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Keywords:

  • alien species;
  • microsatellites;
  • Rana ridibunda;
  • RAPDs

Abstract

We investigated the genetic outcome of successful invasion by an alien species, the marsh frog Rana ridibunda, in Britain. Twelve adults translocated from Hungary into Kent (Romney) in 1935 resulted rapidly in a large localized population. A further successful translocation in 1973 from Romney to Sussex (Lewes), together with other range extensions, provided an opportunity to test bottleneck effects during colonization events. Romney and Lewes frogs had similar genetic diversities to those in Hungary at 14 random amplified polymorphic DNA marker (RAPD) and five microsatellite loci. The introduced populations were, however, differentiated genetically from each other and from a reference population in Hungary. Fitness assessments (larval growth and survival) revealed no differences between the Lewes and Romney populations. Despite starting with few founders, significant bottleneck effects on R. ridibunda in Britain were therefore undetectable, presumably because population expansions were rapid immediately after the translocations.