Abstract: In our recent study of the population genetics of pike (Esox lucius) in Ireland (Pedreschi et al., 2014, Journal of Biogeography, 41, 548–560), we reported the existence of two main demographic units and showed that these may correspond to two independent and temporally staggered colonization events, the first of which may have been too old to be caused or assisted by human translocations. Ensing (2015, Journal of Biogeography, doi:10.1111/jbi.12410) first used our genotypic data to explore alternative historical scenarios, then attempted to reconcile the ‘two-wave’ colonization process of Ireland by pike with translocation activities by humans in Neolithic/Bronze age times. Here we illustrate why the evidence base for Ensing’s reconstruction is weak and we outline a realistic strategy to better understand the role of pike in Irish freshwater ecosystems.
Journal of Biogeography, Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 607–609, March 2015. Read the full article ‘Towards a balanced view of pike in Ireland: a reply to Ensing‘.