Title

Are problem invaders bigger and more fecund in the introduced versus native range?

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Plant invasions have detrimental effects on ecosystem structure and function, and are expensive to manage. Roughly one in ten exotic plants becomes invasive, but the underlying mechanisms that contribute to invasiveness are not well known. In an effort to better understand the relationship between plant size and fecundity and invasive success, we compared growth and reproduction of six plant species in their native (Turkey) and exotic (Montana, USA) ranges. Three species were chosen (Bromus tectorum, Hypericum perforatum, Potentilla recta) that represent high-impact invaders recognized as noxious weeds in Montana, while the other three (Carduus nutans, Poa bulbosa, and Rumex acetosella) were chosen because they are not recognized as problematic species in the area. Replicate populations for each species were collected in each range for analysis of biomass and seed production. We predicted based on EICA that successful invaders would be bigger and produce more seeds in the introduced range relative exotic plants that fail to invade.

Of the problem invaders, B. tectorum grew larger and produced more seeds in Montana, while H. perforatum and P. recta grew larger in Turkey. Conversely, of the species that are not problematic in the introduced range, C. nutans grew larger and produced more viable seeds in Montana, P. bulbosa did not differ in size but produced more seeds in Montana, and R. acetosella showed no difference in biomass or seed production. For our six species, we found no consistent relationship between invader impact and plant size or fecundity between ranges.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 12:00 PM

Are problem invaders bigger and more fecund in the introduced versus native range?

Plant invasions have detrimental effects on ecosystem structure and function, and are expensive to manage. Roughly one in ten exotic plants becomes invasive, but the underlying mechanisms that contribute to invasiveness are not well known. In an effort to better understand the relationship between plant size and fecundity and invasive success, we compared growth and reproduction of six plant species in their native (Turkey) and exotic (Montana, USA) ranges. Three species were chosen (Bromus tectorum, Hypericum perforatum, Potentilla recta) that represent high-impact invaders recognized as noxious weeds in Montana, while the other three (Carduus nutans, Poa bulbosa, and Rumex acetosella) were chosen because they are not recognized as problematic species in the area. Replicate populations for each species were collected in each range for analysis of biomass and seed production. We predicted based on EICA that successful invaders would be bigger and produce more seeds in the introduced range relative exotic plants that fail to invade.

Of the problem invaders, B. tectorum grew larger and produced more seeds in Montana, while H. perforatum and P. recta grew larger in Turkey. Conversely, of the species that are not problematic in the introduced range, C. nutans grew larger and produced more viable seeds in Montana, P. bulbosa did not differ in size but produced more seeds in Montana, and R. acetosella showed no difference in biomass or seed production. For our six species, we found no consistent relationship between invader impact and plant size or fecundity between ranges.