Science Inventory

Genetic patterns across multiple introductions of the globally invasive crab genus Carcinus


DARLING, J., M. BAGLEY, J. Roman, AND C. K. Tepolt. Genetic patterns across multiple introductions of the globally invasive crab genus Carcinus. MOLECULAR ECOLOGY. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 17(23):4992-5007, (2008).


Despite substantial effort to understand the ecology, history and impacts of C. maenas invasions, there has been no comprehensive examination of the genetic patterns associated with this species' global range expansion. Here we build substantially on earlier research, to describe genetic patterns throughout the native and invasive ranges of C. maenas and its congener C. aestuarii, based on both mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences and nine highly polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci.


The European green crab Carcinus maenas is one of the world's most successful aquatic invaders, having established populations on every continent with temperate shores. Here we describe patterns of genetic diversity across both the native and introduced ranges of C. maenas and its sister species, C. aestuarii, including all known non-native populations. The global data set includes sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidse subunit I gene, as well as multilocus genotype data from nine polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci. Combined phylogeographic and population genetic analyses clarify the global colonization history of C. maenas, providing evidence of multiple invasions to Atlantic North America and South Africa, secondary invasions to the northeastern Pacific, Tasmania, and Argentina, and a strong likelihood of C. maenas x C. aestuarii hybrids in South Africa and Japan. Successful C. maenas invasions vary broadly in the degree to which they retain genetic diversity, although populations with the least variation typically derive from secondary invasions or from introductions that occurred more than 100 years ago.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 12/01/2008
Record Last Revised: 06/22/2010
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 201707