Title
Can things get worse when an invasive species hybridizes? The harlequin ladybird **Harmonia axyridis** in France as a case studyCan things get worse when an invasive species hybridizes? The harlequin ladybird **Harmonia axyridis** in France as a case study
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Research group
Evolutionary ecology group (EVECO)
Publication type
article
Publication
[Oxford] :Blackwell Pub,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Evolutionary applications. - [Oxford], 2008, currens
Volume/pages
4(2011):1, p. 71-88
ISSN
1752-4571
ISI
000285006900006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
So far, only a few studies have explicitly investigated the consequences of admixture for the adaptative potential of invasive populations. We addressed this question in the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis. After decades of use as a biological control agent against aphids in Europe and North America, H. axyridis recently became invasive in four continents and has now spread widely in Europe. Despite this invasion, a flightless strain is still sold as a biological control agent in Europe. However, crosses between flightless and invasive individuals yield individuals able to fly, as the flightless phenotype is caused by a single recessive mutation. We investigated the potential consequences of admixture between invasive and flightless biological control individuals on the invasion in France. We used three complementary approaches: (i) population genetics, (ii) a mate-choice experiment, and (iii) a quantitative genetics experiment. The invasive French population and the biological control strain showed substantial genetic differentiation, but there are no reproductive barriers between the two. Hybrids displayed a shorter development time, a larger size and a higher genetic variance for survival in starvation conditions than invasive individuals. We discuss the potential consequences of our results with respect to the invasion of H. axyridis in Europe.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/57339b/2913.pdf
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