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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rapid evolution of morphology and adaptive life history in the invasive California wild radish (Raphanus sativus) and the implications for management.

  • Author(s): Ridley, Caroline E
  • Ellstrand, Norman C
  • et al.

Understanding the evolution and demography of invasive populations may be key for successful management. In this study, we test whether or not populations of the non-native, hybrid-derived California wild radish have regionally adapted to divergent climates over their 150-year history in California and determine if population demographic dynamics might warrant different region-specific strategies for control. Using a reciprocal transplant approach, we found evidence for genetically based differences both between and among northern, coastal and southern, inland populations of wild radish. Individual fitness was analyzed using a relatively new statistical method called 'aster modeling' which integrates temporally sequential fitness measurements. In their respective home environments, fitness differences strongly favored southern populations and only slightly favored northern populations. Demographic rates of transition and sensitivities also differed between regions of origin, suggesting that the most effective approach for reducing overall population growth rate would be to target different life-history stages in each region.

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