Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Comparative phylogeographic analysis of Cuscuta campestris and Cuscuta reflexa in Kenya: implications for management of highly invasive vines.

Abstract

Eastern Africa is currently infested with dodders-highly invasive vines that threaten agriculture and biodiversity. We describe historical and ecological factors that have potentially shaped dodder invasion in this region. Our results reveal high levels of genetic diversity within dodder populations, which could enhance their ability to colonize new niches. Further, we identify two main population clusters in eastern and western Kenya, a pattern that is mirrored in an established invader (Cuscuta campestris) and a recent introduction (C. reflexa). Immediate control strategies are needed to limit deliberate or inadvertent seed/vine dispersal, eradicate existing populations, and monitor influx of propagules.