You are here:
GENETIC ANALYSIS OF THE CHINESE MITTEN CRAB (ERIOCHEIR SINENSIS) INTRODUCED TO THE NORTH AMERICAN GREAT LAKES AND ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY
TEPOLT, C. K., M. J. BLUM, V. A. LEE, AND E. D. HANSON. GENETIC ANALYSIS OF THE CHINESE MITTEN CRAB (ERIOCHEIR SINENSIS) INTRODUCED TO THE NORTH AMERICAN GREAT LAKES AND ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY. JOURNAL OF GREAT LAKES RESEARCH. International Association for Great Lakes Research, Ann Arbor, MI, 33(3):658-667, (2007).
The goals of this research are to:
(1) determine how landscape characteristics relate to the spread of red shiner through southeastern river systems,
(2) identify behavioral and genetic mechanisms underlying interspecific hybridization, and
(3) develop models to assess the vulnerability of tributary streams to invasion by red shiner.
The Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is a globally invasive organism, with established non-native populations in Europe and California, USA. Since 1965, there have been sixteen confirmed catches of E. sinensis in the North American Great Lakes and their associated waterways. Analysis of sequence variation observed across a section of the mitochondrial CO1 gene for seven of these individuals (caught between 1973 and 2005) supports the hypothesis that the species has been repeatedly introduced into the Great Lakes via shipping from Europe. The species' catadromous life cycle makes it unlikely that E. sinensis will establish a breeding population in the Great Lakes proper. However, the recent discovery of two mitten crabs in the St. Lawrence River, which could be more readily colonized, underscores the risk posed by the repeated introduction of this species into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.