Biological invasion as a natural experiment of the evolutionary processes: introduction of the special feature


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Abstract

Although biological invasion has a devastating impact on biodiversity, it also provides a valuable opportunity for natural experiments on evolutionary responses. Alien populations are often subject to strong natural selection when they are exposed to new abiotic and biotic conditions. Native populations can also undergo strong selection when interacting with introduced enemies and competitors. This special feature aims to highlight how evolutionary studies take advantage of biological invasion and, at the same time, emphasizes how studying evolutionary processes deepens our understanding of biological invasions. We hope this special feature stimulates more invasion studies taking evolutionary processes into account. Those studies should provide fundamental information essential for formulating effective measures in conserving native biodiversity, as well as valuable empirical tests for evolutionary theories.

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