Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive

Date:
October 17, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
The ability of invasive plants to rapidly adapt to local climates -- and potentially to climate change -- may be a key factor in how quickly they spread.

Purple loosestrife in full bloom at the experimental plots at the University of Toronto’s Koffler Scientific Reserve.
Credit: Spencer Barret

The ability of invasive plants to rapidly adapt to local climates -- and potentially to climate change -- may be a key factor in how quickly they spread.

Related Articles


According to new research published in Science by University of British Columbia evolutionary ecologist Rob Colautti, rapid evolution has helped purple loosestrife to invade, and thrive in, northern Ontario.

"Factors such as escape from natural enemies including herbivores, predators, pathogens or parasites were thought to explain how species become invasive," says Colautti, an NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellow with the UBC Department of Botany, who started the research in 2007 as a PhD student at the University of Toronto. "The ability of invasive species to rapidly adapt to local climate has not generally been considered to be an important factor affecting spread.

"We found that the evolution of local adaptation to climate in purple loosestrife increased reproduction as much as or more than escaping natural enemies. Understanding that species can evolve rapidly to local climates is important for predicting how invasive species spread and how native and non-native species alike will respond to climate change."

To determine whether populations have evolved local adaptation, Colautti and University of Toronto professor Spencer Barrett collected seeds from three different climatic regions and grew them at three sites spanning the distribution of the species in eastern North America. They found that 'home' plants collected from latitudes most similar to each common garden location always had higher fitness than the 'away' plants.

They then measured Darwinian natural selection on flowering time and found differences in flowering times that have evolved over the past 50 years as the species moved northwards, following its initial introduction to the east coast of the USA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. I. Colautti, S. C. H. Barrett. Rapid Adaptation to Climate Facilitates Range Expansion of an Invasive Plant. Science, 2013; 342 (6156): 364 DOI: 10.1126/science.1242121

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017144626.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, October 17). Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017144626.htm
University of British Columbia. "Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017144626.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) A gorilla comes to the rescue of her sister who fell into a moat in Israel&apos;s Safari zoo. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Scientists discover a new species of giant amphibian that was one of the largest predators on earth about 220 million year ago. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rhino Goes on Deadly Rampage in Nepal

Rhino Goes on Deadly Rampage in Nepal

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) A rhino runs rampant down a bustling city street, killing one woman and injuring several others, before security personnel chase it back into the forest. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) Industrious 3D printed bionic ants working together could toil in the factories of the future, says German technology company Festo. The robotic insects cooperate and coordinate their actions and movements to achieve a common aim. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins