Long-distance dispersal maximizes evolutionary potential during rapid geographic range expansion

Berthouly-Salazar, Cécile, Hui, Cang, Blackburn, Tim M., Gaboriaud, Coline, van Rensburg, Berndt J., van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen and Le Roux, Johannes J. (2013) Long-distance dispersal maximizes evolutionary potential during rapid geographic range expansion. Molecular Ecology, 22 23: 5793-5804. doi:10.1111/mec.12538

Author Berthouly-Salazar, Cécile
Hui, Cang
Blackburn, Tim M.
Gaboriaud, Coline
van Rensburg, Berndt J.
van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen
Le Roux, Johannes J.
Title Long-distance dispersal maximizes evolutionary potential during rapid geographic range expansion
Journal name Molecular Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-1083
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/mec.12538
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 22
Issue 23
Start page 5793
End page 5804
Total pages 12
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Conventional wisdom predicts that sequential founder events will cause genetic diversity to erode in species with expanding geographic ranges, limiting evolutionary potential at the range margin. Here, we show that invasive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in South Africa preserve genetic diversity during range expansion, possibly as a result of frequent long-distance dispersal events. We further show that unfavourable environmental conditions trigger enhanced dispersal, as indicated by signatures of selection detected across the expanding range. This brings genetic variation to the expansion front, counterbalancing the cumulative effects of sequential founding events and optimizing standing genetic diversity and thus evolutionary potential at range margins during spread. Therefore, dispersal strategies should be highlighted as key determinants of the ecological and evolutionary performances of species in novel environments and in response to global environmental change.
Keyword Genetic diversity
Long-distance dispersal
Range expansion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 8492-11
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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