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Bithynia tentaculata is believed to have been extirpated from North America during the last glacial maximum. It was reintroduced into North America via the Great Lakes basin in the 1800’s and has recently been expanding its geographic range. This snail serves as intermediate host for three trematodes that cause extensive recurring morbidity and mortality events in migratory water birds along the Mississippi River. Using twelve microsatellite loci for ~200 individual snails from 11populations in North America and Europe, we examined one of the three major geographic regions from which founding populations into the Great Lakes typically originate. Our data supports a single colonization of North America into the Great Lakes Basin followed by subsequent introduction events from the Great Lakes to other large watersheds in North America. However, additional watersheds in Europe require sampling to confirm this result. No populations with genetic signatures indicative of North American glacial relics were found. The initial invasion of North America was likely not from the Ponto-Caspian basin, the usual source of freshwater invasive species to the Laurentian Great Lakes


© Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society 2016. Original published version available at

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Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation



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Biology Commons



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