Bird migratory flyways influence the phylogeography of the invasive brine shrimp Artemia franciscana

Muñoz J, Amat F, Green AJ, Figuerola J, Gómez A. (2013) PeerJ 1:e200
Since Darwin’s time, waterbirds have been considered an important vector for the dispersal of continental aquatic invertebrates. Bird movements have facilitated the worldwide invasion of the American brine shrimp Artemia franciscana, transporting cysts (diapausing eggs), and favouring rapid range expansions from introduction sites. Here we address the impact of bird migratory flyways on the population genetic structure and phylogeography of A. franciscana in its native range in the Americas. Our findings suggest that bird-mediated transport of brine shrimp propagules does not result in substantial ongoing gene flow; instead, it had a significant historical role on the current species phylogeography, facilitating the colonisation of new aquatic environments as they become available along their main migratory flyways.