Tepolt Carolyn K.

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Carolyn K.

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  • Article
    Recent introductions reveal differential susceptibility to parasitism across an evolutionary mosaic
    (Wiley Open Access, 2019-09-04) Tepolt, Carolyn K. ; Darling, John A. ; Blakeslee, April M. H. ; Fowler, Amy E. ; Torchin, Mark ; Miller, A. Whitman ; Ruiz, Gregory
    Parasitism can represent a potent agent of selection, and introduced parasites have the potential to substantially alter their new hosts' ecology and evolution. While significant impacts have been reported for parasites that switch to new host species, the effects of macroparasite introduction into naïve populations of host species with which they have evolved remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate how the estuarine white‐fingered mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii ) has adapted to parasitism by an introduced rhizocephalan parasite (Loxothylacus panopaei ) that castrates its host. While the host crab is native to much of the East and Gulf Coasts of North America, its parasite is native only to the southern end of this range. Fifty years ago, the parasite invaded the mid‐Atlantic, gradually expanding through previously naïve host populations. Thus, different populations of the same host species have experienced different degrees of historical interaction (and thus potential evolutionary response time) with the parasite: long term, short term, and naïve. In nine estuaries across this range, we examined whether and how parasite prevalence and host susceptibility to parasitism differs depending on the length of the host's history with the parasite. In field surveys, we found that the parasite was significantly more prevalent in its introduced range (i.e., short‐term interaction) than in its native range (long‐term interaction), a result that was also supported by a meta‐analysis of prevalence data covering the 50 years since its introduction. In controlled laboratory experiments, host susceptibility to parasitism was significantly higher in naïve hosts than in hosts from the parasite's native range, suggesting that host resistance to parasitism is under selection. These results suggest that differences in host–parasite historical interaction can alter the consequences of parasite introductions in host populations. As anthropogenically driven range shifts continue, disruptions of host–parasite evolutionary relationships may become an increasingly important driver of ecological and evolutionary change.
  • Article
    An evolutionary perspective on marine invasions
    (Wiley, 2019-12-16) Blakeslee, April M. H. ; Manousaki, Tereza ; Vasileiadou, Katerina ; Tepolt, Carolyn K.
    Species distributions are rapidly changing as human globalization increasingly moves organisms to novel environments. In marine systems, species introductions are the result of a number of anthropogenic mechanisms, notably shipping, aquaculture/mariculture, the pet and bait trades, and the creation of canals. Marine invasions are a global threat to human and non‐human populations alike and are often listed as one of the top conservation concerns worldwide, having ecological, evolutionary, and social ramifications. Evolutionary investigations of marine invasions can provide crucial insight into an introduced species’ potential impacts in its new range, including: physiological adaptation and behavioral changes to exploit new environments; changes in resident populations, community interactions, and ecosystems; and severe reductions in genetic diversity that may limit evolutionary potential in the introduced range. This special issue focuses on current research advances in the evolutionary biology of marine invasions and can be broadly classified into a few major avenues of research: the evolutionary history of invasive populations, post‐invasion reproductive changes, and the role of evolution in parasite introductions. Together, they demonstrate the value of investigating marine invasions from an evolutionary perspective, with benefits to both fundamental and applied evolutionary biology at local and broad scales.
  • Article
    Mitochondrial genotype influences the response to cold stress in the European green crab Carcinus maenas
    (Company of Biologists, 2019-07-08) Coyle, Aidan F. ; Voss, Erin R. ; Tepolt, Carolyn K. ; Carlon, David B.
    Hybrid zones provide natural experiments in recombination within and between genomes that may have strong effects on organismal fitness. On the East Coast of North America, two distinct lineages of the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) have been introduced in the last two centuries. These two lineages with putatively different adaptive properties have hybridized along the coast of the eastern Gulf of Maine, producing new nuclear and mitochondrial combinations that show clinal variation correlated with water temperature. To test the hypothesis that mitochondrial or nuclear genes have effects on thermal tolerance, we first measured the response to cold stress in crabs collected throughout the hybrid zone, then sequenced the mitochondrial CO1 gene and two nuclear single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) representative of nuclear genetic lineage. Mitochondrial haplotype had a strong association with the ability of crabs to right themselves at 4.5°C that was sex specific: haplotypes originally from northern Europe gave male crabs an advantage while there was no haplotype effect on righting in female crabs. By contrast, the two nuclear SNPs that were significant outliers in a comparison between northern and southern C. maenas populations had no effect on righting response at low temperature. These results add C. maenas to the shortlist of ectotherms in which mitochondrial variation has been shown to affect thermal tolerance, and suggest that natural selection is shaping the structure of the hybrid zone across the Gulf of Maine. Our limited genomic sampling does not eliminate the strong possibility that mito-nuclear co-adaptation may play a role in the differences in thermal phenotypes documented here. Linkage between mitochondrial genotype and thermal tolerance suggests a role for local adaptation in promoting the spread of invasive populations of C. maenas around the world.