Trait evolution during a rapid global weed invasion despite little genetic differentiation

Irimia, Ramona E., Montesinos, Daniel, Chaturvedi, Anurag, Sanders, Ian, Hierro, José L., Sotes, Gastón, Cavieres, Lohengrin A., Eren, Özkan, Lortie, Christopher J., French, Kristine, and Brennan, Adrian Christopher (2023) Trait evolution during a rapid global weed invasion despite little genetic differentiation. Evolutionary Applications, 16 (5). pp. 997-1011.

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Invasive species often possess a great capacity to adapt to novel environments in the form of spatial trait variation, as a result of varying selection regimes, genetic drift, or plasticity. We explored the geographic differentiation in several phenotypic traits related to plant growth, reproduction, and defense in the highly invasive Centaurea solstitialis by measuring neutral genetic differentiation (FST), and comparing it with phenotypic differentiation (PST), in a common garden experiment in individuals originating from regions representing the species distribution across five continents. Native plants were more fecund than non-native plants, but the latter displayed considerably larger seed mass. We found indication of divergent selection for these two reproductive traits but little overall genetic differentiation between native and non-native ranges. The native versus invasive PST–FST comparisons demonstrated that, in several invasive regions, seed mass had increased proportionally more than the genetic differentiation. Traits displayed different associations with climate variables in different regions. Both capitula numbers and seed mass were associated with winter temperature and precipitation and summer aridity in some regions. Overall, our study suggests that rapid evolution has accompanied invasive success of C. solstitialis and provides new insights into traits and their genetic bases that can contribute to fitness advantages in non-native populations.

Item ID: 78259
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-4571
Keywords: biogeography, divergent selection, invasive alien species, PST–FST comparison, reproductive strategy, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, yellow starthistle
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 25 May 2023 03:09
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310405 Evolutionary ecology @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410202 Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310509 Genomics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180602 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments @ 60%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 40%
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