Abstract Detail

The Botany of Invasions

Kooyers, Nicholas [1], Sutherland, Brittany [1], Barrett, Craig [2], Latvis, Maribeth [3], Sigel, Erin [4], McKain, Michael [5], Beck, James [6].

The Botany of Invasions.

Botanists have been at the helm of invasion biology since Linneaus’ protégé, Pehr Kalm, first began identifying naturalized European species across North America in the 17th century. As species introductions became recognized as important models for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes in the 1980s, plants have played a consequential role in understanding invasibility, inferring the population dynamics underlying invasions, and determining how consequences of invasion resonant across communities, food webs, and ecosystems. For example, observational and manipulative experiments have demonstrated the innate complexity associated with predicting invasiveness from species and community characteristics. In the past 15 years, botanists have played an outsized role in determining the evolutionary processes that underlie invasions. While early work assumed that invasions often stemmed from single introductions with limited admixture and selection, genetic analyses have revealed that introductions are often repeated, admixture is often frequent, and adaptation is common during the invasion process. ‘The Botany of Invasions’ symposium outlines key questions and current directions that botanists are pursuing in invasion biology. Fueled by the advent of genomics combined with citizen science and renewed focus on herbaria, botanists have begun to better characterize the introduction and population dynamics at the earliest stages of the invasion process. Genomics has permitted researchers to elucidate the genes that underlie important ecological variation in introduced regions. Traits such as increased phenotypic plasticity, self-compatibility, and polyploidy have long been associated with invasiveness, but only recently have empirical studies demonstrated the connections between these mechanisms and invasion success. Finally, the establishment of large databases that inventory native, introduced, and invasive species provide a backbone for extrapolating conclusions on the evolutionary process to broader biogeographic and phylogenetic scales. Combined, these new tools and synthesized data have the potential to address the most fundamental question in invasion biology: Why do some plants become invasive?

1 - Univerity Of Louisiana, Lafayette, Biology, 410 E. St. Mary Blvd. , Billeaud Hall, Rm 108, Lafayette, LA, 70503, United States
2 - West Virginia University
3 - South Dakota State University
4 - University of New Hampshire
5 - University of Alabama
6 - Wichita State University

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Abstract ID:5
Candidate for Awards:None

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