Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Rapid range expansion of a newly formed allopolyploid weed in the genus Salsola.

Abstract

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Newly formed species (neospecies) can experience a variety of demographic fates, ranging from rapid invasive expansion to rapid extinction. Here we investigate the fate of the neospecies Salsola ryanii 10 years after its initial discovery in the Central Valley of California, USA. This species is an allopolyploid derived via hybridization between the invasive species, S. australis and S. tragus. METHODS: We conducted a systematic collection of Salsola species from 53 sites in California. Species-specific intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to determine the species of each individual collected. The range of S. ryanii identified in this study was compared to the range in 2002 to determine how the range has shifted in the decade between surveys. KEY RESULTS: In this survey, we identified 15 sites where S. ryanii was present (28% of sites), a significant population number increase since 2002. CONCLUSIONS: Salsola ryanii has undergone a dramatic population number expansion in the decade since it was originally documented. We are not aware of any plant neospecies whose range spontaneously experienced such a dramatic expansion. Salsola ryanii has every indication of being just as invasive as its highly invasive parents.