Once an invader, always an invader?

How does the long-term history of species relate their current invasiveness? This study tries to answer that question by examining closely the genus Pinus, as it is one of the best-studied invasive clades.

How does the long-term history of species relate their current invasiveness? This study tries to answer that question by examining closely the genus Pinus, as it is one of the best-studied invasive clades. The researchers initially construct a new phylogeny of the whole genus, and use Pine distribution data based among others on GBIF mediated occurrences, to create a biogeographic history of all the Pinus species. The researchers find that invasive pines belong to lineages that had a tendency to colonize more regions in the past than non-invasive pines. The colonization history and thus invasiveness is, however, not correlated with any specific morphological trait. In fact, the researchers found no evidence that invaders had higher tolerance to e.g. extreme climates than non-invaders. However, they do show that lineages that moved most across biogeographical regions had faster rates of niche evolution.

Citations

Gallien, L., Saladin, B., Boucher, F. C., Richardson, D. M., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2016). Does the legacy of historical biogeography shape current invasiveness in pines? The New Phytologist, 209(3), 1096–1105. doi:10.1111/nph.13700

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