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      The invasive South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta, continues to spread in Afro-Eurasia and beyond: the new threat to tomato world production

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          Invasion and the evolution of speed in toads.

          Cane toads (Bufo marinus) are large anurans (weighing up to 2 kg) that were introduced to Australia 70 years ago to control insect pests in sugar-cane fields. But the result has been disastrous because the toads are toxic and highly invasive. Here we show that the annual rate of progress of the toad invasion front has increased about fivefold since the toads first arrived; we find that toads with longer legs can not only move faster and are the first to arrive in new areas, but also that those at the front have longer legs than toads in older (long-established) populations. The disaster looks set to turn into an ecological nightmare because of the negative effects invasive species can have on native ecosystems; over many generations, rates of invasion will be accelerated owing to rapid adaptive change in the invader, with continual 'spatial selection' at the expanding front favouring traits that increase the toads' dispersal.
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            Reconstructing routes of invasion using genetic data: why, how and so what?

            Detailed knowledge about the geographical pathways followed by propagules from their source to the invading populations--referred to here as routes of invasion-provides information about the history of the invasion process and the origin and genetic composition of the invading populations. The reconstruction of invasion routes is required for defining and testing different hypotheses concerning the environmental and evolutionary factors responsible for biological invasions. In practical terms, it facilitates the design of strategies for controlling or preventing invasions. Most of our knowledge about the introduction routes of invasive species is derived from historical and observational data, which are often sparse, incomplete and, sometimes, misleading. In this context, population genetics has proved a useful approach for reconstructing routes of introduction, highlighting the complexity and the often counterintuitive nature of the true story. This approach has proved particularly useful since the recent development of new model-based methods, such as approximate Bayesian computation, making it possible to make quantitative inferences in the complex evolutionary scenarios typically encountered in invasive species. In this review, we summarize some of the fundamental aspects of routes of invasion, explain why the reconstruction of these routes is useful for addressing both practical and theoretical questions, and comment on the various reconstruction methods available. Finally, we consider the main insights obtained to date from studies of invasion routes. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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              An evolutionary process that assembles phenotypes through space rather than through time.

              In classical evolutionary theory, traits evolve because they facilitate organismal survival and/or reproduction. We discuss a different type of evolutionary mechanism that relies upon differential dispersal. Traits that enhance rates of dispersal inevitably accumulate at expanding range edges, and assortative mating between fast-dispersing individuals at the invasion front results in an evolutionary increase in dispersal rates in successive generations. This cumulative process (which we dub "spatial sorting") generates novel phenotypes that are adept at rapid dispersal, irrespective of how the underlying genes affect an organism's survival or its reproductive success. Although the concept is not original with us, its revolutionary implications for evolutionary theory have been overlooked. A range of biological phenomena (e.g., acceleration of invasion fronts, insular flightlessness, preadaptation) may have evolved via spatial sorting as well as (or rather than) by natural selection, and this evolutionary mechanism warrants further study.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Pest Science
                J Pest Sci
                Springer Nature
                1612-4758
                1612-4766
                December 2011
                November 2011
                : 84
                : 4
                : 403-408
                Article
                10.1007/s10340-011-0398-6
                44c545dc-76ab-4985-a624-a611721606ae
                © 2011
                History

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