Galápagos islands are highly endemic, and therefore constitute a fragile and sensitive biota to biological invasions. The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata is among the most destructive invasive species on Earth. Widely distributed in the archipelago, the consequences of its presence on arthropod, reptile and bird populations have been poorly documented.
My project aims at:
Determining the distribution of S. geminata on the Santa Cruz island in different types of natural and anthropized environments;
Estimating the impact of the invasive ant on the local fauna, especially on macro-invertebrates and on one species of giant tortoise endemic to the Galápagos archipelago;
Retracing the route of invasion of S. geminata and understanding the genetic and ecological factors that influence the invasive success of this species in Galápagos.
This project will launch new research perspectives on the conservation biology of endangered species and on evolutionary biology to explain the ecological success of an invasive species.
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created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web