Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Geographic variations in phenotypic traits of the exotic herb Solidago altissima and abundance of recent established exotic herbivorous insects.

Abstract

Many invasive plants increase aggressiveness after introduction. Since evolutionary forces such as herbivore pressure may change over different time scales, understanding the changes in biotic interactions in invasive plants through time can clarify the mechanism of their evolution in aggressiveness. In this study, we examined the geographic variation in phenotypic traits of Solidago altissima and the abundance of two exotic herbivorous insect species (the aphid, Uroleucon nigrotuberculatum and the lacebug, Corythucha marmorata), which are recently expanding their habitat on S. altissima populations over Japan. The two exotic insects were present at high density on S. altissima throughout their range. No differences in growth traits (plant height and number of leaves) were found among populations, and all plants examined appear to be exclusively hexaploid. Future studies on population genetics and common garden experiments are necessary to evaluate the potential evolutionary dynamics of the S. altissima after introduction.