The Foreign Oligochaete Species Quistadrilus multisetosus (Smith, 1900) in Lake Geneva: Morphological and Molecular Characterization and Environmental Influences on Its Distribution

  • publication
  • 01-12-2020

Vivien, R., Lafont, M., Lods-Crozet, B., Holzmann, M., Apothéloz-Perret-Gentil, L., Guigoz, Y., & Ferrari, B.. Biology (Basel). 2020 Dec 1;9(12):436. doi: 10.3390/biology9120436

The presence of the oligochaete species Quistadrilus multisetosus (Smith, 1900) originating from North America has been mentioned for several decades in Europe, the Middle East and Russia. Its distribution and abundance in Europe is still unknown but it can be considered as potentially invasive. This species was recently discovered in Lake Geneva (Switzerland/France) and three other Swiss lakes. The aims of the present work are to report its repartition and abundance in Lake Geneva, to study its ecology and to determine its invasive potential in this lake. We also provide an identification key for correctly differentiating Q. multisetosus from the closely related species Spirosperma ferox Eisen, 1879 and Embolocephalus velutinus (Grube, 1879), and study the phylogenetic position of Q. multisetosus within several Tubificinae lineages based on the cytochrome c oxidase (COI) marker. Twenty-eight sites have been monitored since 2009 in Lake Geneva. In several sites, the COI sequence corresponding to this species was also searched for in sediment samples using high-throughput sequencing. In addition, we examined specimens collected in this lake before 2009 likely to belong to Q. multisetosus and to have been misidentified. We found that Q. multisetosus was only present in the lake downstream of a wastewater treatment plant and a combined sewer overflow in the Vidy Bay (near Lausanne) and at a site located nearby. These results confirmed the high tolerance of this species to organic matter pollution. Q. multisetosus was already present in this location in 1974 (misidentified as Spirosperma ferox), which suggests that Q. multisetosus has a limited capacity to disseminate in this lake. However, we recommend continuing monitoring its presence in Lake Geneva in the future, especially in the context of warming of waters that could contribute to the expansion of this species.

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