When we set a species loose outside of its historical range, we create opportunities to test fundamental questions about how populations establish, adapt, disperse, and ultimately define range boundaries. A particularly controversial issue here is how genetic variation among and within populations contributes to the dynamics of species distributions. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Rosenthal and colleagues (2008) seize an opportunity to examine how multiple introductions create genetically distinct establishment events and how these are incorporated into invasive spread. Their findings suggest that a particular recombinant lineage of Brachypodium sylvaticum may be responsible for most of the recent expansion of this invader, highlighting the potential importance of genetic novelty and historical context for colonization success.
- Genetic bottlenecks
- Non-native species
- Range limits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics