Introducing water frogs - Is there a risk for indigenous species in France?

  • Schmeller D
  • Pagano A
  • Plénet S
 et al. 
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Abstract

The ecological success of introduced species in their new environments is difficult to predict. Recently, the water frog species Rana ridibunda has raised interest, as different genetic lineages were introduced to various European countries. The aim of the present study was to analyze the potential invasiveness of R. ridibunda and assess the risk of replacement for indigenous water frog species. The investigation of over 700 water frogs from 22 locations in southern France and four locations in Spain shows that the competition with indigenous species is mainly limited to a particular habitat type, characterized by high-oxygen and low-salinity freshwater. The competitive strength of R. ridibunda may be related to a higher growth rate and longevity as compared to the indigenous species R. grafi and R. perezi. Our data suggest that R. ridibunda is a risk to the diversity of indigenous water frog assemblages in France. Future monitoring needs to clarify the distribution of R. ridibunda, its ecological niche, and the risk status for indigenous water frog species. To cite this article: D.S. Schmeller et al., C. R. Biologies 330 (2007). © 2007 Académie des sciences.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Hybridogenesis
  • Introduced species
  • Rana ridibunda
  • Replacement
  • Western Palearctic water frogs

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Authors

  • Dirk S. Schmeller

  • Alain Pagano

  • Sandrine Plénet

  • Michael Veith

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