Genetica

, Volume 129, Issue 2, pp 127–132 | Cite as

All stressed out and nowhere to go: does evolvability limit adaptation in invasive species?

An introduction to the symposium at the SSE/ASN/SSB meeting, June 2004
Original Paper

Abstract

Introduced and invasive species are major threats native species and communities and, quite naturally, most scientists and managers think of them in terms of ecological problems. However, species introductions are also experiments in evolution, both for the alien species and for the community that they colonize. We focus here on the introduced species because these offer opportunities to study the properties that allow a species to succeed in a novel habitat and the constraints that limit range expansion. Moreover, an increasing body of evidence from diverse taxa suggests that the introduced species often undergo rapid and observable evolutionary change in their new habitat. Evolution requires genetic variation, which may be decreased or expanded during an invasion, and an evolutionary mechanism such as genetic drift or natural selection. In this volume, we seek to understand how natural selection produces adaptive evolution during invasions. Key questions include what is the role of biotic and abiotic stress in driving adaptation, and what is the source of genetic variation in introduced populations.

Keywords

Adaptation Biological invasion Genetic variation Phenotypic plasticity Evolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyCollege of William & MaryWilliamsburgUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin Institute of Rapid Evolution, Department of ZoologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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