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Amphibian DeclinesThe Conservation Status of United States Species$
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Michael Lannoo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235922

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235922.001.0001

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Exotic Species

Exotic Species

(p.271) Thirty-Eight Exotic Species
Amphibian Declines

Walter E. Meshaka

University of California Press

Within the framework of species conservation resides the increasingly relevant and disconcerting topic of exotic species. A conservative definition of exotic amphibian species includes only those species that have colonized the United States by human-mediated dispersal. This definition covers six anuran species: green and black dart-poison frogs, Cuban treefrogs, coquis, greenhouse frogs, African clawed frogs, and wrinkled frogs. This list may be expanded to include American bullfrogs and marine toads. The literature provides sufficient ecological and historical information to examine modes and rates of dispersal of exotic anurans in the United States and to test some of the ecological correlates associated with colonization success. For the eight listed species, this chapter compares and contrasts the circumstances associated with colonization and tests four correlates of colonization — synanthropy (the ability to coexist with humans), similarity between introduced and native habitats, high vagility, and high fecundity — that relate to both the structure of the introduced habitat and the biology of the invading species.

Keywords:   United States, exotic species, anurans, dispersal, colonization, synanthropy, native habitats, vagility, fecundity, frogs

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