proteins and other products.

Can e-learning help stem the threat of invasive alien species such as Japanese Knotweed?
E-learning could be a crucial tool in the biosecurity fight against invasive alien species such as Japanese Knotweed, Zebra Mussels and Signal Crayfish according to a new study published in the academic journal 'Biological Invasions'.

For narwhals, the 'unicorn of the seas,' size matters for sexual selection
Showy peacock feathers, extravagant elk antlers and powerful crayfish claws are just a few examples of the ostentatious animal extremes used to compete for and attract mates, a process called sexual selection.

Generalist diet helps invasive crayfish thrive where it's introduced
An invasive species of crayfish that is taking over streams from Wisconsin to Maine might be successful because it's not a fussy eater, according to biologists with the University of Cincinnati.

A 'Jackalope' of an ancient spider fossil deemed a hoax, unmasked as a crayfish
A team from the University of Kansas used fluorescence microscopy to analyze the supposed spider and differentiate what parts of the specimen were fossilized organism, and which parts were potentially doctored.

How mantis shrimp make sense of the world
A new study provides insight into how the small brains of mantis shrimp - fierce predators with keen vision that are among the fastest strikers in the animal kingdom - are able to make sense of a breathtaking amount of visual input.

Poor water conditions drive invasive snakeheads onto land
In a new study published Oct. 21, 2019 in the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Organismal Biology, Wake Forest researcher Noah Bressman reported for the first time the water conditions that could drive snakeheads onto land.

Environmental DNA proves the expansion of invasive crayfish habitats
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has successfully proven the presence of invasive crayfish in almost all the small streams around Lake Akan in Japan, suggesting that eDNA analysis is an efficient and highly sensitive method to assess the distribution of aquatic organisms.

Hidden world of stream biodiversity revealed through water sampling for environmental DNA
For the first time, researchers have used a novel genomics-based method to detect the simultaneous presence of hundreds of organisms in a stream.

Read More: Crayfish News and Crayfish Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.