Data from: Genetic status and timing of a weevil introduction to Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos
Mok, Hoi-Fei et al. (2013), Data from: Genetic status and timing of a weevil introduction to Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3ks4v
Successful invasive species can overcome or circumvent the potential genetic loss caused by an introduction bottleneck through a rapid population expansion and admixture from multiple introductions. We explore the genetic makeup and the timing of a species introduction to Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos archipelago. We investigate the presence of processes that can maintain genetic diversity in populations of the broad-nosed weevil Galapaganus howdenae howdenae. Analyses of combined genotypes for 8 microsatellite loci showed evidence of past population size reductions through moment and likelihood-based estimators. No evidence of admixture through multiple introductions was found, but substantial current population sizes (N0 298, 95% HPD 50-2300), genetic diversity comparable to long-established endemics (Mean number of alleles=3.875) and lack of genetic structure across the introduced range (ΦST = 0.01359) could suggest that foundations are in place for populations to rapidly recover any loss of genetic variability. The time estimates for the introduction into Santa Cruz support an accidental transfer during the colonization period (1832-1959) pre-dating the spurt in human population growth. Our evaluation of the genetic status of G. h. howdenae suggests potential for population growth in addition to our field observations of a concurrent expansion in range and feeding preferences towards protected areas and endemic host plants.
Santa Cruz Island