Spinal arthritis in cane toads across the Australian landscape

Bower, Deborah S., Yasumiba, Kiyomi, Trumbo, Daryl R., Alford, Ross A., and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2018) Spinal arthritis in cane toads across the Australian landscape. Scientific Reports, 8. 12458.

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Loss of fitness can be a consequence of selection for rapid dispersal ability in invasive species. Increased prevalence of spinal arthritis may occur in cane toad populations at the invasion front as a cost of increased invasiveness, but our knowledge of the ecological drivers of this condition is lacking. We aimed to determine the factors explaining the prevalence of spinal arthritis in populations across the Australian landscape. We studied populations across a gradient of invasion histories. We collected 2415 toads over five years and determined the presence and size of spondylosis for each individual. We examined the effect of host size, leg length and invasion history on the prevalence of spondylosis. Host size was a significant predictor of spondylosis across populations. Contrary to our expectation, the overall prevalence of spondylosis was not positively related to invasion history and did not correlate with toad relative leg length. Rather than invasion age, the latitude at which populations were sampled provided an alternate explanation for the prevalence of spondylosis in cane toad populations and suggested that the incidence of this condition did not increase as a physiological cost of invasion, but is instead related to physical variables, such as climate.

Item ID: 55560
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Research Data: http://doi.org/10.25903/5b70bc6064298
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 08:16
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410202 Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 50%
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