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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY AND ECOLOGICALLY BASED KNOWLEDGE FOR INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Title: Evolutionary Limits Ameliorate the Negative Impact of an Invasive Plant

Authors
item Lankau, Richard - IL NATURAL HISTORY SURVEY
item Nuzzo, Victoria - NATURAL AREA CONSULTANTS
item Spyreas, Greg - IL NATURAL HISTORY SURVEY
item Davis, Adam

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2009
Publication Date: September 8, 2009
Citation: Lankau, R., Nuzzo, V., Spyreas, G., Davis, A.S. 2009. Evolutionary Limits Ameliorate the Negative Impact of an Invasive Plant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106:15362-15367.

Interpretive Summary: Invasive species often evolve rapidly following introduction to new habitats, but little is known about how continuous evolutionary changes over longer time scales affect invaders' spread and impact. Here we document a marked decline in the production of phytotoxins in a 50+ year chronosequence of aggressively invading populations of Alliaria petiolata. Lower toxicity translated into reduced impacts on native species, and is consistent with simultaneous changes in A. petiolata and native species abundance across a separate chronosequence in Illinois, U.S. The impact of these results is to provide land managers with the basis for tailoring restoration practices to specific sites, based on long-term invasion history.

Technical Abstract: Invasive species often evolve rapidly following introduction to new habitats, but little is known about how continuous evolutionary changes over longer time scales affect invaders' spread and impact. Here we document a marked decline in the production of phytotoxins in a 50+ year chronosequence of aggressively invading populations of Alliaria petiolata. Lower toxicity translated into reduced impacts on native species, and is consistent with simultaneous changes in A. petiolata and native species abundance across a separate chronosequence in Illinois, U.S. These results highlight the need to study long-term dynamics of species invasions as well as immediate impacts.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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