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      The Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey (GGMFS): challenges and opportunities of a unique, large-scale collaboration for invasion biology

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            Introduced species and their missing parasites.

            Damage caused by introduced species results from the high population densities and large body sizes that they attain in their new location. Escape from the effects of natural enemies is a frequent explanation given for the success of introduced species. Because some parasites can reduce host density and decrease body size, an invader that leaves parasites behind and encounters few new parasites can experience a demographic release and become a pest. To test whether introduced species are less parasitized, we have compared the parasites of exotic species in their native and introduced ranges, using 26 host species of molluscs, crustaceans, fishes, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Here we report that the number of parasite species found in native populations is twice that found in exotic populations. In addition, introduced populations are less heavily parasitized (in terms of percentage infected) than are native populations. Reduced parasitization of introduced species has several causes, including reduced probability of the introduction of parasites with exotic species (or early extinction after host establishment), absence of other required hosts in the new location, and the host-specific limitations of native parasites adapting to new hosts.
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              Phenotypic and genetic differentiation between native and introduced plant populations.

              Plant invasions often involve rapid evolutionary change. Founder effects, hybridization, and adaptation to novel environments cause genetic differentiation between native and introduced populations and may contribute to the success of invaders. An influential idea in this context has been the Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis. It proposes that after enemy release plants rapidly evolve to be less defended but more competitive, thereby increasing plant vigour in introduced populations. To detect evolutionary change in invaders, comparative studies of native versus introduced populations are needed. Here, we review the current empirical evidence from: (1) comparisons of phenotypic variation in natural populations; (2) comparisons of molecular variation with neutral genetic markers; (3) comparisons of quantitative genetic variation in a common environment; and (4) comparisons of phenotypic plasticity across different environments. Field data suggest that increased vigour and reduced herbivory are common in introduced plant populations. In molecular studies, the genetic diversity of introduced populations was not consistently different from that of native populations. Multiple introductions of invasive plants appear to be the rule rather than the exception. In tests of the EICA hypothesis in a common environment, several found increased growth or decreased resistance in introduced populations. However, few provided a full test of the EICA hypothesis by addressing growth and defence in the same species. Overall, there is reasonable empirical evidence to suggest that genetic differentiation through rapid evolutionary change is important in plant invasions. We discuss conceptual and methodological issues associated with cross-continental comparisons and make recommendations for future research. When testing for EICA, greater emphasis should be put on competitive ability and plant tolerance. Moreover, it is important to address evolutionary change in characteristics other than defence and growth that could play a role in plant invasions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                April 17 2014
                April 17 2014
                : 21
                :
                : 29-47
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.21.5242
                © 2014
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