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Cane toads (Bufo marinus) are large anurans (weighing up to 2 kg) that were introduced to Australia 70 years ago to control insect pests in sugar-cane fields. But the result has been disastrous because the toads are toxic and highly invasive. Here we show that the annual rate of progress of the toad invasion front has increased about fivefold since the(More)
Most evolutionary theory does not deal with populations expanding or contracting in space. Invasive species, climate change, epidemics, and the breakdown of dispersal barriers, however, all create populations in this kind of spatial disequilibrium. Importantly, spatial disequilibrium can have important ecological and evolutionary outcomes. During continuous(More)
Human activities are changing habitats and climates and causing species' ranges to shift. Range expansion brings into play a set of powerful evolutionary forces at the expanding range edge that act to increase dispersal rates. One likely consequence of these forces is accelerating rates of range advance because of evolved increases in dispersal on the range(More)
Current approaches to modeling range advance assume that the distribution describing dispersal distances in the population (the "dispersal kernel") is a static entity. We argue here that dispersal kernels are in fact highly dynamic during periods of range advance because density effects and spatial assortment by dispersal ability ("spatial selection") drive(More)
The process of rapid range expansion (as seen in many invasive species, and in taxa responding to climate change) may substantially disrupt host-parasite dynamics. Parasites and pathogens can have strong regulatory effects on their host population and, in doing so, exert selection pressure on host life history. We construct a simple individual-based model(More)
The challenges posed by parasites and pathogens evoke behavioral as well as physiological responses. Such behavioral responses are poorly understood for most ectothermic species, including anuran amphibians. We quantified effects of simulated infection (via injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) on feeding, activity, and thermoregulation of cane(More)
In classical evolutionary theory, traits evolve because they facilitate organismal survival and/or reproduction. We discuss a different type of evolutionary mechanism that relies upon differential dispersal. Traits that enhance rates of dispersal inevitably accumulate at expanding range edges, and assortative mating between fast-dispersing individuals at(More)
The impact of invasive species on biodiversity has attracted considerable study, but impacts of the invasion process on the invaders themselves remain less clear. Invading species encounter conditions different from those in their ancestral habitats and are subject to intense selection for rapid dispersal. The end result may be significant stress on(More)
Dispersal biology at an invasion front differs from that of populations within the range core, because novel evolutionary and ecological processes come into play in the nonequilibrium conditions at expanding range edges. In a world where species' range limits are changing rapidly, we need to understand how individuals disperse at an invasion front. We(More)
Inflammatory or degenerative pathology involving the vertebral bodies and/or ventral intervertebral joints has been described in numerous species, both captive and free ranging, including mammals, birds, and snakes, although never in amphibians. We described 15 cases of a newly recognized spinal arthropathy in adult cane toads (Chaunus [Bufo] marinus), an(More)