Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Darwin was wrong about ANYTHING? Oh wait, only about thistles.


The local tax funded cult, it turns out, is safe.

Why Close Relatives Make Bad Neighbors

Abstract The number of exotic plant species that have been introducedinto the United States far exceeds that of other groups of organisms, and many of these have become invasive. As in many regions of the globe, invasive members of the thistle tribe, Cardueae, are highly problematic in the California Floristic Province, an established biodiversity
hotspot. While Darwin’s Naturalization Hypothesis posits that plantinvaders closely related to native species would be at a disadvantage, evidence has been found that introduced thistles more closely related to native species are more likely to become invasive. In order to elucidate
the mechanisms behind this pattern, we modeled the ecological niches of thistle species present in the Province and compared niche similarity between taxa and their evolutionary relatedness, using fossil calibrated molecular phylogenies of the tribe. The predicted niches of invasive
species were found to have higher degrees of overlap with native species than non-invasive introduced species do, and pairwise niche distance was significantly correlated with phylogenetic distance, suggesting phylogenetic niche conservatism. Invasive thistles also displayed superior dispersal capabilities compared to non- invasive introduced species, and these capabilities exhibited a phylogenetic signal. By analyzing the modeled ecological niches and dispersal capabilities of over a hundred thistle species, we demonstrate that exapted preferences to the invaded environment may explain why close exotic relatives may make bad neighbors in the thistle tribe.

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This sort of study needs a control example. How well do the local versions of Thistle grow when they are transplanted out where these invasive species are from? SteveGoss
Um, OK, so species that wind up getting labeled as "invasive" turn out to be more "invasive" than species that do NOT get labeled as "invasive". And this advances knowledge and understanding HOW? Is there some chance that the researchers are suggesting that each species of plant in the US get evaluated for its "dispersal ability" and that these rankings should be compared with similar rankings of foreign species (probably including East Coast Plants vs West Coast plants) all around the world? I believe that US Customs Service and US Dept of Ag already have general prohibitions on bringing icky foreign plants and animals into the US. I'm guessing that the California Dept of Ag has even stricter restrictions. So some people SMUGGLED plants into California, and, I'm guessing, although 85% of the foreign junk DIED, a few turned out to like California even better than the "native" stuff. Which of course might only have been "native" for the past 1,000 years or so. My mother's family was Scotch, but I kill every thistle I find, foreign or domestic. mahuna
And gemmules. It's not evolutionists who treat Darwin's work as inerrant holy scripture. Seversky
The first link "Here:" seems to work fine now. Actually their website had a maintenance issue, it was not your link. The second link "Abstract" doesn't seem to do anything in my case. But that's not a big deal, because the first link works. BTW, interesting article you found. Thanks. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13227/abstract Dionisio
The links don't seem to work for me Dionisio

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