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Population Genetics of an Invasive Riparian Species, Impatiens glandulifera

N. F. Walker, P. E. Hulme and A. R. Hoelzel
Plant Ecology
Vol. 203, No. 2 (Aug., 2009), pp. 243-252
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40305732
Page Count: 10
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Population Genetics of an Invasive Riparian Species, Impatiens glandulifera
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Abstract

We assess the population genetic structure of the invasive riparian weed Impatiens glandulifera, and where possible, determine whether natural or anthropogenic dispersal best explains the observed patterns. Results are compared with a similar contemporary analysis for Heracleum mantegazzianum undertaken in the same catchments, and we suggest that some of the observed differences in genetic structure could be because of life history differences between these species. Our results confirm the importance of at least occasional dispersal events mediated by human activity in the colonisation and subsequent spread of invasive plants in river catchments. However, processes related to river structure, dispersal range and genetic drift also appear to be structuring these populations over short temporal scales. The implication is that local populations can be established as small founders, and therefore eradication programs need to be thorough and undertaken at the catchment scale. Effective management needs to consider the natural spread of riparian species along rivers, but also prevent longdistance dispersal from sources outside the catchment.

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