Browsing by Author "Le Roux, Johannes J."
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- ItemDisentangling the dynamics of invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis Poir. species complex) in the Hawaiian Islands(Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2010-07) Le Roux, Johannes J.; Wieczorek, Ania M.; Tran, Carol T.; Vorsino, Adam E.Studies investigating the genetic variation of invasive species render opportunities to better understand the dynamics of biological invasions from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. In this study, we investigate fine-scale population genetic structure of invasive Senecio madagascariensis (fireweed) using microsatellite markers to determine levels of genetic diversity and how it pertains to introduction history of this species within and among the Hawaiian Islands. Dispersal patterns were interpreted and, together with a habitat suitability analysis, we aim to describe the potential range expansion of S. madgascariensis within the islands. Bayesian and frequency-based analyses revealed genetic structure with two major genetic demes corresponding to the two fireweed-infested islands of Maui and Hawaii. Both these demes showed further genetic sub-structure, each consisting of three genetically distinct subgroups. Overall, fireweed showed significant levels of inbreeding. Major genetic demes (Maui and Hawaii) differed in observed heterozygosities, inbreeding and genetic structure, each harbouring a large proportion of private alleles. In contrast to the current understanding of fireweed's introduction history between the Hawaiian Islands, fine-scale population genetic parameters suggest that this species has been introduced at least twice, possibly even more, to the archipelago. Spatial analyses also revealed high correlation between genetic similarity and geographical proximity (>2 km apart) followed by a sharp decline. In addition, a single population was identified that likely resulted from a rare human- or animal-mediated extreme long-distance dispersal event from Maui to Hawaii. Bayesian and likelihood estimates of 'first generation migrants' also concurred that contemporary dispersal occurs more frequently over smaller spatial scales than larger scales. These findings indicate that spread in this species occurs primarily via a stratified strategy. Predictions from habitat suitability models indicate all Hawaiian Islands as highly suitable for fireweed invasion and the movement of propagules to currently uninfested islands and outlying suitable habitats should be avoided to circumvent further expansions of the invasion. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- ItemEcological disequilibrium drives insect pest and pathogen accumulation in non-native trees(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2017) Crous, Casparus J.; Burgess, Treena I.; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.; Slippers, Bernard; Wingfield, Michael J.Non-native trees have become dominant components of many landscapes, including urban ecosystems, commercial forestry plantations, fruit orchards and as invasives in natural ecosystems. Often, these trees have been separated from their natural enemies (i.e. insects and pathogens) leading to ecological disequilibrium, that is, the immediate breakdown of historically co-evolved interactions once introduced into novel environments. Long-established, non-native tree plantations provide useful experiments to explore the dimensions of such ecological disequilibria. We quantify the status quo of non-native insect pests and pathogens catching up with their tree hosts (planted Acacia, Eucalyptus and Pinus species) in South Africa, and examine which native South African enemy species utilize these trees as hosts. Interestingly, pines, with no confamilial relatives in South Africa and the longest residence time (almost two centuries), have acquired only one highly polyphagous native pathogen. This is in contrast to acacias and eucalypts, both with many native and confamilial relatives in South Africa that have acquired more native pathogens. These patterns support the known role of phylogenetic relatedness of non-native and native floras in influencing the likelihood of pathogen shifts between them. This relationship, however, does not seem to hold for native insects. Native insects appear far more likely to expand their feeding habits onto non-native tree hosts than are native pathogens, although they are generally less damaging. The ecological disequilibrium conditions of non-native trees are deeply rooted in the eco-evolutionary experience of the host plant, co-evolved natural enemies and native organisms from the introduced range. We should expect considerable spatial and temporal variation in ecological disequilibrium conditions among non-native taxa, which can be significantly influenced by biosecurity and management practices.
- ItemThe ecology, biogeography, history and future of two globally important weeds : Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. and C. grandiflorum Sw.(Pensoft, 2013-10-11) Gildenhuys, Enelge; Ellis, Allan G.; Carroll, Scott P.; Le Roux, Johannes J.Members of the balloon vine genus, Cardiospermum, have been extensively moved around the globe as medicinal and horticultural species, two of which are now widespread invasive species; Cardiospermum grandiflorum and Cardiospermum halicacabum. A third species, Cardiospermum corindum, may also have significant invasion potential. However, in some regions the native status of these species is not clear, hampering management. For example, in South Africa it is unknown whether Cardiospermum halicacabum and Cardiospermum corindum are native, and this is a major constraint to on-going biological control programmes against invasive Cardiospermum grandiflorum. We review the geography, biology and ecology of selected members of the genus with an emphasis on the two most widespread invaders, Cardiospermum halicacabum and Cardiospermum grandiflorum. Specifically, we use molecular data to reconstruct a phylogeny of the group in order to shed light on the native ranges of Cardiospermum halicacabum and Cardiospermum corindum in southern Africa. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that southern African accessions of these species are closely related to South American taxa indicating human-mediated introduction and/or natural long distance dispersal. Then, on a global scale we use species distribution modelling to predict potential suitable climate regions where these species are currently absent. Native range data were used to test the accuracy with which bioclimatic modelling can identify the known invasive ranges of these species. Results show that Cardiospermum species have potential to spread further in already invaded or introduced regions in Australia, Africa and Asia, underlining the importance of resolving taxonomic uncertainties for future management efforts. Bioclimatic modelling predicts Australia to have highly favourable environmental conditions for Cardiospermum corindum and therefore vigilance against this species should be high. Species distribution modelling showed that native range data over fit predicted suitable ranges, and that factors other than climate influence establishment potential. This review opens the door to better understand the global biogeography of the genus Cardiospermum, with direct implications for management, while also highlighting gaps in current research.
- ItemEmerging infectious diseases and biological invasions : a call for a One Health collaboration in science and management(Royal Society, 2019) Ogden, Nick H.; Wilson, John R. U.; Richardson, David M.; Hui, Cang; Davies, Sarah J.; Kumschick, Sabrina; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Measey, John; Saul, Wolf-Christian; Pulliam, Juliet R. C.The study and management of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and of biological invasions both address the ecology of human-associated biological phenomena in a rapidly changing world. However, the two fields work mostly in parallel rather than in concert. This review explores how the general phenomenon of an organism rapidly increasing in range or abundance is caused, highlights the similarities and differences between research on EIDs and invasions, and discusses shared management insights and approaches. EIDs can arise by: (i) crossing geographical barriers due to human-mediated dispersal, (ii) crossing compatibility barriers due to evolution, and (iii) lifting of environmental barriers due to environmental change. All these processes can be implicated in biological invasions, but only the first defines them. Research on EIDs is embedded within the One Health concept—the notion that human, animal and ecosystem health are interrelated and that holistic approaches encompassing all three components are needed to respond to threats to human well-being. We argue that for sustainable development, biological invasions should be explicitly considered within One Health. Management goals for the fields are the same, and direct collaborations between invasion scientists, disease ecologists and epidemiologists on modelling, risk assessment, monitoring and management would be mutually beneficial.
- ItemEven well-studied groups of alien species might be poorly inventoried : Australian Acacia species in South Africa as a case study(Pensoft Publishers, 2018-06-26) Magona, Nkoliso; Richardson, David M.; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Kritzinger-Klopper, Suzaan; Wilson, John R. U.; Hufbauer, R.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Understanding the status and extent of spread of alien plants is crucial for effective management. We explore this issue using Australian Acacia species (wattles) in South Africa (a global hotspot for wattle introductions and tree invasions). The last detailed inventory of wattles in South Africa was based on data collated forty years ago. This paper aimed to determine: 1) how many Australian Acacia species have been introduced to South Africa; 2) which species are still present; and 3) the status of naturalised taxa that might be viable targets for eradication. All herbaria in South Africa with specimens of introduced Australian Acacia species were visited and locality records were compared with records from literature sources, various databases, and expert knowledge. For taxa not already known to be widespread invaders, field surveys were conducted to determine whether plants are still present, and detailed surveys were undertaken of all naturalised populations. To confirm the putative identities of the naturalised taxa, we also sequenced one nuclear and one chloroplast gene. We found evidence that 141 Australian Acacia species have been introduced to South Africa (approximately double the estimate from previous work), but we could only confirm the current presence of 33 species. Fifteen wattle species are invasive (13 are in category E and two in category D2 in the Unified Framework for Biological Invasions); five have naturalised (C3); and 13 are present but there was no evidence that they had produced reproductive offspring (B2 or C1). DNA barcoding provided strong support for only 23 taxa (including two species not previously recorded from South Africa), the current name ascribed was not supported for three species and, for a further three species, there was no voucher specimen on GenBank against which their identity could be checked. Given the omissions and errors found during this systematic re-evaluation of historical records, it is clear that analyses of the type conducted here are crucial if the status of even well-studied groups of alien taxa is to be accurately determined.
- ItemEvidence of repeated and independent saltational evolution in a peculiar genus of sphinx moths (Proserpinus : Sphingidae)(Public Library of Science, 2008-12-24) Rubinoff, Daniel; Le Roux, Johannes J.Background: Saltational evolution in which a particular lineage undergoes relatively rapid, significant, and unparalleled change as compared with its closest relatives is rarely invoked as an alternative model to the dominant paradigm of gradualistic evolution. Identifying saltational events is an important first-step in assessing the importance of this discontinuous model in generating evolutionary novelty. We offer evidence for three independent instances of saltational evolution in a charismatic moth genus with only eight species. Methodology/Principal Findings: Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian search criteria offered congruent, well supported phylogenies based on 1,965 base pairs of DNA sequence using the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase subunit I, and the nuclear genes elongation factor-1 alpha and wingless. Using a comparative methods approach, we examined three taxa exhibiting novelty in the form of Batesian mimicry, host plant shift, and dramatic physiological differences in light of the phylogenetic data. All three traits appear to have evolved relatively rapidly and independently in three different species of Proserpinus. Each saltational species exhibits a markedly different and discrete example of discontinuous trait evolution while remaining canalized for other typical traits shared by the rest of the genus. All three saltational taxa show insignificantly different levels of overall genetic change as compared with their congeners, implying that their divergence is targeted to particular traits and not genome-wide. Conclusions/Significance: Such rapid evolution of novel traits in individual species suggests that the pace of evolution can be quick, dramatic, and isolated - even on the species level. These results may be applicable to other groups in which specific taxa have generated pronounced evolutionary novelty. Genetic mechanisms and methods for assessing such relatively rapid changes are postulated. © 2008 Rubinoff et al.
- ItemEvolutionary dynamics of tree invasions : complementing the unified framework for biological invasions(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2017) Zenni, Rafael D.; Dickie, Ian A.; Wingfield, Michael J.; Hirsch, Heidi; Crous, Casparus J.; Meyerson, Laura A.; Burgess, Treena I.; Zimmermann, Thalita G.; Klock, Metha M.; Siemann, Evan; Erfmeier, Alexandra; Aragon, Roxana; Montti, Lia; Le Roux, Johannes J.Evolutionary processes greatly impact the outcomes of biological invasions. An extensive body of research suggests that invasive populations often undergo phenotypic and ecological divergence from their native sources. Evolution also operates at different and distinct stages during the invasion process. Thus, it is important to incorporate evolutionary change into frameworks of biological invasions because it allows us to conceptualize how these processes may facilitate or hinder invasion success. Here, we review such processes, with an emphasis on tree invasions, and place them in the context of the unified framework for biological invasions. The processes and mechanisms described are pre-introduction evolutionary history, sampling effect, founder effect, genotype-by-environment interactions, admixture, hybridization, polyploidization, rapid evolution, epigenetics and second-genomes. For the last, we propose that co-evolved symbionts, both beneficial and harmful, which are closely physiologically associated with invasive species, contain critical genetic traits that affect the evolutionary dynamics of biological invasions. By understanding the mechanisms underlying invasion success, researchers will be better equipped to predict, understand and manage biological invasions.
- ItemGenetic analyses reveal complex introduction histories for the invasive tree Acacia dealbata Link around the world(2020) Hirsch, Heidi; Richardson, David M.; Pauchard, Anibal; Le Roux, Johannes J.Aim: To compare genetic diversity and structure between Acacia dealbata populations sampled across the species’ native range in Australia and from its non-native ranges in Chile, Madagascar, New Zealand, Portugal, La Réunion island, South Africa and the United States, and to investigate the most likely introduction scenarios to non-native ranges. Location: Global. Taxon: Acacia dealbata, Fabaceae. Methods: Our dataset comprised 1615 samples representing 92 populations sampled in the species’ native and non-native ranges. We employed a combination of genetic fingerprinting (microsatellite markers) and genetic modelling approaches. We calculated genetic diversity for each population and tested for genetic isolation by distance within each range. A combination of Bayesian assignment tests and multivariate ordination was applied to identify genetic structure among populations. Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) analyses were conducted to test different competing introduction scenarios for each non-native range. Results: The majority of the species’ non-native ranges was characterized by high genetic diversity and low levels of genetic structure. With regard to introduction histories, however, our results supported different introduction scenarios for different non-native ranges. We did not find strong support for any of tested introduction scenarios for populations in Chile and Madagascar, but these likely originated from multiple introductions followed by admixture. Populations in New Zealand and La Réunion most likely originated directly from Tasmania, possibly through multiple introductions. Similar to previous findings for South African populations, no clear introduction history could be identified for populations in Portugal and the United States. Main conclusions: Our study shows that global introductions of A. dealbata were complex and one scenario does not fit the invasion history of the species in different regions. We discuss how this complexity needs to be considered when formulating strategies for the effective management of the species. Future research needs to help bridge persisting knowledge gaps are discussed.
- ItemGenetic analysis shows low levels of hybridization between African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) and domestic cats (F. s. catus) in South Africa(John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2015) Le Roux, Johannes J.; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Herbst, Marna; MacFadyen, SandraHybridization between domestic and wild animals is a major concern for biodiversity conservation, and as habitats become increasingly fragmented, conserving biodiversity at all levels, including genetic, becomes increasingly important. Except for tropical forests and true deserts, African wildcats occur across the African continent; however, almost no work has been carried out to assess its genetic status and extent of hybridization with domestic cats. For example, in South Africa it has been argued that the long-term viability of maintaining pure wildcat populations lies in large protected areas only, isolated from human populations. Two of the largest protected areas in Africa, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier and Kruger National Parks, as well as the size of South Africa and range of landscape uses, provide a model situation to assess how habitat fragmentation and heterogeneity influences the genetic purity of African wildcats. Using population genetic and home range data, we examined the genetic purity of African wildcats and their suspected hybrids across South Africa, including areas within and outside of protected areas. Overall, we found African wildcat populations to be genetically relatively pure, but instances of hybridization and a significant relationship between the genetic distinctiveness (purity) of wildcats and human population pressure were evident. The genetically purest African wildcats were found in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, while samples from around Kruger National Park showed cause for concern, especially combined with the substantial human population density along the park's boundary. While African wildcat populations in South Africa generally appear to be genetically pure, with low levels of hybridization, our genetic data do suggest that protected areas may play an important role in maintaining genetic purity by reducing the likelihood of contact with domestic cats. We suggest that approaches such as corridors between protected areas are unlikely to remain effective for wildcat conservation, as the proximity to human settlements around these areas is projected to increase the wild/domestic animal interface. Thus, large, isolated protected areas will become increasingly important for wildcat conservation and efforts need to be made to prevent introduction of domestic cats into these areas.
- ItemThe global distribution of bamboos : assessing correlates of introduction and invasion(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2016-12-23) Canavan, Susan; Richardson, David M.; Visser, Vernon; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Vorontsova, Maria S.; Wilson, John R. U.There is a long history of species being moved around the world by humans. These introduced species can provide substantial benefits, but they can also have undesirable consequences. We explore the importance of human activities on the processes of species dissemination and potential invasions using the Poaceae subfamily Bambusoideae (‘bamboos’), a group that contains taxa that are widely utilised and that are often perceived as weedy. We (1) compiled an inventory of bamboo species and their current distributions; (2) determined which species have been introduced and become invasive outside their native ranges; and (3) explored correlates of introduction and invasion. Distribution data were collated from Kew’s GrassBase, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and other online herbarium information sources. Our list comprised 1662 species in 121 genera, of which 232 (14 %) have been introduced beyond their native ranges. Twelve (0.7 % of species) were found to be invasive. A non-random selection of bamboos have been introduced and become invasive. Asiatic species in particular have been widely introduced. There was a clear over-representation of introduced species in the genera Bambusa and Phyllostachys which also contain most of the listed invasive species. The introduction of species also correlated with certain traits: taxa with larger culm dimensions were significantly more likely to have been moved to new areas; and those with many cultivars had a higher rate of dissemination and invasion. It is difficult to determine whether the patterns of introduction and invasion are due simply to differences in propagule pressure, or whether humans have deliberately selected inherently invasive taxa. In general, we suggest that human usage is a stronger driver of introductions and invasions in bamboos than in other taxa that have been well studied. It is likely that as bamboos are used more widely, the number and impact of invasions will increase unless environmental risks are carefully managed.
- ItemHuman usage in the native range may determine future genetic structure of an invasion : insights from Acacia pycnantha(BioMed Central, 2013-10) Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.; Ndlovu, JoiceBackground: The influence of introduction history and post-introduction dynamics on genetic diversity and structure has been a major research focus in invasion biology. However, genetic diversity and structure in the invasive range can also be affected by human-mediated processes in the native range prior to species introductions, an aspect often neglected in invasion biology. Here we aim to trace the native provenance of the invasive tree Acacia pycnantha by comparing the genetic diversity and structure between populations in the native Australian range and the invasive range in South Africa. This approach also allowed us to explore how human actions altered genetic structure before and after the introduction of A. pycnantha into South Africa. We hypothesized that extensive movement and replanting in A. pycnantha’s Australian range prior to its introduction to South Africa might result in highly admixed genotypes in the introduced range, comparable genetic diversity in both ranges, and therefore preclude an accurate determination of native provenance(s) of invasive populations. Results: In the native range Bayesian assignment tests identified three genetic clusters with substantial admixture and could not clearly differentiate previously identified genetic entities, corroborating admixture as a result of replantings within Australia. Assignment tests that included invasive populations from South Africa indicated similar levels of admixture compared to Australian populations and a lack of genetic structure. Invasive populations of A. pycnantha in South Africa are as genetically diverse as native populations, and could not be assigned to particular native range regions. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the genetic structure of A. pycnantha in Australia has been greatly altered through various planting initiatives. Specifically, there is little geographic structure and high levels of admixture. While numerous introduction history scenarios may explain the levels of admixture observed in South Africa, planting records of A. pycnantha in Australia suggest that populations were probably already admixed before propagules were introduced to South Africa. These findings have important implications for the management of invasive A. pycnantha populations in South Africa, especially for classical biological control, and more broadly, for studies that aim to understand the evolutionary dynamics of the invasion process.
- ItemIncreasing functional modularity with residence time in the co-distribution of native and introduced vascular plants(Nature Publishing Group, 2013-09) Hui, Cang; Richardson, David M.; Pysek, Petr; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Kucera, Tomas; Jarosik, VojtechSpecies gain membership of regional assemblages by passing through multiple ecological and environmental filters. To capture the potential trajectory of structural changes in regional meta-communities driven by biological invasions, one can categorize species pools into assemblages of different residence times. Older assemblages, having passed through more environmental filters, should become more functionally ordered and structured. Here we calculate the level of compartmentalization (modularity) for three different-aged assemblages (neophytes, introduced after 1500 AD; archaeophytes, introduced before 1500 AD, and natives), including 2,054 species of vascular plants in 302 reserves in central Europe. Older assemblages are more compartmentalized than younger ones, with species composition, phylogenetic structure and habitat characteristics of the modules becoming increasingly distinctive. This sheds light on two mechanisms of how alien species are functionally incorporated into regional species pools: the settling-down hypothesis of diminishing stochasticity with residence time, and the niche-mosaic hypothesis of inlaid neutral modules in regional meta-communities.
- ItemIntroduction to the special issue : tree invasions : towards a better understanding of their complex evolutionary dynamics(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2017) Hirsch, Heidi; Richardson, David M.; Le Roux, Johannes J.Many invasive plants show evidence of trait-based evolutionary change, but these remain largely unexplored for invasive trees. The increasing number of invasive trees and their tremendous impacts worldwide, however, illustrates the urgent need to bridge this knowledge gap to apply efficient management. Consequently, an interdisciplinary workshop, held in 2015 at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa, brought together international researchers to discuss our understanding of evolutionary dynamics in invasive trees. The main outcome of this workshop is this Special Issue of AoB PLANTS. The collection of papers in this issue has helped to identify and assess the evolutionary mechanisms that are likely to influence tree invasions. It also facilitated expansion of the unified framework for biological invasions to incorporate key evolutionary processes. The papers cover a wide range of evolutionary mechanisms in tree genomes (adaptation), epigenomes (phenotypic plasticity) and their second genomes (mutualists), and show how such mechanisms can impact tree invasion processes and management. The special issue provides a comprehensive overview of the factors that promote and mitigate the invasive success of tree species in many parts of the world. It also shows that incorporating evolutionary concepts is crucial for understanding the complex drivers of tree invasions and has much potential to improve management. The contributions of the special issue also highlight many priorities for further work in the face of ever-increasing tree invasions; the complexity of this research needs calls for expanded interdisciplinary research collaborations.
- ItemThe invasive cactus Opuntia stricta creates fertility islands in African savannas and benefits from those created by native trees(2021-10-21) Novoa, Ana; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Keet, Jan‑Hendrik; Pysek, Petr; Le Roux, Johannes J.The patchy distribution of trees typical of savannas often results in a discontinuous distribution of water, nutrient resources, and microbial communities in soil, commonly referred to as “islands of fertility”. We assessed how this phenomenon may affect the establishment and impact of invasive plants, using the invasion of Opuntia stricta in South Africa’s Kruger National Park as case study. We established uninvaded and O. stricta-invaded plots under the most common woody tree species in the study area (Vachellia nilotica subsp. kraussiana and Spirostachys africana) and in open patches with no tree cover. We then compared soil characteristics, diversity and composition of the soil bacterial communities, and germination performance of O. stricta and native trees between soils collected in each of the established plots. We found that the presence of native trees and invasive O. stricta increases soil water content and nutrients, and the abundance and diversity of bacterial communities, and alters soil bacterial composition. Moreover, the percentage and speed of germination of O. stricta were higher in soils conditioned by native trees compared to soils collected from open patches. Finally, while S. africana and V. nilotica trees appear to germinate equally well in invaded and uninvaded soils, O. stricta had lower and slower germination in invaded soils, suggesting the potential release of phytochemicals by O. stricta to avoid intraspecific competition. These results suggest that the presence of any tree or shrub in savanna ecosystems, regardless of origin (i.e. native or alien), can create favourable conditions for the establishment and growth of other plants.
- ItemIs invasion success of Australian trees mediated by their native biogeography, phylogenetic history, or both?(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2017) Miller, Joseph T.; Hui, Cang; Thornhil, Andrew H.; Gallien, Laure; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.For a plant species to become invasive it has to progress along the introduction-naturalization-invasion (INI) continuum which reflects the joint direction of niche breadth. Identification of traits that correlate with and drive species invasiveness along the continuum is a major focus of invasion biology. If invasiveness is underlain by heritable traits, and if such traits are phylogenetically conserved, then we would expect non-native species with different introduction status (i.e. position along the INI continuum) to show phylogenetic signal. This study uses two clades that contain a large number of invasive tree species from the genera Acacia and Eucalyptus to test whether geographic distribution and a novel phylogenetic conservation method can predict which species have been introduced, became naturalized, and invasive. Our results suggest that no underlying phylogenetic signal underlies the introduction status for both groups of trees, except for introduced acacias. The more invasive acacia clade contains invasive species that have smoother geographic distributions and are more marginal in the phylogenetic network. The less invasive Eucalyptus group contains invasive species that are more clustered geographically, more centrally located in the phylogenetic network and have phylogenetic distances between invasive and non-invasive species that are trending toward the mean pairwise distance. This suggests that highly invasive groups may be identified because they have invasive species with smoother and faster expanding native distributions and are located closer to the edges of phylogenetic networks than less invasive groups.
- ItemManagement history determines gene flow in a prominent invader(Nordic Society Oikos, 2013) Vardien, Waafeka; Richardson, David M.; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Wilson, John R. U.; Le Roux, Johannes J.Invasive plants pose substantial threats to protected areas globally. Although management can limit impacts, spread and reinvasion from neighbouring areas into protected areas are a major and an ongoing problem for land managers. However, identifying the main sources of propagules and the dimensions of invasion pathways is challenging. Th is study used population genetic markers [inter simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs)] to infer the source(s) of re-colonization and dispersal patterns for a typical invader of riparian and terrestrial habitats (Lantana camara) along the Sabie-Sand catchment, one of the most important river systems flowing into and across South Africa ’ s flagship protected area, the Kruger National Park (KNP). Results indicate that populations located along the lower reaches of the Sabie and Sand tributaries harboured substantially higher genetic diversity than those in the upper Sabie catchment. Bayesian assignments indicated that the upper Sabie tributary contributed far fewer propagules than the Sand tributary to the lower Sabie River. Current invasion patterns are due to a combination of a major flood event in 2000 and differences in the degree to which the upstream reaches were managed after the flooding. The major flood of 2000 effectively cleared lantana from the riparian areas. However, whereas on-going management efforts against riparian species in the KNP have been effective, rendering the upper Sabie relatively clear of lantana, only a small part of the Sand tributary falls under jurisdiction of the KNP and has received consistent management attention. The reinvasion of the lower Sabie in the KNP was therefore almost entirely by propagules from the Sand tributary. The study highlights the important role that molecular tools can play in determining dispersal dynamics and directing invasive species management. For invasive plant species that invade both riparian habitats and landscapes away from rivers in protected areas, such as lantana, management must focus on all major sources of propagules to limit reinvasion.
- ItemThe more the better? the role of polyploidy in facilitating plant invasions(Oxford University Press, 2011-10-31) Te Beest, Mariska; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.; Brysting, Anne K.; Suda, Jan; Kubesova, Magdalena; Pysek, PetrBackground: Biological invasions are a major ecological and socio-economic problem in many parts of the world. Despite an explosion of research in recent decades, much remains to be understood about why some species become invasive whereas others do not. Recently, polyploidy (whole genome duplication) has been proposed as an important determinant of invasiveness in plants. Genome duplication has played a major role in plant evolution and can drastically alter a plant's genetic make-up, morphology, physiology and ecology within only one or a few generations. This may allow some polyploids to succeed in strongly fluctuating environments and/or effectively colonize new habitats and, thus, increase their potential to be invasive. Scope: We synthesize current knowledge on the importance of polyploidy for the invasion (i.e. spread) of introduced plants. We first aim to elucidate general mechanisms that are involved in the success of polyploid plants and translate this to that of plant invaders. Secondly, we provide an overview of ploidal levels in selected invasive alien plants and explain how ploidy might have contributed to their success. Conclusions: Polyploidy can be an important factor in species invasion success through a combination of (1) ‘pre-adaptation’, whereby polyploid lineages are predisposed to conditions in the new range and, therefore, have higher survival rates and fitness in the earliest establishment phase; and (2) the possibility for subsequent adaptation due to a larger genetic diversity that may assist the ‘evolution of invasiveness’. Alternatively, polyploidization may play an important role by (3) restoring sexual reproduction following hybridization or, conversely, (4) asexual reproduction in the absence of suitable mates. We, therefore, encourage invasion biologists to incorporate assessments of ploidy in their studies of invasive alien species.
- ItemSoil nutritional status and biogeography influence rhizosphere microbial communities associated with the invasive tree Acacia dealbata(Nature Research, 2017-07-26) Kamutando, Casper N.; Vikram, Surendra; Kamgan-Nkuekam, Gilbert; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Greve, Michelle; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.; Cowan, Don; Valverde, AngelInvasiveness and the impacts of introduced plants are known to be mediated by plant-microbe interactions. Yet, the microbial communities associated with invasive plants are generally poorly understood. Here we report on the first comprehensive investigation of the bacterial and fungal communities inhabiting the rhizosphere and the surrounding bulk soil of a widespread invasive tree, Acacia dealbata. Amplicon sequencing data indicated that rhizospheric microbial communities differed significantly in structure and composition from those of the bulk soil. Two bacterial (Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and two fungal (Pezizomycetes and Agaricomycetes) classes were enriched in the rhizosphere compared with bulk soils. Changes in nutritional status, possibly induced by A. dealbata, primarily shaped rhizosphere soil communities. Despite a high degree of geographic variability in the diversity and composition of microbial communities, invasive A. dealbata populations shared a core of bacterial and fungal taxa, some of which are known to be involved in N and P cycling, while others are regarded as plant pathogens. Shotgun metagenomic analysis also showed that several functional genes related to plant growth promotion were overrepresented in the rhizospheres of A. dealbata. Overall, results suggest that rhizosphere microbes may contribute to the widespread success of this invader in novel environments.
- ItemThe status of alien bamboos in South Africa(South African Association of Botanists, 2021) Canavan, Susan; Richardson, David M.; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Kelchner, Scot A.; Wilson, John R. U.The growing interest in commercial cultivation of bamboos (Poaceae subfamily Bambusoideae) has led to the introduction of new alien species into South Africa. The rate at which bamboos are being planted in South Africa is a cause for concern because of the impacts of bamboo invasions in other parts of the world. To understand the risks associated with new introductions and new plantings, we assess the outcomes of past introductions of bamboos into South Africa. To this end we: (1) produce an inventory of alien bamboo taxa; (2) assess the distribution of bamboos; (3) determine the rate of spread of bamboo at a site with a high density of naturalised stands; and (4) evaluate the current regulatory status of alien bamboos in South Africa. We used a combination of expert opinion, literature, historical records of populations, and public participation to produce a species list and locate populations of alien bamboos. We also attempted to confirm species identities using DNA barcoding. We found that 28 currently-accepted species of bamboo have been recorded in South Africa. However, we have little confidence in this estimate, as 20 of the species could not be confirmed or identified as present in the country. Bamboos are an inherently challenging group to identify using vegetative material, and DNA barcoding was inconclusive. The distribution of bamboos across the country varied with the type or lineage (e.g. herbaceous, tropical or temperate) and the source of information (e.g. herbarium records, in-field observation or public contribution). Although alien bamboos are naturalised at several sites, we found no large invasive stands nor evidence of widespread negative environmental impacts. Nonetheless, we recommend caution regarding future introductions of bamboos for commercial cultivation, as the nature of the plantings will likely differ from the historical situation in both the location, configuration, and the scale of cultivation, and as new species are likely to be introduced. We propose several changes to the current listing of bamboo taxa in national legislation pertaining to alien and invasive species.
- ItemThe structure of legume–rhizobium interaction networks and their response to tree invasions(Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company, 2016-06-02) Le Roux, Johannes J.; Mavengere, Natasha R.; Ellis, Allan G.Establishing mutualistic interactions in novel environments is important for the successful establishment of some non-native plant species. These associations may, in turn, impact native species interaction networks as non-natives become dominant in their new environments. Using phylogenetic and ecological interaction network approaches we provide the first report of the structure of belowground legume–rhizobium interaction networks and how they change along a gradient of invasion (uninvaded, semi invaded and heavily invaded sites) by Australian Acacia species in South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region. We found that native and invasive legumes interact with distinct rhizobial lineages, most likely due to phylogenetic uniqueness of native and invasive host plants. Moreover, legume–rhizobium interaction networks are not nested, but significantly modular with high levels of specialization possibly as a result of legume–rhizobium co-evolution. Although network topology remained constant across the invasion gradient, composition of bacterial communities associated with native legumes changed dramatically as acacias increasingly dominated the landscape. In stark contrast to aboveground interaction networks (e.g. pollination and seed dispersal) we show that invasive legumes do not infiltrate existing native legume–rhizobium networks but rather form novel modules. This absence of mutualist overlap between native and invasive legumes suggests the importance of co-invading rhizobium–acacia species complexes for Acacia invasion success, and argues against a ubiquitous role for the formation and evolutionary refinement of novel interactions.