The invasion of Senecio pterophorus across continents: multiple, independent introductions, admixture and hybridization

Roser Vilatersana, María Sanz, Almudena Galian, Eva Castells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Senecio pterophorus (Compositae) is a perennial shrub native to eastern South Africa that was introduced into the Western Cape in South Africa and Australia approximately 100 years ago and into Europe (Italy and Spain) more than 25–30 years ago. In this study, the aims were to unravel the putative sources of the introduced populations and identify the changes in genetic diversity after invasion using molecular markers and phylogeographic and population genetic analyses. We sampled the entire area of distribution for S. pterophorus extensively. Based on the results, three lineages were established along a latitudinal and climatic gradient in the native range (south, central, central/north) with high levels of admixture. Multiple, independent introductions occurred in the four invaded ranges. The central/northern lineage (humid climate) was the primary source for all of the invaded regions (with drier climates), although a secondary role was revealed for the southern lineage in the Western Cape and the central/northern lineage in Australia and Spain. The genetic diversity was slightly lower in the Spanish and Australian populations than that in the native populations. A variety of demographic and genetic processes affected the amount and structure of genetic diversity in the invaded areas, including multiple introductions and admixture (Western Cape, Australia and Spain) as well as pre-invasive hybridization (Italy). The patterns of dispersion support a hypothesis of rapid evolution of S. pterophorus after invasion in response to novel climatic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2045-2065
JournalBiological Invasions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • AFLP markers
  • Admixture
  • Genetic diversity
  • Genetic structure
  • Hybridization
  • Invasion routes


Dive into the research topics of 'The invasion of Senecio pterophorus across continents: multiple, independent introductions, admixture and hybridization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this