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How Interactions between Ecology and Evolution Influence Contemporary Invasion Dynamics

John G. Lambrinos
Ecology
Vol. 85, No. 8 (Aug., 2004), pp. 2061-2070
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3450270
Page Count: 10
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How Interactions between Ecology and Evolution Influence Contemporary Invasion Dynamics
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Abstract

The literature on biological invasions has principally focused on understanding the ecological controls and consequences of invasions. Invading populations, however, often experience rapid evolutionary changes associated with or soon after their introduction. Ecological and evolutionary processes can, therefore, potentially interact over relatively short timescales. A number of recent studies have begun to document these interactions and their effect on short-term invasion dynamics: (1) The degree to which founder effects, drift, and inbreeding alter the genetic composition of introduced populations is mediated by migration and dispersal patterns, the population dynamics of founding populations, and life history. The genetic changes associated with founding can themselves feed back on population dynamics and life history. (2) Patterns of human-mediated dispersal and landscape change can influence the frequency and pattern of hybridization, which in turn can alter invasion dynamics. These altered invasion dynamics can influence the frequency and pattern of subsequent hybridization and introgression. (3) Strong selection can rapidly generate ecotypic specialization. Dispersal patterns, founder effects, genetic system, and life history influence the rate of local adaptation, its persistence, and its distribution in a landscape. (4) Introduced populations are subject to selection on life history traits and can serve as selective pressure on the life history traits of native populations. Life history evolution in both natives and aliens can influence ecological interactions and population dynamics, which in turn can influence the evolution of life history. Too few studies have investigated these interactions to definitively assess their overall generality or to determine how the relative interaction strength of ecology and evolution varies across taxa or ecosystems. However, the studies that do exist report interactions from a wide breadth of taxa and from all stages in the invasion process. This suggests that ecological-evolutionary interactions may have a more pervasive influence on contemporary invasion dynamics than previously appreciated, and that at least in some situations an explicit understanding of the contemporary co-influence of ecology and evolution can produce more effective and predictive control strategies.

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