Many studies have assessed genetic changes in exotic plant species in their native and introduced ranges, but none have focused on genetic variation in native plant species in response to exotic invasion. We examine characteristics of native plant communities within and outside old (>25 year) invasions of Acroptilon repens (Russian knapweed) and Cardaria draba (hoary cress). We also document genetic variability of 4 native grass populations (Hesperostipa comata [needle and thread], Achnatherum hymenoides [Indian ricegrass], Sporobolus airoides [alkali sacaton], and Poa secunda [Sandberg bluegrass]) from 2 areas: adjacent to and within weed invasions. Native plant species richness and diversity did not differ between invaded and noninvaded areas. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) analysis of individual native perennial grasses of each of the 4 species suggests that populations exposed to long-term coexistence with exotics may differ from adjacent noninvaded populations. We suggest that future research efforts should focus on intraspecific diversity of native plant species to identify possible candidates for restoration following weed control.
Mealor, Brian A.; Hild, Ann L.; and Shaw, Nancy L.
"Native plant community composition and genetic diversity associated with long-term weed invasions,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 64
, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol64/iss4/11