||Multiple common garden experiments suggest lack of local adaptation in an invasive ornamental plant. |
||Ebeling SK, Stöcklin J, Hensen I, Auge H|
||Journal of Plant Ecology, in press|
Aims: Adaptive evolution along geographic gradients of climatic conditions is suggested to facilitate the spread of invasive plant species, leading to clinal variation among populations in the introduced range. We investigated whether adaptation to climate is also involved in the invasive spread of an ornamental shrub, Buddleja davidii, across western and central Europe.|
Material and Methods: We combined a common garden experiment, replicated in three climatically different central European regions, with reciprocal transplantation to quantify genetic differentiation in growth and reproductive traits of 20 invasive B. davidii populations. Additionally, we compared compensatory regrowth among populations after clipping of stems to simulate mechanical damage.
Important findings: Our results do not provide evidence for clinal variation among invasive B. davidii populations: populations responded similarly to the different environments, and trait values were not correlated to climatic conditions or geographic coordinates of their home sites. Moreover, we did not detect differences in the compensatory ability of populations. We suppose that the invasive spread of B. davidii has been facilitated by phenotypic plasticity rather than by adaptation to climate, and that continent-wide shuffling of cultivars due to horticultural trade may have limited local adaptation so far.
||Jürg Stöcklin: email | webpage|