Chapter

Exotic Species

Walter E. Meshaka

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235922.003.0038
Exotic Species

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Within the framework of species conservation resides the increasingly relevant and disconcerting topic of exotic species. A conservative definition of exotic amphibian species includes only those species that have colonized the United States by human-mediated dispersal. This definition covers six anuran species: green and black dart-poison frogs, Cuban treefrogs, coquis, greenhouse frogs, African clawed frogs, and wrinkled frogs. This list may be expanded to include American bullfrogs and marine toads. The literature provides sufficient ecological and historical information to examine modes and rates of dispersal of exotic anurans in the United States and to test some of the ecological correlates associated with colonization success. For the eight listed species, this chapter compares and contrasts the circumstances associated with colonization and tests four correlates of colonization — synanthropy (the ability to coexist with humans), similarity between introduced and native habitats, high vagility, and high fecundity — that relate to both the structure of the introduced habitat and the biology of the invading species.

Keywords: United States; exotic species; anurans; dispersal; colonization; synanthropy; native habitats; vagility; fecundity; frogs

Chapter.  2975 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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