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Population structure in the native range predicts the spread of introduced marine species

Population structure in the native range predicts the spread of introduced marine species

Proceedings. Biological Sciences 280(1760): 20130409

Forecasting invasion success remains a fundamental challenge in invasion biology. The effort to identify universal characteristics that predict which species become invasive has faltered in part because of the diversity of taxa and systems considered. Here, we use an alternative approach focused on the spread stage of invasions. FST, a measure of alternative fixation of alleles, is a common proxy for realized dispersal among natural populations, summarizing the combined influences of life history, behaviour, habitat requirements, population size, history and ecology. We test the hypothesis that population structure in the native range (FST) is negatively correlated with the geographical extent of spread of marine species in an introduced range. An analysis of the available data (29 species, nine phyla) revealed a significant negative correlation (R(2) = 0.245-0.464) between FST and the extent of spread of non-native species. Mode FST among pairwise comparisons between populations in the native range demonstrated the highest predictive power (R(2) = 0.464, p < 0.001). There was significant improvement when marker type was considered, with mtDNA datasets providing the strongest relationship (n = 21, R(2) = 0.333-0.516). This study shows that FST can be used to make qualitative predictions concerning the geographical extent to which a non-native marine species will spread once established in a new area.

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Accession: 037456637

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PMID: 23595272

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0409

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