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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INVASIVE PLANTS OF THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS

Location: Pest Management Research Unit

Title: Underutilized Resources for Studying the Evolution of Invasive Species During Their Introduction, Establishment, and Lag Phases

Authors
item Marsico, Travis -
item Burt, Jennifer -
item Espeland, Erin
item Gilchrist, George -
item Jamieson, Mary -
item Lindstrom, Leena -
item Roderick, George -
item Swope, Sarah -
item Szucs, Marianna -
item Tsutsui, Neil -

Submitted to: Evolutionary Applications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 17, 2009
Publication Date: January 27, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/44858
Citation: Marsico, T.D., Burt, J.W., Espeland, E.K., Gilchrist, G., Jamieson, M.A., Lindstrom, L., Roderick, G., Swope, S., Szucs, M., Tsutsui, N. 2010. Underutilized Resources for Studying the Evolution of Invasive Species During Their Introduction, Establishment, and Lag Phases. Evolutionary Applications. 3(2):203-219.

Interpretive Summary: Biological invasions such as the proliferation of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and the spread of cheatgrass altering fire regimes in the American West have severe environmental and costly economic implications. The early phases of biological invasions are poorly understood. In particular, we do not know if evolution is required for a species to become invasive. In this paper, we highlight three disparate data sources that may be mined for some answers to this question: biological control organisms, horticultural introductions, and natural history collections. Biocontrol organisms, like invasive species, are introduced to a new environment, and ideally thrive and spread to other similar environments. Horticultural species such as Tamarisk sometimes escape cultivation and infest wildlands. Natural history collections such as herbariums and museums house specimens collected over timespans as much as several hundred years. Some of these specimens are of species in the process of invading a new ecosystem. For all three data sources, we explore where the data are held, their quality, and their accessibility. We conclude that each of the three datasets currently have useful data on the role of evolution in invasion, particularly for certain systems and groups of organisms. We argue that these sources could find widespread use with a few additional pieces of data and public access to the collected information on centralized databases.

Technical Abstract: The early phases of biological invasions are poorly understood. In particular, it is not known if and/or how much evolutionary change must take place for an introduced species to transition from established to expanding. In this paper, we highlight three disparate data sources that may provide insights into evolutionary processes associated with invasion success: biological control organisms, horticultural introductions, and natural history collections. In particular, we focus on the how these datasets can improve our understanding of processes that operate during introduction, establishment, and the lag phases of invasion. For all three data sources, we explore where the data are held, their quality, and their accessibility. We conclude that each of the three datasets currently have the ability to provide important evolutionary insights into the early phases of invasion, particularly for certain systems and groups of organisms. We argue that these sources could find widespread use with a few additional pieces of data, such as voucher specimens collected at certain critical time points and public access to the collected information on centralized databases.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014