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Xiu WEI, Wenzheng LIU, Xuyin LIN, Qianchun LIU, Peng JIANG. First record of Ulva californica in the mainland of China: a single alien parthenogenetic population in discontinuous distribution[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2022, 40(6): 2343-2353

First record of Ulva californica in the mainland of China: a single alien parthenogenetic population in discontinuous distribution

Xiu WEI1,2,3, Wenzheng LIU2,3,4, Xuyin LIN5, Qianchun LIU2,3,4, Peng JIANG2,3
1 College of Life Science, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China;
2 CAS and Shandong Province Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology(Qingdao), Qingdao 266237, China;
4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
5 Xiamen Ocean Vocational College, Xiamen 361012, China
Molecular investigations have raised concerns about the ecological risks of green tides caused by alien Ulva species in new habitats. The green tide-forming species U. californica Wille was generally considered to be native to North America, but new records have been widely reported in Europe, Asia, and Oceania in recent decades, indicating a strong dispersal capacity of the species. In this study, the first record of U. californica on the coastline of mainland China was reported, following a combined identification with multi-molecular markers and morphological characterization. It was shown that this species has a discontinuous distribution pattern along the coast of mainland China, with northern populations in the Yellow Sea and southern populations in the East China Sea and South China Sea. According to results of examination for life cycles and identification with mating type (MT) genetic markers, it was indicated that all U. californica samples were male gametophytes, and reproduced themselves through parthenogenesis solely. Combined with the fact that southern and northern populations are highly genetically identical, here we believed that U. californica was a recent alien species to mainland China with a rapid local spread. This finding provided evidences that the ability to reproduce in a variety of ways may play an important role in the spread of Ulva species, as well as essential basic data for marine risk management of green tides in China. In addition, according to the phylogeographic analysis, the possible geographical origin and global dispersal routes of U. californica were also proposed.
Key words:    discontinuous distribution|mainland of China|new record|non-indigenous species|parthenogenesis|Ulva californica   
Received: 2021-11-17   Revised:
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