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Trends Ecol Evol. 2004 Aug;19(8):417-22.

Evolution in invasive plants: implications for biological control.

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Département de Biologie, Unité Ecologie et Evolution, Université de Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.


Evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process of range expansion. Here, we argue that evolutionary change during invasions will also affect plant-antagonist interactions and, thus, will have important implications for biological control programmes targeted at invasive plants. We explore how altered selection in the new range might influence the evolution of plant defence (resistance and tolerance) and life history. The degree to which such evolutionary processes might affect biological control efficacy is largely unexplored. We hope that, by testing the hypotheses that we propose here, a closer link can be established between biological control and evolutionary biology, to the benefit of both disciplines.


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