Polyploidy can increase colonization ability – Lessons from diploid and tetraploid spotted knapweed -Centaurea stoebe

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Polyploid plants show a higher probability to become invasive than diploids, however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Early-acting invasion filters may offer high explanatory power in understanding such biogeographical patterns, because they can inherently determine whether founder populations fail or succeed in colonizing a novel range. Christoph’s talk aims to contri-bute to a more complete understanding of the processes that shape the colonization success of polyploids. His model organism, the polyploid complex Centaurea stoebe s.l., comprises three so-called geo-cytotypes: monocarpic diploids are more frequent than poly-carpic (allo)tetraploids in the native range (Eurasia), whereas only tetraploids are reported from the invasive range (North America).

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Christoph B. Rosche, Ph.D. is a researcher at the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (Halle, Germany) and a nonresident scholar in the Callaway Lab at the University of Montana. His research includes plant ecology, population genetics, invasion biology and conservation ecology. For his PhD, he mainly focused on the effects of ploidy level on colonization success using spotted knapweed as a model organism.