Project information
The European bitterling - endangered or non-native species in Central Europe?

Project Identification
Project Period
1/2008 - 12/2010
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
Rhodeus amarus; non-native species; biological invasion; coevolution; host-parasite relationship; fishes; unionid mussels
Cooperating Organization
Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the ASCR, v. v. i.

The project will use European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), a small cyprinid fish that lays its eggs into the gills of freshwater mussel, as a model system for coevolutionary relationships with their hosts (mussels) and parasites (including larvae of their mussel hosts). Recent findings indicate that R. amarus has expanded into Central and Western Europe within last few centuries. First, a phylogeographic and population-genetic analyses of R. amarus populations within its European range will be completed. Then, we will use bitterling populations from areas of recent (Western and Central Europe) and ancient (Pontic region) sympatry with mussel hosts and with contrasting current and historic demographies (analysed by population genetic methods) to investigate coevolutionary dynamics between R. amarus and their parasites and mussel hosts. Finally, we will review the status of R. amarus populations over its European range, identify their history and propose further conservation measures.


Total number of publications: 12

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