Getman-Pickering et al. 2018

Getman-Pickering, Z., C. P. terHorst, S. Magnoli, and J. A. Lau. 2018. Evolution of
increased size during invasion does not result in increased competitive ability. Oecologia 188:
203-212. PDF

Abstract: Species invading new habitats experience novel selection pressures that can lead to rapid evolution, which may contribute to invasion success and/or increased impact on native community members. Many studies have hypothesized that plants in the introduced range will be larger than those in the native range, leading to increases in competitive ability. There is mixed support for evolution of larger sizes in the introduced range, but few studies have explicitly tested whether evolutionary changes
result in decreased competitive responses or increased competitive effects on other species in the community. Here, we show that introduced Medicago polymorpha genotypes produced 14% more aboveground and 41% more belowground biomass than genotypes from the native range, suggesting that evolutionary changes in size occurred after introduction. However, these size differences were only observed in the absence of competition. The competitive effects of introduced and native range genotypes on three species that commonly co-occur with Medicago in invaded regions were remarkably similar. These results suggest that evolutionary increases in size during biological invasions do not necessarily alter the competitive effects of the invader on other community members, but may increase invasion success in disturbed or low competition environments.
Keywords Competition · Contemporary evolution · EICA · Genetic variation · Invasion ecology · Invasive species

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