Niche conservatism and spread explain introgression between native and invasive fish

Jordan H. Hartman, Joel Corush, Eric R. Larson, Jeremy S. Tiemann, Philip W. Willink, Mark A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hybridisation can be an important driver of evolutionary change, but hybridisation with invasive species can have adverse effects on native biodiversity. While hybridisation has been documented across taxa, there is limited understanding of ecological factors promoting patterns of hybridisation and the spatial distribution of hybrid individuals. We combined the results of ecological niche modelling (ENM) and restriction site-associated DNA sequencing to test theories of niche conservatism and biotic resistance on the success of invasion, admixture, and extent of introgression between native and non-native fishes. We related Maxent predictions of habitat suitability based on the native ranges of invasive Eastern Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus diaphanus Lesueur 1817) and native Western Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus menona Jordan and Copeland 1877) to admixture indices of individual Banded Killifish. We found that Eastern Banded Killifish predominated at sites predicted as suitable from their ENM, consistent with niche conservatism. Admixed individuals were more common as Eastern Banded Killifish habitat suitability declined. We also found that Eastern Banded Killifish were most common at sites closest to the presumed source of this invasion, whereas the proportion of admixed individuals increased with distance from the source of invasion. Lastly, we found little evidence that habitat suitability for Western Banded Killifish provides biotic resistance from either displacement by, or admixture with, invasive Eastern Banded Killifish. Our study demonstrates that ENMs can inform conservation-relevant outcomes between native and invasive taxa while emphasising the importance of protecting isolated Western Banded Killifish populations from invasive conspecifics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere17363
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number11
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • admixture
  • Banded Killifish
  • ecological niche model
  • Fundulus diaphanus
  • invasive species
  • Laurentian Great Lakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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