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Anthropology Unit

Anthropology Unit | University of Geneva

Biodiversity loss by interspecific hybridization and invasive species

Project scope

Current global climate changes will impact rainfall regimes resulting in a reduction of river flow, especially in small tributaries and headwaters. As a consequence, freshwater organisms will have to respond by downstream population displacements leading to new interactions among populations and species.

  • What are the extinction risks for native species due to hybridization with invasive species ?

This research project aims at modelizing the impact of entropic modifications on the genetic integrity of freshwater organisms. The fishes of the family Cyprinidae will be used as model organisms as they represent most of the fish biodiversity in European continental waters and because they are particularly subjected to interspecific hybridization.

Picture of a Bream (Abramis brama) in spawning activity.
Bream (Abramis brama) in spawning activity. The Roach and Bream are native species in Geneva Lake that produce fertile hybrids.
Picture of a Roach (Rutilus rutilus) in spawning activity.
Roach (Rutilus rutilus) in spawning activity. Anthropogenic impact affects its period of reproduction and modifies the conditions of hybridization with Bream.

The research program includes two steps: (1) the development of a simple model based on two well studied species inhabiting the river Rhône and which display natural and viable hybrides (Rutilus rutilus X Abramis brama). This model will allow an assessment of the effects on the genetic diversity of the predicted increase of spatial and temporal overlap of the spawning period. (2) Then, the influence of non native invasive species that can hybridize with local species will be added to the model.

  • What are the genetic consequences of climate changes for freshwater organisms ?

This project is a collaboration between the Molecular phylogeny and evolution in vertebrates lab and the Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling history lab and is presented in the movie below, produced by the Juan Montoya-Burgos laboratory group.

Project innovations

Modeling and computer simulation

Ecological and population modelling/simulation procedures developed in link with genetic data and environmental information.

Field work

Demographic and ecological parameters estimated from natural populations.

Molecular sampling

Fish samples are collected and their DNA extracted and analysed in laboratory.

Selected publications related to the project

CADMOS IGE3

Projet de recherche financé par Center for Advanced Modeling Science (CADMOS) and IGE3 (Institute of Genetics and Genomics Geneva)

Related web site

Internal collaborators

External collaborators and experts

Computer programs related to the project

  • SPLATCHE 2 - SPatiaL And Temporal Coalescent in a Heterogeneous Environment.

Outcome of the project

Publications
Oral communications
  • Quilodran CS, Nussberger B, Currat M and Montoya-Burgos JL (11.02.2016) Interspecific hybridization during density-dependent range expansion: consequences in conservation and evolution - Biology 16, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Nussberger B, Currat M and Montoya-Burgos JL (14.07.2015) The effects of density-dependent range expansion on interspecific genetic introgression - SMBE 2015, Vienna, Austria
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JL (11.06.2015) A Model of distant interspecific hybridization - CADMOS Day 2015 Modeling, Simulation and Large Data, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Montoya-Burgos JL, Currat M (13.05.2014) A general model of distant hybridization: a silent threat for species persistence - Ecology and Behaviour, Montpellier, France
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JL (13.02.2014) A general model of distant hybridization reveals the conditions for extinction in Atlantic salmon and brown trout - Biology14, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Montoya-Burgos JL, Currat M (09.12.2013) Genome mixing by interspecific hybridization - 2nd annual meeting of iGE3, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Montoya-Burgos JL, Currat M (01.11.2013) Modelling interspecific hybridization. - CADMOS day 2013, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JL (22.07.2013) Modeling extinction risk due to distant interspecific hybridization - International Conference for Conservation Biology, Baltimore, USA
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JL (06.02.2013) A general model of non-recombinant interspecific hybridization: a new tool for assessing extinction risk and conservation plans - PACE13, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JL (14.09.2011) Biodiversity loss by interspecific hybridization and invasive species - CADMOS Day 2011: Modelling and Large Scale Computation in Science, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Posters
  • Quilodran CS, Nussberger B, Montoya-Burgos JI, Currat M. (02-06.08-2015) Modelling hybridization with density-dependent range expansion and its implications for conservation - ICCB 2015, Montpellier, France.
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JI. (08-12.06-2014) A computational model of non-introgressive interspecific hybridization: evolution of hybrid forms and conservation - Congress of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JI. (19-24.08-2013) Modeling demographic risk due to distant interspecific hybridization - Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JI. (19-21.03.2013) Conservation objectives of non-recombinant hybrids with fertile offspring - Student Conference on Conservation Science, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Quilodran CS, Currat M, Montoya-Burgos JI. (07.02.2013) Modeling interspecific hybridization with hemiclonal offspring - BIOLOGY13, University of Basel, Switzerland
Others
University of Geneva
Dpt. of Genetic & Evolution
Anthropology Unit
Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30
1205 Genève
Switzerland
Ph +41 22 379 69 67
Fax +41 22 379 31 94