Rapid and repeated local adaptation to climate in an invasive plant

Lotte A van Boheemen, Daniel Z. Atwater, Kathryn A. Hodgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Biological invasions provide opportunities to study evolutionary processes occurring over contemporary timescales. To explore the speed and repeatability of adaptation, we examined the divergence of life-history traits to climate, using latitude as a proxy, in the native North American and introduced European and Australian ranges of the annual plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia. We explored niche changes following introductions using climate niche dynamic models. In a common garden, we examined trait divergence by growing seeds collected across three ranges with highly distinct demographic histories. Heterozygosity–fitness associations were used to explore the effect of invasion history on potential success. We accounted for nonadaptive population differentiation using 11 598 single nucleotide polymorphisms. We revealed a centroid shift to warmer, wetter climates in the introduced ranges. We identified repeated latitudinal divergence in life-history traits, with European and Australian populations positioned at either end of the native clines. Our data indicate rapid and repeated adaptation to local climates despite the recent introductions and a bottleneck limiting genetic variation in Australia. Centroid shifts in the introduced ranges suggest adaptation to more productive environments, potentially contributing to trait divergence between the ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-627
Number of pages14
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • climate adaptation
  • climate niche dynamics
  • heterozygosity–fitness correlations
  • invasion
  • latitudinal clines
  • local adaptation
  • trait evolution

Cite this