When Anthropogenic River Disturbance Decreases Hybridisation between Non-Native and Endemic Cyprinids and Drives an Ecomorphological Displacement towards Juvenile State in Both Species

Abstract

Understanding the impact of non-native species on native species is a major challenge in molecular ecology, particularly for genetically compatible fish species. Invasions are generally difficult to study because their effects may be confused with those of environmental or human disturbances. Colonized ecosystems are differently impacted by human activities, resulting in diverse responses and interactions between native and non-native species. We studied the dynamics between two Cyprinids species (invasive Chondrostoma nasus and endemic Parachondrostoma toxostoma) and their hybrids in 16 populations (from allopatric to sympatric situations and from little to highly fragmented areas) corresponding to 2,256 specimens. Each specimen was assigned to a particular species or to a hybrid pool using molecular identification (cytochrome b and 41 microsatellites). We carried out an ecomorphological analysis based on size, age, body shape, and diet (gut vacuity and molecular fecal contents). Our results contradicted our initial assumptions on the pattern of invasion and the rate of introgression. There was no sign of underperformance for the endemic species in areas where hybridisation occurred. In the unfragmented zone, the introduced species was found mostly downstream, with body shapes similar to those in allopatric populations while both species were found to be more insectivorous than the reference populations. However, high level of hybridisation was detected, suggesting interactions between the two species during spawning and/or the existence of hybrid swarm. In the disturbed zone, introgression was less frequent and slender body shape was associated with diatomivorous behaviour, smaller size (juvenile characteristics) and greater gut vacuity. Results suggested that habitat degradation induced similar ecomorphological trait changes in the two species and their hybrids (i.e. a transition towards a pedomorphic state) where the invasive species is more affected than the native species. Therefore, this study reveals a diversity of relationships between two genetically compatible species and emphasizes constraints on the invasion process in disturbed areas.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142592

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Corse2015WhenAR, title={When Anthropogenic River Disturbance Decreases Hybridisation between Non-Native and Endemic Cyprinids and Drives an Ecomorphological Displacement towards Juvenile State in Both Species}, author={Emmanuel Corse and Nicolas Pech and Melthide Sinama and Caroline Costedoat and R{\'e}mi Chappaz and Andr{\'e} Gilles and Diego Fontaneto}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2015} }