It has been well-documented that highways provide corridors for invasive and ruderal species to rapidly colonize new areas (Christen and Matalack 2006; Meunier and Lavoie 2001) due to the combination of dispersal agents (vehicles) and disturbed ground due to plowing, salting, road repairs, and highway construction. Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. is the most recent example of this explosive range extension along highways in New England. F. gracilis is native to North America, but adventive east of the Mississippi (McCauley 2003). The current range of F. gracilis is due in large part to its spread along railroads during the past 100 years (Blake 1956; McCauley 2003).

The first records of F. gracilis in New England are from the Boston, Massachusetts area, with two early collections (1848 and 1882) from Middlesex County, MA (Cambridge) and Suffolk County, MA (Boston). These were apparently waifs that...

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