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Reconstructing the routes of invasion: what for, how and so what

Abstract : Detailed knowledge about the geographical pathways followed by propagules from their source to the invading populations—referred to here as routes of invasion—provides information about the history of the invasion process and the origin and genetic composition of the invading populations. The reconstruction of invasion routes is required for defining and testing different hypotheses concerning the environmental and evolutionary factors responsible for biological invasions. In practical terms, it facilitates the design of strategies for controlling or preventing invasions. Most of our knowledge about the introduction routes of invasive species is derived from historical and observational data, which are often sparse, incomplete and, sometimes, misleading. In this context, population genetics has proved a useful approach for reconstructing routes of introduction, highlighting the complexity and the often counterintuitive nature of the true story. This approach has proved particularly useful since the recent development of new model-based methods, such as approximate Bayesian computation, making it possible to make quantitative inferences in the complex evolutionary scenarios typically encountered in invasive species. In this review, we summarize some of the fundamental aspects of routes of invasion, explain why the reconstruction of these routes is useful for addressing both practical and theoretical questions, and comment on the various reconstruction methods available. Finally, we consider the main insights obtained to date from studies of invasion routes
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Arnaud Estoup, Thomas Guillemaud. Reconstructing the routes of invasion: what for, how and so what. Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2010, 19 (19), pp.4113-4130. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04773.x⟩. ⟨hal-02667095⟩

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