Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 2743–2754 | Cite as

Standing variation boosted by multiple sources of introduction contributes to the success of the introduced species, Lotus corniculatus

  • M. MimuraEmail author
  • K. Ono
  • K. Goka
  • T. Hara
Original Paper


Although ecological differences between native and introduced ranges have been considered to drive rapid expansion of invasive species, recent studies suggest that rapid evolutionary responses of invasive species to local environments may also be common. Such expansion across heterogeneous environments by adaptation to local habitats requires genetic variation. In this study, we investigated the source and role of standing variation in successful invasion of heterogeneous abiotic environments in a self-incompatible species, Lotus corniculatus. We compared phenotypic and genetic variation among cultivars, natives, and introduced genotypes, and found substantial genetic variation within both native and introduced populations. Introduced populations possessed genotypes derived from both cultivars and native populations, and had lower population differentiation, indicating multiple sources of introduction and population admixture among the sources in the introduced range. Both cultivars and introduced populations had similarly outperforming phenotypes on average, with increased biomass and earlier flowering compared with native populations, but those phenotypes were within the range of the variation in phenotypes of the native populations. In addition, clinal variation within introduced populations was detected along a climatic gradient. Multiple introductions from different sources, including cultivars, may have contributed to pre-adaptive standing variation in the current introduced populations. We conclude that both introduction of cultivar genotypes and natural selection in local environments contributed to current patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation observed in the introduced populations.


Invasion Cultivar Adaptation Common garden experiment Genetic diversity Standing variation 



We thank N. Kaneko and K. Hiratsuka for their useful suggestions and access to facilities during our experiments, and R. Kitagawa, A. Ohta, and K. Miura for technical assistance. We are also grateful to GRIN-USDA and Unzen-Amakusa National Parks of Japan for their kind understanding and cooperation for making seed collections possible. This research was supported by the GCOE program for ecological risk management at Yokohama National University and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Supplementary material

10530_2013_488_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1294 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Environmental Biology Division, Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem StudiesNational Institute of Environmental SciencesTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Department of BioresourcesTamagawa UniversityMachidaJapan

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