Parallel patterns of clinal variation in Solidago altissima in its native range in central USA and its invasive range in Japan

Julie R Etterson, Daniel E. Delf, Timothy P Craig, Yoshino Ando, Takayuki Ohgushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability of exotic species to proliferate and expand their range may hinge critically upon their potential for adaptive evolution. The finding of parallel patterns of genetically based clinal variation in native and non-native ranges across similar environmental gradients supports the hypothesis that adaptive evolution has played a role in establishment and spread. In this common garden study, we compared patterns of phenotypic variation among 12 populations of Solidago altissima L. that were sampled across similar latitudes in the native range in central USA (25°N-43°N) and across its invasive range in Japan (26°N-43°N). Significant clinal variation in phenotype corresponding to latitude was found among US and Japanese populations for height, leaf number, leaf length, leaf width, stem diameter, and stomatal guard-cell size. Only the slope of leaf width differed significantly between the native and invasive range, and the slope was significantly steeper in Japan. These results indicate that patterns of selection across latitude are similar in these two countries. We suggest that populations of S. altissima have rapidly differentiated in response to the cline in selection in Japan, possibly by the sorting of lineages from multiple introductions, and this has contributed to their success as an exotic invader.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalBotany
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

Keywords

  • Cline
  • Genetic differentiation
  • Invasive species
  • Latitudinal variation

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