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Molecular systematics, biogeography, and invasion identity of Neogobiin fishes

The objectives of the investigation are to elucidate the evolutionary   history, species identifications, and biogeographic diversification   patterns of a remarkable endemic "species flock" of Ponto-Caspian   fishes (native to the Black and Caspian Seas, and belonging to one of   the largest families of fishes) that has become a growing problem in   its invasions of North American and Eurasian ecosystems.  Many   ecologists believe that such introductions of exotic species pose one   of the most serious threats to native ecosystems worldwide.  For   example, the ecology of the North American Great Lakes has been   restructured by waves of invaders that were accidentally introduced   from ships' ballast water, including the Ponto-Caspian round goby and   its zebra mussel prey.  Two goby species - the round goby and the   tubenose goby - invaded in the early 199 's, and the former spread   rapidly to all five Great Lakes.  Invasions by suites of related taxa   increasing appear to characterize exotic communities, which may   facilitate one another.  Several other neogobiin species also have   been "on the move" in Eurasian waterways due to construction of   canals, shipping, and habitat disturbances.  Some of these -   including the monkey, bighead, and racer gobies - are predicted to   invade North America and may already be here, but are not yet   identified.  This study is developing diagnostic nuclear and   mitochondrial DNA sequence characters and constructing morphological   and DNA taxonomic keys to permit correct identification of the   neogobiins at all life history stages.  In addition, the sequence   data are providing the means to elucidate the sources of exotic   invasions, identify cryptic species, analyze whether congeners and   relatives also invade or are likely to, and determine whether new   colonizations arise from spread or from independent introductions.     Data analyses include evaluating evolutionary trees, determining   relative support for phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships,   and testing hierarchical partitioning of genetic variation. Results   are of fundamental use to ecologists, environmental managers, and   international agencies such as the Aquatic Nuisance Task Force in   allowing rapid and cost-effective identification of taxa, and   delineating their population area of origin.

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Natural Ecological Processes
Natural Physical/Geological Processes
Land Use and Habitat
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Detroit River
Lake Erie
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Lake Ontario
Lake St. Clair
Lake Superior
Niagara River
Out of Basin
St. Clair River
St. Marys River
St.Lawrence River
Welland Canal
State Province
New York
Biology And Life History
Prevention and Introduction
Identification of Potential Invaders
Spread of Established ANS Populations
Range of Spread
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Surveillance and Monitoring
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
Aquatic Nuisance Species
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
    Surveillance and Monitoring
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

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