Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Provenance and genetic diversity of the non-native geckos Phelsuma grandis gray 1870 and Gekko gecko (Linnaeus 1758) in southern Florida, USA.

Abstract

Accurately characterizing the provenance and genetic diversity of non-native populations aids the management of biotic invasions because population-level genetic diversity is potentially correlated with invasive success. We sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of non-native Phelsuma grandis Gray 1870 (Cyt-b, 610 bp) and Gekko gecko (Linnaeus 1758) (ND2, 751 bp) specimens collected from southern Florida, and compared these sequences to those of georeferenced native-range conspecifics. Multiple mtDNA clades were identified in southern Florida populations of both species. In the case of G. gecko these were traceable to geographically distinct native-range locales, confirming that southern Florida's population ultimately derives from multiple native-range regions. The majority of the P. grandis sequenced were closely allied with a specimen from the far north of Madagascar, while a minority clustered in a well-supported clade with P. grandis derived from northeastern Madagascar. Sympatry of individuals belonging to multiple mtDNA clades was confirmed for both species, and uncorrected pairwise distances as high as 11.41% were detected in sympatric G. gecko, highlighting the potential for interpopulation-and perhaps even interspecific-diversity to be transformed into intrapopulation diversity during invasion events. Our findings provide further evidence that introduced squamate populations are frequently highly heterogeneous and derived from multiple, distinct native-range lineages.