Genetic diversity and structure of the globally invasive tree, Paraserianthes lophantha subspecies lophantha, suggest an introduction history characterised by varying propagule pressure

G. D. Thompson, D. M. Richardson, J. R.U. Wilson, D. U. Bellstedt, J. J. Le Roux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An emerging insight in invasion biology is that intra-specific genetic variation, human usage, and introduction histories interact to shape genetic diversity and its distribution in populations of invasive species. We explore these aspects for the tree species Paraserianthes lophantha subsp. lophantha, a close relative of Australian wattles (genus Acacia). This species is native to Western Australia and is invasive in a number of regions globally. Using microsatellite genotype and DNA sequencing data, we show that native Western Australian populations of P. lophantha subsp. lophantha are geographically structured and are more diverse than introduced populations in Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria), the Hawaiian Islands, Portugal, and South Africa. Introduced populations varied greatly in the amount of genetic diversity contained within them, from being low (e.g. Portugal) to high (e.g. Maui, Hawaiian Islands). Irrespective of provenance (native or introduced), all populations appeared to be highly inbred (FIS ranging from 0.55 to 0.8), probably due to selfing. Although introduced populations generally had lower genetic diversity than native populations, Bayesian clustering of microsatellites and phylogenetic diversity indicated that introduced populations comprise a diverse array of genotypes, most of which were also identified in Western Australia. The dissimilarity in the distribution and number of genotypes in introduced regions suggests that non-native populations originated from different native sources and that introduction events differed in propagule pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • biological invasions
  • multiple introductions
  • population genetics
  • propagule pressure
  • tree invasions

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