1 School of Life Science, Nantong University, Nantong, 226007, P. R. China 2 Institute of Wetland Ecology and School of Life Science, Nanjing University,
Nanjing 210093, P. R. China
Spartina alterniflora Loisel., a native to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, had been deliberately introduced into many countries for the control of coastal erosion and land claim. But now, the species has extensively dispersed, and even broken out in some non-native habitats. Due to Allee effect, inbreeding depression, rapid adaptation and evolution occur in the process of invasion and natural dispersal of Spartina alterniflora, it has become a model plant for studying biological invasion from both ecological and genetic perspectives. The previous researches showed that powerful ability of hybridization and introgression has been a genetic basic, superior reproductive capability has been the sources and strong ability of anti-stress and adaptability has been an ecological and physiologic basic for S. alterniflora invasion and expansion, respectively. In most invasive habitats, the expansion of S. alterniflora, based on intentionally transplants, indicated the mode of point dispersal. The episodic and continuous dispersal pattern of seeds has been playing an important role for maintain, recruitment and outbreak of S. alterniflora population. Meanwhile, consecutive expansion of S. alterniflora populations was ensured by the trait of potently clonal growth. Therefore, prevention of seed production in all designated areas is required to help contain this species and prevent its further spread. At the same time, although it has been proven to be very difficult, expensive and even impossible to eradicate the species, the integrated strategies with exploring the economical value and other restraining growth of S. alterniflora methods should be adopt to manage and alleviate the negative impacts the biological invasion.
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