Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.767082
Title: Early detection and establishment assessment of aquatic invasive species
Author: Robinson, Chloe V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 7172
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
Aquatic invasive species are drivers of ecological change through directly competing with native counterparts, causing alterations in community structure and acting as vectors for the introduction of novel pathogens. A combination of human-mediated introductions and accidental releases from aquaculture facilities has enabled highly invasive species, including the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) and topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) to become established in Great Britain. I assessed the factors which could have facilitated their establishment success and dispersal, including genetic diversity. Novel tools such as environmental DNA and citizen science have been proven effective for detecting and monitoring aquatic invasive species. Yet, the motivation for participation and continued data collection in citizen science initiatives are not clear. I have determined that multiple introductions from different source populations are likely to have contributed to the invasion success of signal crayfish in Great Britain. Secondly, I have developed and employed a quantitative PCR environmental DNA multiplex which has enabled simultaneous detection of non-native pathogens (crayfish plague) alongside native and invasive crayfish species, providing information on the coexistence of native and invasive crayfish in absence of crayfish plague. Application of this assay in water and sediment samples has also highlighted the relative impacts of river barriers on mitten crab and signal crayfish dispersal and demonstrated that similar DNA results can be achieved by utilising both types of samples. I also developed a species-specific DNA assay for topmouth gudgeon which detected its presence despite lack of visual confirmation, emphasising the greater sensitivity of environmental DNA tools. Finally, I designed and launched a citizen science initiative in an attempt to assess distribution and pathogen status of signal crayfish, which highlighted the complexity of ensuring participation for successful invasive species initiatives.
Supervisor: Consuegra, Sofia ; Garcia de Leaniz, Carlos Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.767082  DOI:
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