An outbreak of the widely invasive mytilid mussel Perna perna is reported off Israel, long after its previously documented ephemeral occurrence in the mid-1960s. No contemporary populations are known east of the Gulf of Tunis, in the central Mediterranean Sea. Four molecular markers, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), ribosomal 18S, 28S subunits (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA) and histone H3 have been used to validate samples identities. COI haplotype diversity suggests that the Israeli population is highly polymorphic, originating from multiple propagules. The present extensive beds in Haifa Bay, home to Haifa port, may point to vessel-transported introduction. The dense beds of P. perna may change intertidal habitats and their communities, and cause fouling of coastal infrastructure (e.g. marine outfalls, seawalls, jetties), as well as offshore infrastructure (e.g. offshore terminals, energy production platforms), and may incur heavy maintenance costs.
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study is part of the National Israeli Marine Barcoding project (BIM) at IOLR and was supported by the Ministry of Energy project no. 218-17-009 and by the Israeli National Monitoring program in the Mediterranean Sea. We thank Henk Mienis for his preliminary identification and advice, Prof. Patrick Schembri for information on the species presence in Malta, and Eran Greenberg for collecting and delivering the Neurim samples. BSG is deeply grateful to the library of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, for the helpfulness of its staff and access to its rich resources.
© Douek et al.
- Genetic diversity
- Invasive alien species
- Levant Sea
- Molecular markers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics