The bioinvasion of Guam: inferring geographic origin, pace, pattern and process of an invasive lizard (Carlia) in the Pacific using multi-locus genomic data
Invasive species often have dramatic negative effects that lead to the deterioration and loss of biodiversity frequently coupled with the burden of expensive biocontrol programs and subversion of socioeconomic stability. The fauna and flora of oceanic islands are particularly susceptible to invasive species and the increase of global movements of humans and their products since WW II has caused numerous anthropogenic translocations and increased the ills of human-mediated invasions. We use a multi-locus genomic dataset to identify geographic origin, pace, pattern and historical process of an invasive scincid lizard (Carlia) that has been inadvertently introduced to Guam, the Northern Marianas, and Palau. This lizard is of major importance as its introduction is thought to have assisted in the establishment of the invasive brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam by providing a food resource. Our findings demonstrate multiple waves of introductions that appear to be concordant with movements of Allied and Imperial Japanese forces in the Pacific during World War II.