Biological invasions are a major ecological and socio-economic problem in many parts of the world. Te Beest et al. synthesize current knowledge on the importance of polyploidy for the invasion of introduced plants, and suggest that it may increase the success of plant invaders through a combination of pre-adaptation, where polyploids have a higher survival rate and fitness in the earliest establishment phase, and the possibility for subsequent adaptation due to a larger gene pool. Alternatively, polyploidization may play an important role by restoring sexual reproduction after hybridization or, conversely, allowing for asexual reproduction in the absence of suitable mates.
New in Annals of Botany