Low genetic diversity of the successful invasive African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Pipidae) in Chile
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In Africa, the genus Xenopus presents cryptic species and diverse hybrids between species. It has been assumed that the invasive populations of this genus correspond to X. laevis and that they are derived from the subspecies that inhabits the Mediterranean Cape region of South Africa. In part, this is supported by the successful establishment of this species in several Mediterranean regions of the world. In Mediterranean Chile, Xenopus has invaded an area of about 21,000 km(2), with scarce attention to genetic aspects underlying its invasion. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences we determined that Xenopus laevis laevis from the Cape region of South Africa is the subspecies that invaded Chile. The analysis indicated that the invaders have low genetic diversity (only two haplotypes, compared to 10 in two localities of their native range), and that probably the invasion in Chile occurred only once. Landscape genetics revealed that factors such as aridity and elevation have determined the spread of the species, both from the ecological and genetic points of view. Our results show that the invasion of the African clawed frog in Chile has been successful for at least 30 years, in spite of low genetic variability, few events of introduction, low propagule pressure, and bottlenecks in the founding population.
Artículo de publicación SCOPUS
Quote ItemStudies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 2014 Vol. 49, No. 1, 50–60