Exotic species invasions create almost ideal conditions for promoting evolutionary diversification: establishment of allopatric populations in new environmental conditions; altered ecological opportunities for native species; and new opportunities for hybridization between previously allopatric taxa. Here, we review recent studies of the evolutionary consequences of species invasions, revealing abundant and widespread examples of exotic species promoting evolutionary diversification via increased genetic differentiation among populations of both exotic and native species and the creation of new hybrid lineages. Our review indicates that, although the well-documented reductions to biodiversity caused by exotic species might outweigh the increases resulting from diversification, a complete understanding of the net effects of exotic species on biodiversity in the long term will require consideration of both.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics