The Biology of Invasions: The Genetic Adaptation Paradox
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- Pérez, J.E., Nirchio, M., Alfonsi, C. et al. Biol Invasions (2006) 8: 1115. doi:10.1007/s10530-005-8281-0
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One of the most relevant topics in the biology of invasion concerns the genetic changes that occur subsequent to a species invasion, an issue of particular focus among conservation biologists. Colonizing a novel environment presents a genetic challenge to invading species because such species surely have not experienced the selective pressures presented by the environment. Here we ask, by what mechanisms and processes do alien species genetically naïve to their new environment, become successful invaders? We attempt to resolve this paradox by considering the interplay between an invader’s ability to modify its new environment, and genetic modifications imposed by the new environment. We postulate that epigenetic adaptations, and adaptive mutations are likely play a role in enhancing invasion success.