Snakes on an island: independent introductions have different potentials for invasion

Monzón-Argüello, Catalina, Patiño-Martínez, Clara, Christiansen, Fredrik, Gallo-Barneto, Ramon, Cabrera-Pérez, Miguel Ángel, Peña-Estévez, Miguel Ángel, López-Jurado, Luis Felipe and Lee, Patricia L. M. 2015, Snakes on an island: independent introductions have different potentials for invasion, Conservation genetics, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 1225-1241.

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Title Snakes on an island: independent introductions have different potentials for invasion
Author(s) Monzón-Argüello, Catalina
Patiño-Martínez, Clara
Christiansen, Fredrik
Gallo-Barneto, Ramon
Cabrera-Pérez, Miguel Ángel
Peña-Estévez, Miguel Ángel
López-Jurado, Luis Felipe
Lee, Patricia L. M.ORCID iD for Lee, Patricia L. M.
Journal name Conservation genetics
Volume number 16
Issue number 5
Start page 1225
End page 1241
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 1566-0621
Keyword(s) California Kingsnake
Lampropeltis californiae
Long-term viability
Summary Snakes introduced to islands can be devastating to naïve native fauna. However, introduced populations must establish before range expansion (invasion) can occur. The factors that can determine successful invasion are those associated with the introduction event (e.g., characteristics of the founding population), the location (e.g., suitable environment and prey availability) and the species (e.g. life history characteristics). Here, we collected morphometric, ecological and genetic data on the recently introduced California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) in Gran Canaria. We found that snakes occurring at two locations a few 10 s of km apart do not represent the same population. Genetic analyses confirmed significant genetic difference (FST = 0.184; Dest = 0.341), and that despite being inbred (Fis = 0.245–0.257) the populations had high levels of diversity (Ho = 0.485–0.490; allelic richness = 4.875–6.364). Snakes at the different Gran Canaria locations were significantly different in morphology (colouration, mass, length and age), fitness (egg production) and diet (rodents, skinks, lizards and geckos), supporting a hypothesis of separate founding groups in combination with local environmental heterogeneity leading to variation between these populations. We concluded that one population was more successful than the other in reproduction and recruitment, and may be having a greater impact on endemic reptiles. We recommend greater eradication effort for this population, as well as monitoring of local fauna at all locations to access the impact of predation.
Language eng
Field of Research 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
060208 Terrestrial Ecology
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Socio Economic Objective 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Springer
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