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Extensive human-mediated jump dispersal within and across the native and introduced ranges of the invasive termite Reticulitermes flavipes
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  • Pierre-André Eyer,
  • Alexander Blumenfeld,
  • Laura Johnson,
  • Elfie Perdereau,
  • Phillip Shults,
  • Shichen Wang,
  • Franck Dedeine,
  • Simon Dupont,
  • Anne-Geneviève Bagnères,
  • Edward Vargo
Pierre-André Eyer
Texas A&M University College Station
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Alexander Blumenfeld
Texas A&M University College Station
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Laura Johnson
University of Wyoming
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Elfie Perdereau
Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte
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Phillip Shults
Texas A&M University College Station
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Shichen Wang
Texas A&M University College Station
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Franck Dedeine
Universite de Tours
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Simon Dupont
IRBI
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Anne-Geneviève Bagnères
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Edward Vargo
Texas A&M University
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Abstract

As native ranges are often geographically structured, invasive species originating from a single source population only carry a fraction of the genetic diversity present in their native range. This invasion pathway is thus often associated with a drastic loss of genetic diversity resulting from a founder event. However, the fraction of diversity brought to the invasive range may vary under different invasion histories, increasing with the size of the propagule, the number of re-introduction events, and/or the total genetic diversity represented by the various source populations in a multiple-introduction scenario. In this study, we generated a SNP dataset for the invasive termite Reticulitermes flavipes from 23 native populations in the eastern United States and six introduced populations throughout the world. Using population genetic analyses and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), we investigated its worldwide invasion history. We found a complex invasion pathway with multiple events out of the native range and bridgehead introductions from the introduced population in France. Our data suggest that extensive long-distance jump dispersal appears common in both the native and introduced ranges of this species, likely through human transportation. Overall, our results show that similar to multiple introduction events into the invasive range, admixture in the native range prior to invasion can potentially favor invasion success by increasing the genetic diversity that is later transferred to the introduced range.