Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Separate introductions but lack of genetic variability in the invasive clam Corbicula spp. in Swiss lakes.

Abstract

This study documents the spread of the invasive clam Corbicula spp. in Switzerland since its first record in the River Rhine in 1995. Clams were newly recorded in several Swiss lowland lakes whose interconnecting rivers have not yet been colonized. We present evidence for separate introductions of an identical haplotype of Corbicula fluminea into five lakes in Switzerland in the years 2003-2010 based on the mitochondrial DNA-sequence of the COI in specimens sampled. This suggests passive dispersal of the clam by human activities and/or waterfowl. All but one of the 72 genetically analysed individuals were assigned to a single haplotype FW5 and to the species name C. fluminea. Recent records of specimens, which were not genetically analysed, displayed all the shell morphology of C. fluminea, confirming the dominance of this clam in Swiss rivers and lakes.