Spinal arthritis in invasive cane toads is linked to rate of dispersal as well as to latitude

Brown, Gregory P., Schwarzkopf, Lin, Alford, Ross A., Bower, Deborah, and Shine, Richard (2019) Spinal arthritis in invasive cane toads is linked to rate of dispersal as well as to latitude. Scientific Reports, 9. 13965.

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Abstract

Initial research on the spread of cane toads (Rhinella marina) through tropical Australia reported a high incidence of spinal arthritis (spondylosis) in toads at the invasion front (where toads disperse rapidly), but not in areas colonized earlier (where toads are more sedentary). The idea that spondylosis was a cost of rapid dispersal was challenged by wider spatial sampling which linked rates of spondylosis to hot (tropical) climates rather than to dispersal rates. Here, the authors of these competing interpretations collaborate to reinterpret the data. Our reanalysis supports both previous hypotheses; rates of spondylosis are higher in populations established by fast-dispersing toads, and are higher in tropical than in temperate environments; they are also higher in larger toads. The functional reason for climatic effects is unclear, but might involve effects on the soil-living bacteria involved in the induction of spondylosis; and/or may reflect higher movement (as opposed to dispersal) or more pronounced dry-season aggregation rates of toads in tropical conditions.

Item ID: 60704
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access: 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
Funders: Australian Research Council
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 07:46
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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