Extreme differences in population structure and genetic diversity for three invasive congeners: knotweeds in western North America.

Gaskin, J.F., Schwarzländer, M., Grevstad, F., Haverhals, M.A., Bourchier, R.S., and Miller, T.W. (2014). "Extreme differences in population structure and genetic diversity for three invasive congeners: knotweeds in western North America.", Biological Invasions, 16(10), pp. 2127-2136. doi : 10.1007/s10530-014-0652-y  Access to full text

Abstract

Japanese, giant, and the hybrid Bohemian knotweeds (Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis and F. × bohemica) have invaded the western USA and Canada, as well as other regions of the world. The distribution of these taxa in western North America, and their mode of invasion, is relatively unresolved. Using amplified fragment length polymorphisms of 858 plants from 131 populations from British Columbia to California to South Dakota, we determined that Bohemian knotweed was the most common taxon (71 % of all plants). This result is in contrast to earlier reports of F. × bohemica being uncommon or non-existent in the USA, and also differs from the European invasion where it is rarer. Japanese knotweed was monotypic, while giant knotweed and Bohemian knotweed were genetically diverse. Our genetic data suggest that Japanese knotweed in western North America spreads exclusively by vegetative reproduction. Giant knotweed populations were mostly monotypic, with most containing distinct genotypes, suggesting local spread by vegetative propagules, whereas Bohemian knotweed spreads by both seed and vegetative propagules, over both long and short distances. The high relative abundance and genetic diversity of Bohemian knotweed make it a priority for control in North America.

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