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Genomic data is missing for many highly invasive species, restricting our preparedness for escalating incursion rates.

Abstract
Biological invasions drive environmental change, potentially threatening native biodiversity, human health, and global economies. Population genomics is an increasingly popular tool in invasion biology, improving accuracy and providing new insights into the genetic factors that underpin invasion success compared to research based on a small number of genetic loci. We examine the extent to which population genomic resources, including reference genomes, have been used or are available for invasive species research. We find that 82% of species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature "100 Worst Invasive Alien Species" list have been studied using some form of population genetic data, but just 32% of these species have been studied using population genomic data. Further, 55% of the list's species lack a reference genome. With incursion rates escalating globally, understanding how genome-driven processes facilitate invasion is critical, but despite a promising trend of increasing uptake, "invasion genomics" is still in its infancy. We discuss how population genomic data can enhance our understanding of biological invasion and inform proactive detection and management of invasive species, and we call for more research that specifically targets this area.
Type
Journal Article
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Date
2022-08-17
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© 2022. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.