Ecological and genetic characterisation of Xenostrobus securis (Lamarck 1819) in the Avilés estuary

Ever since globalisation started increasing, the number of biological invasions rose along with it. This has led to negative effects on ecosystems, economy and human health around the world. Estuaries are the major corridors to marine invasions. In 2014 a potential invader (Xenostrobus securis) was observed for the first time in the Avilés estuary (Asturias, Bay of Biscay). The goal of this study was to assess the stage of invasion, based on ecological and genetic characteristics. Several estuaries in Asturias (Spain) were surveyed and different biotic and abiotic measure-ments were obtained. Findings suggest a restricted distribution of X. securis in Asturias, since it was found only in Avilés. Morphometric features were examined in 1597 mussels. A total of 130 Xenostrobus securis individuals were genetically analysed for the mitochondrial COI gene in order to determine genetic diversity, population structure, expansion trends and introduction history of this species. Results pointed out that the invader is already established and spreading in Avilés. This population shows high genetic variation levels and includes two genetically distinct clades. These results might suggest multiple introductions from several source populations. A species-specific set of primers for PCR amplification from eDNA was designed. Finally, management measures were proposed for future eradication and prevention.

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology