An invasive non-native mammal population conserves genetic diversity lost from its native range

Andrew Veale, Olivia Holland, Robbie McDonald, Mick Clout, Dianne GLEESON

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Invasive, non-native species are one of the major causes of global biodiversity loss. Although they are, by definition, successful in their non-native range, their populations generally show major reductions in their genetic diversity during the demographic bottleneck they experience during colonization. By investigating the mitochondrial genetic diversity of an invasive non-native species, the stoat Mustela erminea, in New Zealand and comparing it to diversity in the species' native range in Great Britain, we reveal the opposite effect. We demonstrate that the New Zealand stoat population contains four mitochondrial haplotypes that have not been found in the native range. Stoats in Britain rely heavily on introduced rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus as their primary prey and were introduced to New Zealand in a misguided attempt at biological control of rabbits, which had also been introduced there. While invasive stoats have since decimated the New Zealand avifauna, native stoat populations were themselves decimated by the introduction to Britain of Myxoma virus as a control measure for rabbits. We highlight the irony that while introduced species (rabbits) and subsequent biocontrol (myxomatosis) have caused population crashes of native stoats, invasive stoats in New Zealand, which were also introduced for biological control, now contain more genetic haplotypes than their most likely native source.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2156-2163
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolecular Ecology
    Volume24
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Mustela erminea
    Population Genetics
    New Zealand
    biological control
    population genetics
    Mammals
    mammal
    mammals
    Rabbits
    genetic variation
    avifauna
    introduced species
    native species
    virus
    colonization
    rabbits
    Haplotypes
    Population
    biodiversity
    Myxoma virus

    Cite this

    Veale, Andrew ; Holland, Olivia ; McDonald, Robbie ; Clout, Mick ; GLEESON, Dianne. / An invasive non-native mammal population conserves genetic diversity lost from its native range. In: Molecular Ecology. 2015 ; Vol. 24, No. 9. pp. 2156-2163.
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    abstract = "Invasive, non-native species are one of the major causes of global biodiversity loss. Although they are, by definition, successful in their non-native range, their populations generally show major reductions in their genetic diversity during the demographic bottleneck they experience during colonization. By investigating the mitochondrial genetic diversity of an invasive non-native species, the stoat Mustela erminea, in New Zealand and comparing it to diversity in the species' native range in Great Britain, we reveal the opposite effect. We demonstrate that the New Zealand stoat population contains four mitochondrial haplotypes that have not been found in the native range. Stoats in Britain rely heavily on introduced rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus as their primary prey and were introduced to New Zealand in a misguided attempt at biological control of rabbits, which had also been introduced there. While invasive stoats have since decimated the New Zealand avifauna, native stoat populations were themselves decimated by the introduction to Britain of Myxoma virus as a control measure for rabbits. We highlight the irony that while introduced species (rabbits) and subsequent biocontrol (myxomatosis) have caused population crashes of native stoats, invasive stoats in New Zealand, which were also introduced for biological control, now contain more genetic haplotypes than their most likely native source.",
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    An invasive non-native mammal population conserves genetic diversity lost from its native range. / Veale, Andrew; Holland, Olivia; McDonald, Robbie; Clout, Mick; GLEESON, Dianne.

    In: Molecular Ecology, Vol. 24, No. 9, 2015, p. 2156-2163.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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