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Excluding access to invasion hubs can contain the spread of an invasive vertebrate

Version 2 2024-06-03, 01:45
Version 1 2024-01-16, 04:03
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 01:45 authored by D Florance, JK Webb, Tim DempsterTim Dempster, MR Kearney, A Worthing, M Letnic
Many biological invasions do not occur as a gradual expansion along a continuous front, but result from the expansion of satellite populations that become established at ‘invasion hubs’. Although theoretical studies indicate that targeting control efforts at invasion hubs can effectively contain the spread of invasions, few studies have demonstrated this in practice. In arid landscapes worldwide, humans have increased the availability of surface water by creating artificial water points (AWPs) such as troughs and dams for livestock. By experimentally excluding invasive cane toads ( Bufo marinus ) from AWP, we show that AWP provide a resource subsidy for non-arid-adapted toads and serve as dry season refuges and thus invasion hubs for cane toads in arid Australia. Using data on the distribution of permanent water in arid Australia and the dispersal potential of toads, we predict that systematically excluding toads from AWP would reduce the area of arid Australia across which toads are predicted to disperse and colonize under average climatic conditions by 38 per cent from 2 242 000 to 1 385 000 km 2 . Our study shows how human modification of hydrological regimes can create a network of invasion hubs that facilitates a biological invasion, and confirms that targeted control at invasion hubs can reduce landscape connectivity to contain the spread of an invasive vertebrate.

History

Journal

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Volume

278

Pagination

2900-2908

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0962-8452

eISSN

1471-2970

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1720

Publisher

The Royal Society Publishing