The history of introductions of Bufo marinus (Amphibia: Anura); a natural experiment in evolution

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Abstract

The Central American toad, Bufo marinus, has been extensively introduced throughout the Caribbean and Pacific regions and is now one of the most widespread of terrestrial vertebrates. Details, such as the sources and dates of introductions, the number of individuals introduced and the fates of the introduced populations have been documented and are described. The availability of this historical information makes the introductions of great potential value as a series of evolutionary experiments. They can be used to study the way in which allopatric populations diverge genetically and the effects of population bottlenecks of known size on the genetic characteristics of populations, and to examine theories of rapid speciation caused by genetic revolutions associated with founder events.

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