Genetic composition of invasive Japanese knotweed s.l. in the United States
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Although Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr. (Polygonum cuspidatum Seibold & Zucc., Japanese knotweed) is grouped among “100 of the world’s worst” invasive alien species (Global Invasive Species Database 2005), the population genetics of Japanese knotweed has not been well-studied in the US. This is a hardy, herbaceous, subdioecious perennial with small white flowers, thick bamboo-like stems, and extensive rhizomes. Originally transported from Asia to the western world as an ornamental and fodder plant (Beerling et al. 1994), Japanese knotweed is now a menacing aggressive invader that can impact plant biodiversity (Dassonville et al. 2007; Aguilera et al. 2009; Gerber et al. 2007), stream detrital food webs (Lecerf et al. 2007), and the foraging success of green frogs (Maerz et al. 2005).
Japanese knotweed sensu lato (s.l.) encompasses Fallopia japonica var. japonica, Fallopia sachalinensis (F. Schmidt ex Maxim) Ronse de Craene (Giant knotweed), Fallopia × bohemica...
KeywordsMultilocus Genotype Green Frog Chloroplast Locus Japanese Knotweed Polygonum Cuspidatum
The authors thank all of the generous citizen scientists and volunteers who collected or offered to gather samples of Japanese knotweed for this research. We thank J. Forman Orth for her assistance in publicizing this study on the web and J. P. Bailey for donating a sample of Japanese knotweed from the UK. Thanks to Melinda Gammon and Dina Tsirelson for their ongoing efforts with knotweed research and their helpful comments on this manuscript. This research was funded, in part, by a Doctoral Dissertation Grant from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
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