Icelandic lampreys (Petromyzon marinus): where do they come from?

Ichthyological Research (Impact Factor: 0.9). 01/2012; 59(1):83-85. DOI: 10.1007/s10228-011-0248-9

ABSTRACT The recent discovery of sea lamprey wounds on salmonids in Icelandic rivers prompted an investigation on the origin of sea lampreys in Icelandic waters. Using a mitochondrial DNA fragment, the origin of the lampreys examined was assigned to the European stock and not to the North American one.

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    ABSTRACT: Adult sea lampreys Petromyzon marinus parasitize a variety of recreationally, commercially, and ecologically important fishes in the north temperate Atlantic Ocean and some inland waters of North America, including the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. This has resulted in the development of international, provincial, and state programs to suppress their abundance in some of these waters. This effort, in part, emanates from the nonnative status afforded sea lampreys in these lakes by management agencies. However, whether the sea lamprey is native to Lake Champlain has long been debated, and the outcome of this debate may impact the intensity of efforts to suppress their abundance there. We addressed this issue by using sequence analysis of the mitochondrial DNA control region. Resultant haplotype frequencies of sea lampreys from the Lake Champlain watershed were compared among sea lamprey collections made in multiple drainages within the Lake Ontario and Lake Superior watersheds and Atlantic coast rivers. We found no evidence of population structuring among tributaries within any of these four systems, but we did find highly significant genetic differentiation between systems. Haplotype diversity was low in the collections from the two Great Lakes and even more so in those from Lake Champlain compared with that in Atlantic coast rivers. Our genetic results are most consistent with the hypothesis that sea lampreys are native to Lake Champlain, having colonized the lake postglacially by one of several zoogeographic corridors.
    Transactions of The American Fisheries Society - TRANS AMER FISH SOC. 01/2006; 135(4):1076-1085.
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    ABSTRACT: The outcome of natural hybridization is highly variable and depends on the nonexclusive effects of both pre- and post-mating reproductive barriers. The objective of this study was to address three specific questions regarding the dynamics of hybridization between the American and European eels (Anguilla rostrata and Anguilla anguilla). Using 373 AFLP loci, 1127 eels were genotyped, representing different life stages from both continents, as well as multiple Icelandic locations. We first evaluated the extent of hybridization and tested for the occurrence of hybrids beyond the first generation. Second, we tested whether hybrids were randomly distributed across continents and among Icelandic sampling sites. Third, we tested for a difference in the proportion of hybrids between glass eel and yellow eel stages in Iceland. Our results provided evidence for (i) an overall hybrid proportion of 15.5% in Iceland, with values ranging from 6.7% to 100% depending on life stages and locations; (ii) the existence of hybrids beyond the first generation; (iii) a nonrandom geographic distribution of hybrids in the North Atlantic; and (iv) a higher proportion of first and later generation hybrids in yellow eels compared to glass eels, as well as a significant latitudinal gradient in the proportion of hybrids in Icelandic freshwater. We propose that the combined effect of both differential survival of hybrids and variation in hybridization rate through time best explain these patterns. We discuss the possibility that climate change, which is impacting many environmental features in the North Atlantic, may have a determinant effect on the outcome of natural hybridization in Atlantic eels.
    Molecular Ecology 07/2006; 15(7):1903-16. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lampreys are distinguished from other fish by their eel-like bodies, round sucker-like mouths, poorly developed fins and by a row of seven breathing holes instead of gills. Most species have a life cycle of several years' duration, involving an adult parasitic feeding phase, an upstream spawning migration of adults and a gradual downstream movement of juvenile stages to silt beds, where they burrow. Following metamorphosis, the young adult lampreys migrate downstream. The three species of lamprey recorded in Ireland are designated in the European Union (EU) Habitats Directive as species requiring conservation within member states. However, the scientific database available to assess the distribution, status, habitat use and conservation requirements of these species in Ireland is very limited and is largely composed of records of known spawning locations, with little by way of a literature on aspects of ecology. This paper provides a context for conservation management and biodiversity considerations with regard to these species in Ireland. It reviews an extensive European and North American literature to provide a detailed and comparative account of lamprey ecology, particularly those riverine stages most likely to be affected by human activity, and points to those areas in which more information is required to form a basis for decision-making with regard to conservation requirements for these species in Ireland.


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May 22, 2014