Fulvio Licata, CIBIO-InBIO/UP | June 12, 2019 - 15h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão



Biological invasions are acknowledged as one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide, affecting ecosystems, communities and species with a plethora of direct and indirect negative effects. These may be further exacerbated when invasive alien species (IAS) invade island ecosystems, which have evolved in geographical isolation and are potentially more vulnerable to the multiple impacts of invasive species. In 2014, an invasive population of the Asian toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was reported in Toamasina, the major seaport town of Madagascar, on the eastern coast. Toxic, highly fecund and voracious predators, the Asian toads rapidly spread across the region, taking advantage of the suitable climatic conditions. The strong similarities with the infamous invasion history of the Cane toad in Australia have prompted fears of a new ecological catastrophe for Madagascar. In this seminar, I will briefly present the story of the Asian toad invasion of Madagascar, outlining what has been done so far and introducing my PhD project, which falls within the risk assessment framework and aims at studying biology and potential impact of this invasive species on the megadiverse ecosystems of Madagascar.


Fulvio is a PhD student in the BIOEVOL group and he is currently enrolled in the second year of the BIODIV PhD Program, working under the supervision of Dr. Angelica Crottini (CIBIO-InBIO), with a project entitled "A multidisciplinary approach to assess the impact of the invasive Asian toad on native ecosystems in Madagascar".



[Host: Angelica Crottini, Biogeography and Evolution]



Image credits: Franco Andreone