Invading populations of an ornamental shrub show rapid life history evolution despite genetic bottlenecks

Invading populations of an ornamental shrub show rapid life history evolution despite genetic... Human‐mediated species introductions offer opportunities to investigate when and how non‐native species to adapt to novel environments, and whether evolution has the potential to contribute to colonization success. Many long‐established introductions harbour high genetic diversity, raising the possibility that multiple introductions of genetic material catalyze adaptation and/or the evolution of invasiveness. Studies of nascent invasions are rare but crucial for understanding whether genetic diversity facilitates population expansion. We explore variation and evolution in founder populations of the invasive shrub Hypericum canariense. We find that these introductions have experienced large reductions in genetic diversity, but that increased growth and a latitudinal cline in flowering phenology have nevertheless evolved. These life history changes are consistent with predictions for invasive plants. Our results highlight the potential for even genetically depauperate founding populations to adapt and evolve invasive patters of spread. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

Invading populations of an ornamental shrub show rapid life history evolution despite genetic bottlenecks

Ecology Letters, Volume 11 (7) – Jul 1, 2008

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS
ISSN
1461-023X
eISSN
1461-0248
DOI
10.1111/j.1461-0248.2008.01181.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Human‐mediated species introductions offer opportunities to investigate when and how non‐native species to adapt to novel environments, and whether evolution has the potential to contribute to colonization success. Many long‐established introductions harbour high genetic diversity, raising the possibility that multiple introductions of genetic material catalyze adaptation and/or the evolution of invasiveness. Studies of nascent invasions are rare but crucial for understanding whether genetic diversity facilitates population expansion. We explore variation and evolution in founder populations of the invasive shrub Hypericum canariense. We find that these introductions have experienced large reductions in genetic diversity, but that increased growth and a latitudinal cline in flowering phenology have nevertheless evolved. These life history changes are consistent with predictions for invasive plants. Our results highlight the potential for even genetically depauperate founding populations to adapt and evolve invasive patters of spread.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2008

References

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