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Data from: Rapid evolution of latitudinal clines in growth and defense of an invasive weed

Citation

Yang, Yang et al. (2022), Data from: Rapid evolution of latitudinal clines in growth and defense of an invasive weed, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9p8cz8wfc

Abstract

Re-estabishment of heritable latitudinal clines in growth-related traits has been recognized as evidence for adaptive evolution in invasive plants. However, less is known about latitudinal clines in defense and joint clinal evolution of growth and defense in invasive plants.

We planted 14 native Argentinean populations and 14 introduced Chinese populations of Aternanthera philoxeroides in repicate common gardens in China. We investigated the latitudinal clines of traits related to growth and defense, and plasticity of these traits in relation to experiment site and soil nitrogen.

We found that chemical defense decreased with latitude in native populations but increased with latitude in introduced populations. For growth rate, latitudinal clines were positive in introduced populations but nonexistent in native populations. There were also parallel positive latitudinal clines in total/shoot biomass and specific leaf area. Experiment site affected the occurrence or magnitude of latitudinal clines in growth rate, branch intensity and triterpenoid saponins concentration. Introduced populations were more plastic to experiment site and soil nitrogen than native populations.

We provide evidence for rapid evolution of clines in growth and defense in an invasive plant. Altered herbivory gradients and trade-off between growth and defense may explain non-parallel clines between the native and introduced ranges