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Using DNA profiling to investigate human-mediated translocations of an invasive species

Signorile, AL; Reuman, DC; Lurz, PWW; Bertolino, S; Carbone, C; Wang, J; (2016) Using DNA profiling to investigate human-mediated translocations of an invasive species. Biological Conservation , 195 pp. 97-105. 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.026. Green open access

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Abstract

The reconstruction of invasion history is the goal or foundation of many investigations of biological invasions. This study applies DNA profiling to investigate the sources and vectors of new propagules, to detect illegal human-mediated translocations and to improve the management of invasions by identifying invasion pathways that can be targeted for more stringent control. We use the European invasion of the American Eastern grey squirrel as a focal example. Many human-mediated translocations of this species have occurred in Europe since the 19th century. We built a genotype database of 1421 individuals from 59 locations across Europe and one in the USA, with each individual genotyped at 12 highly polymorphic microsatellites. DNA from newly detected populations and individuals of unknown sources were compared with this database. Our results indicated illegal human-mediated translocations in Aberdeen, the Isle of Skye and Northumberland in the UK, and revealed precise details of illegal squirrel trade in Italy. We recommend that multi-locus genotype databases be set up for all major invasive species considered attractive or ornamental, as these are often subject to illegal translocations through human actions such as the pet trade.

Type: Article
Title: Using DNA profiling to investigate human-mediated translocations of an invasive species
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.026
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.026
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Alien species; Invasive; DNA profiling; Sciurus carolinensis; Population assignments; Biosecurity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538939
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