Oscheius tipulae in Italy: Evidence of an Alien Isolate in the Integral Natural Reserve of Montecristo Island (Tuscany)

Giulia Torrini, Giuseppe Mazza, Agostino Strangi, Delfina Barabaschi, Silvia Landi, Emiliano Mori, Mattia Menchetti, Paolo Sposimo, Claudia Giuliani, Antonio Zoccola, Lorenzo Lazzaro, Giulio Ferretti, Bruno Foggi, Pio Federico Roversi

Abstract


Montecristo Island is an integral natural reserve of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (Central Italy), characterized by a peculiar assemblage of flora and fauna, with several endemic taxa, and also with a high number of alien species. During a soil survey, we found an alien Oscheius tipulae Lam &Webster, 1971 isolate, phylogenetically close to others from South America. In this article, we examined the possible pathways of introduction of this nematode. Because of the high number of alien plants in this protected area and the low desiccation survival ability of O. tipulae, we hypothesized that the presence of this alien nematode isolate may be related to the soil of introduced plants, although historical association with plant-associated invertebrates is also possible. Further studies with more populations and marker molecules are necessary to investigate the distribution of O. tipulae and the possible impact on this natural reserve.

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