New publication on evolutionary imbalance explaining global plant invasions

This new publication in Nature Ecology & Evolution, led by Trevor Fristoe and involving the GloNAF team, explores how the evolutionary imbalance hypothesis can be applied to explain differences in success of alien plant species from different regions of the world. The evolutionary imbalance hypothesis posits that differences in absolute fitness among biogeographic divisions determine outcomes when biotas mix. Trevor Fristoe and colleagues found that biogeographic conditions predicted to drive evolutionary imbalance act alongside climate and anthropogenic factors to shape flows of successful aliens among regional biotas. Successful aliens tend to originate from large, biodiverse regions, supporting abundant populations and where species evolve against a diverse backdrop of competitors and enemies. These same native distribution characteristics are shared among the plants that humans select for cultivation and economic use.

Check out the full publication here!

Fig. 1: Variation and drivers of global naturalization success among plant origins. (from Fristoe et al. (2024) Nat Eco & Evo