Combining genetic and distributional approaches to sourcing introduced species: a case study on the Nile monitor (<i>Varanus niloticus</i>) in Florida
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AuthorDowell, Stephanie A.
Wood, Jared P.
Campbell, Todd S.
Hekkala, Evon R.
ecological niche model
Journal titleRoyal Society Open Science
Publication Begin page150619
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThree separate breeding populations of the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) have been identified in Florida, USA, located in Cape Coral, West Palm Beach and Homestead Air Reserve Base. This large, predatory lizard could have negative effects on Florida's native wildlife. Here, we infer the source of the introduced populations using genetic and statistical approaches, as well as estimate the potential non-native distribution of V. niloticus in North America. We collected genetic data from 25 Florida individuals as well as utilized genetic datasets from reference individuals spanning the full native distribution throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Using occurrence data from the inferred source population and the full species range, we built ecological niche models (ENMs) and projected them onto North America to determine regions with suitable climate. Our results indicated that the introduced populations resulted from three separate introduction events, and all originated from the southern coastal region of West Africa. The ENM built from the West African source population predicted only the southernmost portions of North America to be suitable. Conversely, the model derived from the full species' range predicted suitable climates across a large portion of the United States. This information can be used to focus management and eradication efforts.
CitationDowell SA, Wood JP, Campbell TS, Kolokotronis SO, Hekkala ER. Combining genetic and distributional approaches to sourcing introduced species: a case study on the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) in Florida. R Soc Open Sci. 2016 Apr 20;3(4):150619. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150619. PMID: 27152204; PMCID: PMC4852627.
The following license files are associated with this item:
- Creative Commons
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