Feral Species Essay

Decent Essays

Feral species have the capacity to cause significant altering impacts upon biodiversity of an ecosystem (Phillips & Shine. 2006). In the endeavor to ‘Europeanize” Australia, alien invasive species have frequently been introduced, resulting in a negative impact upon the ecosystem (Paini. 2004). The renowned cane toad, Rhinella marina was introduced in the effort to eradicate destructive beetle species that were desecrating sugar cane crops in Australia, during 1935 (Department of the Environment. 2010). Following this introduction, cane toad populations have exploded, now covering over 1,000,000 km2, from northern NSW, to Queensland and the Northern Territory (Phillips & Shine. 2006; Department of the Environment. 2010). This cane toad species …show more content…

mellifera in Australia (van Engelsdorp & Meixner. 2010). This suggests there is interbreeding arising between the domestic and feral populations. It has been proposed that escaped domestic bees has increased the swarming capabilities of the feral population (Goulson. 2003). The other suggestion as to how this interbreeding is occurring is that the feral queens are mating with domestic male drones. Where these drones may have traveled greater distances then their usual drone congregation area (DCA) to locate a viable queen, or visa versa. Therefore, the question arises, are feral A. mellifera populations being sustained by fugitive commercial …show more content…

Microsatellites are sequences of repeated adjacent nucleotides, inherited both maternally and paternally. However, mtDNA is a maternally inherited marker, which can be examined for genetic dissimilarity between populations based upon haplotypes. These markers are inherited in a Mendelian fashion and are co-dominant, as all bees within a colony are the produce of the colonies queen. Because mtDNA is maternally inherited, all individuals within the colony have identical mtDNA and consequently may be classified as an “individual” itself, so that it can be compared with other colonies (Garnery. 1992). Therefore, the differences between microsatellite DNA and mtDNA are a powerful mechanism to distinguish genetic relatedness of bees from different colonies. The microsatellite and mtDNA markers are able to examine the feral and commercial A. mellifera populations and establish whether the fugitive commercial bees are sustaining the feral bee population.
In this study we analyse the genetic variation between feral and domestic A. mellifera populations, within Brisbane Waters National Park, NSW, Australia (33°32'55.3"S 151°17'14.1"E). We aim to explore the degree of gene flow between the feral and commercial sub-populations. Hence, determining whether they are genetically

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