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Phylogeographic evidence for multiple long-distance introductions of the common wall lizard associated with human trade and transport

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
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  • 1 CIBIO Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, N° 7, 4485-661 Vairão, Vila do Conde, Portugal
  • | 2 National insitute of Biology, Večna pot 111, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • | 3 Herpetological society – Societas herpetological slovenica, Večna pot 111, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • | 4 Asociación Herpetológica Española, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, C/ José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
  • | 5 Department of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, 67100 Coppito, L’Aquila, Italy
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Abstract

The common wall lizard has been widely introduced across Europe and overseas. We investigated the origin of putatively introduced Podarcis muralis populations from two southern Europe localities: (i) Ljubljana (Slovenia), where uncommon phenotypes were observed near the railway tracks and (ii) the port of Vigo (Spain), where the species was recently found 150 km far from its previously known range. We compared cytochrome-b mtDNA sequences of lizards from these populations with published sequences across the native range. Our results support the allochthonous status and multiple, long-distance origins in both populations. In Ljubljana, results support two different origins, Serbia and Italy. In Vigo, at least two separate origins are inferred, from western and eastern France. Such results confirm that human-mediated transport is promoting biological invasion and lineage admixture in this species. Solid knowledge of the origin and invasion pathways, as well as population monitoring, is crucial for management strategies to be successful.

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