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Human activities favour prolific life histories in both traded and introduced vertebrates
Nature Communications, Volume: 14, Issue: 1
Swansea University Author: William Allen
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Species’ life histories determine population demographics and thus the probability that introduced populations establish and spread. Life histories also influence which species are most likely to be introduced, but how such ‘introduction biases’ arise remains unclear. Here, we investigate how life h...
|Published in:||Nature Communications|
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Species’ life histories determine population demographics and thus the probability that introduced populations establish and spread. Life histories also influence which species are most likely to be introduced, but how such ‘introduction biases’ arise remains unclear. Here, we investigate how life histories affect the probability of trade and introduction in phylogenetic comparative analyses across three vertebrate classes: mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We find that traded species have relatively high reproductive rates and long reproductive lifespans. Within traded species, introduced species have a more extreme version of this same life history profile. Species in the pet trade also have long reproductive lifespans but lack ‘fast’ traits, likely reflecting demand for rare species which tend to have slow life histories. We identify multiple species not yet traded or introduced but with life histories indicative of high risk of future trade, introduction and potentially invasion. Our findings suggest that species with high invasion potential are favoured in the wildlife trade and therefore that trade regulation is crucial for preventing future invasions.
Data availability:All data required to replicate the results of this study have been deposited in the Dryad repository and are available at the following link: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8cz8w9gvb
Faculty of Science and Engineering