Increments in weed seed size track global range expansion and contribute to colonization in a non-native region

Hierro, José L., Eren, Özkan, Montesinos, Daniel, Andonian, Krikor, Kethsuriani, Liana, Özkan, Rabia, Diaconu, Alecu, Török, Katalin, Cavieres, Lohengrin, and French, Kristine (2020) Increments in weed seed size track global range expansion and contribute to colonization in a non-native region. Biological Invasions, 22 (3). pp. 969-982.

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Abstract

Assessing global variation in phenotypic traits and linking that variation to colonization and range expansion is notably rare in invasion biology. Here, we studied variation in seed size in Centaurea solstitialis, a weed with worldwide distribution. Additionally, we explored how seed size variation affects seedling survival of C. solstitialis under favorable precipitation conditions in Anatolia, an ancestral region, and unfavorable precipitation conditions in Argentina, a non-native region. To that end, we conducted seed collections following dispersal pathways of C. solstitialis in ancestral, expanded, and non-native ranges. Locally, collections followed elevation gradients. Also, we performed a greenhouse experiment with C. solstitialis populations varying in seed size and water additions simulating precipitation patterns in Anatolia and Argentina. Seeds from ancestral populations at low elevation were smaller than those from the rest of study populations. Also, seed size in populations at high elevation in the expanded range, the main source of non-native populations, was similar to that in all, but one non-native population, where seeds exhibited further increase. Increments in seed size thus track range expansion in C. solstitialis. Locally, seed size increased with elevation in all three ranges, suggesting convergent responses to that gradient. Seedlings from larger seeds displayed greater survival than those from smaller seeds only under Argentinean conditions. Consequently, populations with large seeds may have been instrumental for colonizing that non-native region. Our findings suggest that ancient and recent dispersal of large-seeded populations contribute to explain the reported global pattern of seed size divergence and worldwide distribution of C. solstitialis.

Item ID: 63369
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-1464
Copyright Information: (C) Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
Funders: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de La Pampa (UNLPam)
Projects and Grants: UNLPam CN219
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 00:37
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 25%
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