Invasive Spartina: lessons and challenges
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The grass genus Spartina provides one of the most exciting research topics in plant invasion and evolutionary ecology. It contains several species that have become highly successful invaders of intertidal mudflats and saltmarshes (Ainouche et al. 2009; Strong and Ayres 2013). The critical ecological role of several Spartina species as “ecosystem engineers” on coastal salt marshes, their remarkable history punctuated by natural or human-mediated introductions outside their native range, rapid expansion, and propensity to interspecific hybridization and polyploid speciation have long captured the attention of researchers and institutions involved in land management.
One of the most spectacular cases is illustrated by the hexaploid S. alterniflora, native to the North American Atlantic coast, and its repeated introductions over the last two centuries, southward (e.g. Brazil, Argentina, Bortolus et al. 2015; South-Africa, Adams et al. this issue), westward to the Pacific coast of...
KeywordsPacific Coast Invasive Population Successful Invader Spartina Species Physiological Leaf Trait
The Editor, staff and reviewers of Biological Invasions are thanked for their support in putting together the papers included in this Special Issue. The following institutions are acknowledged for their support to the Fourth International Conference on Invasive Spartina ICI-Spartina 2014 (Rennes, France): University of Rennes 1, UMR CNRS Ecobio, CNRS INEE, Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de Rennes, (OSUR), Conseil Regional de Bretagne, and Rennes Metropole. Speakers and participants of ICI-Spartina, including members of the San-Francisco Invasive Spartina Project are thanked for stimulating exchanges of ideas. V. Briand (UMR CNRS Ecobio) is thanked for helpful assistance.
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