Are invasive populations characterized by a broader diet than native populations?

PeerJ
Julien CourantAnthony Herrel

Abstract

Invasive species are among the most significant threats to biodiversity. The diet of invasive animal populations is a crucial factor that must be considered in the context of biological invasions. A broad dietary spectrum is a frequently cited characteristic of invasive species, allowing them to thrive in a wide range of environments. Therefore, empirical studies comparing diet in invasive and native populations are necessary to understand dietary requirements, dietary flexibility, and the associated impacts of invasive species. In this study, we compared the diet of populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis in its native range, with several areas where it has become invasive. Each prey category detected in stomach contents was assigned to an ecological category, allowing a comparison of the diversity of ecological traits among the prey items in the diet of native and introduced populations. The comparison of diets was also performed using evenness as a niche breadth index on all sampled populations, and electivity as a prey selection index for three out of the six sampled populations. Our results showed that diet breadth could be either narrow or broad in invasive populations. According to diet and prey availabili...Continue Reading

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