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Diversity 2016, 8(4), 32; doi:10.3390/d8040032

Phylogeography of Rattus norvegicus in the South Atlantic Ocean

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2
Antarctic Research Trust, P.O. Box 685, Stanley FIQQ 1ZZ, Falkland Islands
3
Beaver Island LandCare, P.O. Box 538, Stanley FIQQ 1ZZ, Falkland Islands
4
Zoology & Physiology Department, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
5
Quantitative Science Consulting, LLC, 765 N. 10th St., Laramie, WY 82072, USA
6
CESAM—Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon 1749-016, Portugal
7
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paulo A. V. Borges
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract

Norway rats are a globally distributed invasive species, which have colonized many islands around the world, including in the South Atlantic Ocean. We investigated the phylogeography of Norway rats across the South Atlantic Ocean and bordering continental countries. We identified haplotypes from 517 bp of the hypervariable region I of the mitochondrial D-loop and constructed a Bayesian consensus tree and median-joining network incorporating all other publicly available haplotypes via an alignment of 364 bp. Three Norway rat haplotypes are present across the islands of the South Atlantic Ocean, including multiple haplotypes separated by geographic barriers within island groups. All three haplotypes have been previously recorded from European countries. Our results support the hypothesis of rapid Norway rat colonization of South Atlantic Ocean islands by sea-faring European nations from multiple European ports of origin. This seems to have been the predominant pathway for repeated Norway rat invasions of islands, even within the same archipelago, rather than within-island dispersal across geographic barriers. View Full-Text
Keywords: commensals; invasive species; island phylogeography; mitochondrial DNA; pest management; Rattus norvegicus; South Atlantic commensals; invasive species; island phylogeography; mitochondrial DNA; pest management; Rattus norvegicus; South Atlantic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hingston, M.; Poncet, S.; Passfield, K.; Tabak, M.A.; Gabriel, S.I.; Piertney, S.B.; Russell, J.C. Phylogeography of Rattus norvegicus in the South Atlantic Ocean. Diversity 2016, 8, 32.

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