Population Genetics of Invasive Green Crab

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Click here to access an academic poster by Bates College student Camilla Nivison, and advisors Larissa Williams and William Ambrose detailing the population genetics of invasive green crab, Carcinus maenas, in the Gulf of Maine.

One of the most successful marine invaders, Carcinus maenas has established populations on all temperate coasts. The past few years have seen a surge in the abundance of C. maenas and their impacts on coastal communities from Long Island to Nova Scotia, which may reflect a new strain of C. maenas introduced into the region from Northern Europe. As a marker of genetic diversity and gene flow between populations, I studied haplotypes caused by silent mutations of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene. I found the highest genetic diversity in the northern sites (NS: h=0.7619). Pairwise comparisons show Nova Scotia and Mt. Desert populations are genetically more differentiated from the other populations (NS: FST=0.4201 , MDI: FST=0.1448) likely caused by the recent invasion to Nova Scotia, which has subsequently spread south.