Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Invasive success and the evolution of enhanced weaponry

The success of invasive plants is often attributed to the production of chemicals that are highly inhibitory against naïve neighbours at the introduced range (‘novel weapons hypothesis’). However, invasive populations could not only possess such novel weapons, but might also evolve their enhanced production. We examine these two hypotheses with the invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera.

Our results provide support to the hypothesis that enhanced production of novel weapons might evolve at the invasive range and facilitate invasion success.

Currently, we study the effect of invasion history of Impatiens glandulifera within Europe on the evolution of allelopathy and herbivore resistance.

Main investigators: Michal Gruntman & Katja Tielbörger