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Adaptability to local climate helps invasive species thrive
Date:10/19/2013

collected from northern latitudes had the highest fitness when grown at the northern site in Timmins, Ontario but the lowest fitness when grown at a southern site in northern Virginia relative to plants collected from southern latitudes.

The researchers then directly measured Darwinian natural selection on flowering time at each of the common garden sites. They found that early flowering was adaptive at the most northern site because early-flowering plants produced the most offspring while plants with delayed flowering began reproduction near the end of the growing season, when pollinators were scarce and flowers were prone to frost damage. But later flowering was favoured by natural selection at more southern sites because delayed reproduction allowed plants to grow larger and produce more seeds when the growing season is longer. The differences have evolved over the past 50 years as the species moved northwards, following its initial introduction to the east coast of the USA.


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Contact: Rob Colautti
rob.colautti@botany.ubc.ca
604-358-2254
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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