Molecular ecology of Acacia dealbata

Heidi Hirsch-Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University

Comparative studies between native and invasive populations can be useful approaches to gain more knowledge on the introduction history, potential niche and evolutionary shifts in invasive populations.

Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata), a tree native to Eastern and southern eastern Australia Tasmania. It is introduced as a fast growing tree for shelterbelts, shade, firewood or horticulture.
Silver wattle is naturalised and is now considered as invasive in several countries e.g. Chile, India, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the United States.

Only limited information is currently available on the characteristics of these invasive populations and the factors facilitating its invasiveness in these new ranges.

Knowledge of the native provenances of invasive plants in conjunction with a better understanding of evolutionary processes between plants and potential bio control agents in their native ranges can help to develop effective control and management strategies.

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