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      Phragmites australis as a model organism for studying plant invasions

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      Biological Invasions

      Springer Nature

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          Cryptic invasion by a non-native genotype of the common reed, Phragmites australis, into North America.

          Cryptic invasions are a largely unrecognized type of biological invasion that lead to underestimation of the total numbers and impacts of invaders because of the difficulty in detecting them. The distribution and abundance of Phragmites australis in North America has increased dramatically over the past 150 years. This research tests the hypothesis that a non-native strain of Phragmites is responsible for the observed spread. Two noncoding chloroplast DNA regions were sequenced for samples collected worldwide, throughout the range of Phragmites. Modern North American populations were compared with historical ones from herbarium collections. Results indicate that an introduction has occurred, and the introduced type has displaced native types as well as expanded to regions previously not known to have Phragmites. Native types apparently have disappeared from New England and, while still present, may be threatened in other parts of North America.
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            Adaptive evolution in invasive species.

            Many emerging invasive species display evidence of rapid adaptation. Contemporary genetic studies demonstrate that adaptation to novel environments can occur within 20 generations or less, indicating that evolutionary processes can influence invasiveness. However, the source of genetic or epigenetic variation underlying these changes remains uncharacterised. Here, we review the potential for rapid adaptation from standing genetic variation and from new mutations, and examine four types of evolutionary change that might promote or constrain rapid adaptation during the invasion process. Understanding the source of variation that contributes to adaptive evolution in invasive plants is important for predicting future invasion scenarios, identifying candidate genes involved in invasiveness, and, more generally, for understanding how populations can evolve rapidly in response to novel and changing environments.
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              The Ecological Consequences of Shared Natural Enemies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biological Invasions
                Biol Invasions
                Springer Nature
                1387-3547
                1573-1464
                September 2016
                April 2016
                : 18
                : 9
                : 2421-2431
                Article
                10.1007/s10530-016-1132-3
                © 2016

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