The Coqui frog, native to Puerto Rico, is considered invasive in the Hawaiian Islands due to a loud mating call, which surpasses levels decided fit for the ‘enjoyment of life.’ Research and experiments on Coqui frogs suggest that reduced genetic variation in the species does not negatively affect its invasion success.
Mary M. Peacock of the University of Nevada and her colleagues at Utah State University and the University of Georgia studied multiple populations in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. They determined that gene diversity and color pattern diversity were significantly higher in Puerto Rico than in the invaded regions of Hawaii. Allele counts in invaded areas were recorded at as much as half the number found in native Puerto Rico. Further, only two color patterns were found in Hawaii while five are known in Puerto Rico. The researchers also used their data to assert that their findings support a theory of two different introductions of the frogs in the invaded regions.
So what’s the significance of knowing that gene variation doesn’t affect invasion success? Isn’t this sort of expected since not all traits are successful in new areas?
I like that you linked the article to your post it was helpful in understanding a few things. I am curious, did the study say exactly how loud the frogs get in decibels?
I think it’s more an issue of whether the species can maintain the invasion when it lacks significant diversity of traits. Too little diversity can lead to a boxing in of sorts on the frog’s ability to survive, if that makes sense.
The frogs can reach ~90 decibels, and 70 decibels is the marker where enjoyment of life is considered disturbed.