Ceratophyllum demersum (common hornwort) is presently considered the worst invasive submerged aquatic macrophyte in New Zealand. We explored the global phylogeographic pattern of the species, based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA, in order to identify the origin of the invasive populations in New Zealand and to clarify if there were multiple introductions. The phylogeographic study identified geographically differentiated gene pools in North America, tropical Asia, Australia, and South Africa, likely native to these regions, and a recent dispersal event of a Eurasian-related haplotype to North America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. At least two different invasive genotypes of this Eurasian-related haplotype have been found in New Zealand. One genotype is closely related to genotypes in Australia and South Africa, while we could not trace the closest relatives of the other genotype within our C. demersum sample set. Contrasting spectra of genetic distances in New Zealand and in a region within the native range (Denmark), suggest that the invasive population was founded by vegetative reproduction, seen as low genetic distances among genotypes. We also discovered the introduction of the same Eurasian-related haplotype in Australia and South Africa and that a cryptic invasion may be occurring in these continents.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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