MEPS 575:95-105 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12219

Origin and route of establishment of the invasive Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in Scandinavia

Ellika Faust1,*, Carl André1, Sara Meurling2, Judith Kochmann3, Henrik Christiansen1,4, Lasse Fast Jensen5, Grégory Charrier6, Ane T. Laugen7,8, Åsa Strand1

1Department of Marine Sciences - Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, 45296 Strömstad, Sweden
2Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
3Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (SBiK-F), 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
4Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Genomics, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
5Fisheries and Maritime Museum, 6710 Esbjerg V, Denmark
6Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (LEMAR, UMR 6539, UBO/CNRS/IRD/Ifremer), Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM), 29280 Plouzané, France
7Novia University of Applied Sciences, 10600 Ekenäs, Finland
8Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Identifying the routes and rates of introductions is fundamental for the understanding of marine invasions. Recurring introductions over the last 50 yr have led to the establishment of feral Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas populations throughout Europe. In the northern countries, Sweden and Norway, the species first occurred in large numbers in 2006. Here, we investigated the relative importance of introduction via re-laying of cultured oysters imported for consumption from France, Ireland or the Netherlands, and dispersal of oyster larvae by ocean currents from wild oyster populations in Denmark. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we estimated genetic differentiation among Pacific oysters collected at 4 Swedish locations, 3 Norwegian locations and 9 potential source locations in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and France. All Swedish samples and 1 Norwegian sample (Tromlingene) were genetically similar to each other and the Danish samples and showed significant genetic differentiation from all other populations. Consequently, it appears that the Pacific oyster populations in Sweden, Denmark and Tromlingene are closely connected and/or share a recent origin. The 2 remaining Norwegian samples (Hui and Espevik) differed from each other and all other populations, but showed similarities to wild oyster samples from Scandinavia and Ireland, respectively. Overall, the results underline a complex origin of Norwegian oysters, with gene flow from Swedish/Danish populations, as well as other unidentified sources. The apparent connectivity among most of the Scandinavian populations has implications for regional management of this invasive species, and highlights possible scenarios for other marine invasive species with a similar life history.


KEY WORDS: Population genetics · Microsatellites · Range expansion · Non-native species · Aquaculture · Connectivity · Scandinavia · Skagerrak


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Cite this article as: Faust E, André C, Meurling S, Kochmann J and others (2017) Origin and route of establishment of the invasive Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in Scandinavia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 575:95-105. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12219

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