Red shiner invasion and hybridization with blacktail shiner in the upper Coosa River, USA

Biological Invasions
By: , and 



Human disturbance increases the invasibility of lotic ecosystems and the likelihood of hybridization between invasive and native species. We investigated whether disturbance contributed to the invasion of red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) and their hybridization with native blacktail shiner (C. venusta stigmatura) in the Upper Coosa River System (UCRS). Historical records indicated that red shiners and hybrids rapidly dispersed in the UCRS via large, mainstem rivers since the mid to late 1990s. We measured the occurrence and abundance of parental species and hybrids near tributary-mainstem confluences and characterized populations at these incipient contact zones by examining variation across morphological traits and molecular markers. Red shiners represented only 1.2% of total catch in tributaries yet introgression was widespread with hybrids accounting for 34% of total catch. Occurrence of red shiners and hybrids was highly correlated with occurrence of blacktail shiners, indicating that streams with native populations are preferentially colonized early in the invasion and that hybridization is a key process in the establishment of red shiners and their genome in new habitats. Tributary invasion was driven by post-F1 hybrids with proportionately greater genomic contributions from blacktail shiner. Occurrence of red shiners and hybrids and the relative abundance of hybrids significantly increased with measures of human disturbance including turbidity, catchment agricultural land use, and low dissolved oxygen concentration. Red shiners are a significant threat to Southeast Cyprinella diversity, given that 41% of these species hybridize with red shiner, that five southeastern drainages are invaded, and that these drainages are increasingly disturbed by urbanization. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Red shiner invasion and hybridization with blacktail shiner in the upper Coosa River, USA
Series title Biological Invasions
DOI 10.1007/s10530-007-9198-6
Volume 10
Issue 8
Year Published 2008
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Biological Invasions
First page 1229
Last page 1242
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