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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)
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)
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)
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)
In the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia, temperatures are high and stable year-round but monsoonal rainfall is highly seasonal and variable both annually and spatially. Many features of reproduction in vertebrates of this region may be adaptations to dealing with this unpredictable variation in precipitation, notably by (i) using direct proximate(More)
Sex-based differences in dispersal distances can affect critical population parameters such as inbreeding rates and the spatial scale of local adaptation. Males tend to disperse further than females in mammals, whereas the reverse is true for birds; too few reptiles have been studied to reveal generalities for that group. Although reptiles are most diverse(More)
Mating systems and sexual selection are assumed to be affected by the distribution of critical resources. We use observations of 312 mating aggregations to compare mate-searching success of male northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) in two marshes in which differences in mating substrate availability resulted in more than fourfold differences in female(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)
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)