Evolution of marginal populations of an invasive vine increases the likelihood of future spread.
The prediction of invasion patterns may require an understanding of intraspecific differentiation in invasive species and its interaction with climate change. We compare Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) plants from the core (100-150 yr old) and northern margin (<65 yr old) of their North American invaded range to determine whether evolution during invasion increases the probability of future expansion. Plants from populations in the core and margin were compared in two sites beyond the northern range edge to assess their potential to invade novel areas. Data were compared with previous work to assess the effect of latitudinal climate on L. japonica spread. Winter survival in current climates was modeled and projected for future climates to predict future spread. Margin plants were larger and had 60% greater survival than core plants at sites beyond the northern range edge. Overall, winter survival decreased with increasing latitude and decreasing temperature, and was greater in margin plants than core plants. Models suggested that greater winter tolerance in margin populations has increased L. japonica's northward spread by 76 km, and that this survival advantage will persist under future climates. These results demonstrate that evolution during invasion may increase spread beyond predictions using increasing global temperatures alone.