It's all about the journey: insights into invasion history from the lizards of the Hawaiian Islands

Date
2024
Authors
Alvarez, Valentina
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Thomson, Robert C.
Department
Zoology
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Todo se trata del viaje: información sobre la historia de la invasión de los lagartos de las islas Hawaianas
Abstract
The rapid population growth and subsequent range expansion of humans over the last several millennia has led to numerous introductions of organisms outside their native ranges. This has occurred repeatedly in Hawaiʻi, which now houses a large and growing collection of introduced plants and animals. This includes at least thirty species of terrestrial reptile that have been established over the last centuries, seven of which are thought to have arrived on voyaging canoes. The introduction of reptiles to Hawaiʻi at multiple time points in history offers an opportunity to investigate how the pattern and timing of biological introductions might be inferred using information contained in the genomes of introduced populations. I reconstructed the invasion histories of three species of lizard introduced to Hawaiʻi at different points in time. The first species, the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), is well known for its ability to invade new regions and rapidly outcompete native species. In Hawaiʻi, this species appeared in the 1980s and prior genetic work suggests a Florida origin. More recently, the brown anole has become established in Southern California and anecdotal evidence suggest Hawaiʻi may be the source of some of these introductions. The second species, the house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), is native to southeast Asia but is now established across the Pacific. With its first collection in Hawaiʻi in 1947, it is thought to have been introduced via increased maritime activity associated with World War II. Lastly, the Oceania snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus poecilopleurus) is considered a canoe species and was first collected in Hawaiʻi in 1840. However, recent phylogenetic work has suggested that populations in Hawaiʻi are distinct from others in the Pacific. This, paired with their known ability to disperse long distances and widespread presence across the Pacific, presents the possibility of a natural dispersal of this species to the Hawaiian Islands. We pair likelihood-based and approximate methods such as approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) to study the invasion histories of these species. By reconstructing these histories, we aim to provide insight into potential pathways of species introduction and colonization for each species, while testing hypotheses about the context and timing of each invasion.
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Molecular biology, Conservation biology, Zoology, Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), biological invasions, conservation, invasion history reconstructions, phylogenetics, population genetics
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137 pages
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