Selection of preadapted populations allowed Senecio inaequidens to invade Central Europe

Bossdorf, Oliver; Lipowsky, Annett; Prati, Daniel (2008). Selection of preadapted populations allowed Senecio inaequidens to invade Central Europe. Diversity & distributions, 14(4), pp. 676-685. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2008.00471.x

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Invasive species often evolve rapidly in response to the novel biotic and abiotic conditions in their introduced range. Such adaptive evolutionary changes might play an important role in the success of some invasive species. Here, we investigated whether introduced European populations of the South African ragwort Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae) have genetically diverged from native populations. We carried out a greenhouse experiment where 12 South African and 11 European populations were for several months grown at two levels of nutrient availability, as well as in the presence or absence of a generalist insect herbivore. We found that, in contrast to a current hypothesis, plants from introduced populations had a significantly lower reproductive output, but higher allocation to root biomass, and they were more tolerant to insect herbivory. Moreover, introduced populations were less genetically variable, but displayed greater plasticity in response to fertilization. Finally, introduced populations were phenotypically most similar to a subset of native populations from mountainous regions in southern Africa. Taking into account the species' likely history of introduction, our data support the idea that the invasion success of Senecio inaequidens in Central Europe is based on selective introduction of specific preadapted and plastic genotypes rather than on adaptive evolution in the introduced range.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Bossdorf, Oliver and Prati, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1366-9516

Publisher:

Blackwell Scientific Publications

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:08

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2014 14:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/j.1472-4642.2008.00471.x

Web of Science ID:

000256613600012

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/30116 (FactScience: 171953)

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