Data from: Microsatellites reveal origin and genetic diversity of Eurasian invasions by one of the world's most notorious marine invader, Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora)
Reusch, Thorsten et al. (2010), Data from: Microsatellites reveal origin and genetic diversity of Eurasian invasions by one of the world's most notorious marine invader, Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1593
Marine invasions take place at an increasing rate. When occurring in blooms, zooplanktivorous comb jellies of the genus Mnemiopsis are able to cause pelagic regime shifts in coastal areas, and may cause the collapse of commercially important fish populations. Using microsatellites, developed for the first time in the phylum Ctenophora, we show that Mnemiopsis leidyi has colonized Eurasia from two source regions. Our preliminary data set included 4 sites within the putative source region (US East Coast and Gulf of Mexico), and 10 invaded locations in Eurasian waters. Bayesian clustering and phylogeographic approaches revealed the origin of earlier invasions of the Black and Caspian Sea in the 1980s / 1990s within or close to the Gulf of Mexico, while the 2006-invasion of the North and Baltic Seas can be directly traced to New England (pairwise FST = 0). We found no evidence for mixing among both gene pools in the invaded areas. While the genetic diversity (allelic richness) remained similar in the Baltic Sea compared to the source region New England, it was reduced in the North Sea, supporting the view of an initial invasion of Northern Europe to a Baltic Sea port. In Black / Caspian Sea samples, we found a gradual decline in allelic richness compared to the Gulf of Mexico-region, supporting a stepping-stone model of colonization with two sequential genetic founder events. Our data also suggest that current practises to reduce biological invasions via treatment of ballast water are insufficient to prevent repeated invasions of gelatinous zooplankton.