• Open Access

Anthropogenically induced adaptation to invade (AIAI): contemporary adaptation to human-altered habitats within the native range can promote invasions


Ruth A. Hufbauer, Department of Bioagricultural Science and Pest Management, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO 80523, USA.
Tel.: +970-491-6945;
fax: +970-491-3862;
e-mail: ruth.hufbauer@colostate.edu


Adaptive evolution is currently accepted as playing a significant role in biological invasions. Adaptations relevant to invasions are typically thought to occur either recently within the introduced range, as an evolutionary response to novel selection regimes, or within the native range, because of long-term adaptation to the local environment. We propose that recent adaptation within the native range, in particular adaptations to human-altered habitat, could also contribute to the evolution of invasive populations. Populations adapted to human-altered habitats in the native range are likely to increase in abundance within areas frequented by humans and associated with human transport mechanisms, thus enhancing the likelihood of transport to a novel range. Given that habitats are altered by humans in similar ways worldwide, as evidenced by global environmental homogenization, propagules from populations adapted to human-altered habitats in the native range should perform well within similarly human-altered habitats in the novel range. We label this scenario ‘Anthropogenically Induced Adaptation to Invade’. We illustrate how it differs from other evolutionary processes that may occur during invasions, and how it can help explain accelerating rates of invasions.