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Traits linked with species invasiveness and community invasibility vary with time, stage and indicator of invasion in a long-term grassland experiment

Traits linked with species invasiveness and community invasibility vary with time, stage and indicator of invasion in a long-term grassland experiment
Traits linked with species invasiveness and community invasibility vary with time, stage and indicator of invasion in a long-term grassland experiment

Much uncertainty remains about traits linked with successful invasion – the establishment and spread of non-resident species into existing communities. Using a 20-year experiment, where 50 non-resident (but mostly native) grassland plant species were sown into savannah plots, we ask how traits linked with invasion depend on invasion stage (establishment, spread), indicator of invasion success (occupancy, relative abundance), time, environmental conditions, propagule rain, and traits of invaders and invaded communities. Trait data for 164 taxa showed that invader occupancy was primarily associated with traits of invaders, traits of recipient communities, and invader-community interactions. Invader abundance was more strongly associated with community traits (e.g. proportion legume) and trait differences between invaders and the most similar resident species. Annuals and invaders with high-specific leaf area were only successful early in stand development, whereas invaders with conservative carbon capture strategies persisted long-term. Our results indicate that invasion is context-dependent and long-term experiments are required to comprehensively understand invasions.

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, ecosystem invasibility, functional traits, indicators of invasion, invasion stages, long-term grassland experiment, seed addition experiment, species invasiveness
1461-023X
593-604
Catford, Jane A.
c80a4529-b7cb-4d36-aba8-f38de01ce729
Smith, Annabel L.
52c12abc-5559-4ee6-8137-de68667dfcc0
Wragg, Peter D.
2737011a-f7f5-4312-ae50-3df667d61d0d
Clark, Adam T.
ad9e9fe1-8887-4426-ad43-534ff30e450b
Kosmala, Margaret
d93ea554-ac04-4860-bf77-6f59a553b6a3
Cavender-Bares, Jeannine
cb4de701-58ac-41e3-9147-529cc57eaac4
Reich, Peter B.
07a5d45c-9d7d-48b0-accf-e49fbcd6ecbb
Tilman, David
f7f46647-8529-4f1f-bce0-c6a848e1d0c5
Catford, Jane A.
c80a4529-b7cb-4d36-aba8-f38de01ce729
Smith, Annabel L.
52c12abc-5559-4ee6-8137-de68667dfcc0
Wragg, Peter D.
2737011a-f7f5-4312-ae50-3df667d61d0d
Clark, Adam T.
ad9e9fe1-8887-4426-ad43-534ff30e450b
Kosmala, Margaret
d93ea554-ac04-4860-bf77-6f59a553b6a3
Cavender-Bares, Jeannine
cb4de701-58ac-41e3-9147-529cc57eaac4
Reich, Peter B.
07a5d45c-9d7d-48b0-accf-e49fbcd6ecbb
Tilman, David
f7f46647-8529-4f1f-bce0-c6a848e1d0c5

Catford, Jane A., Smith, Annabel L., Wragg, Peter D., Clark, Adam T., Kosmala, Margaret, Cavender-Bares, Jeannine, Reich, Peter B. and Tilman, David (2019) Traits linked with species invasiveness and community invasibility vary with time, stage and indicator of invasion in a long-term grassland experiment. Ecology Letters, 22 (4), 593-604. (doi:10.1111/ele.13220).

Record type: Letter

Abstract

Much uncertainty remains about traits linked with successful invasion – the establishment and spread of non-resident species into existing communities. Using a 20-year experiment, where 50 non-resident (but mostly native) grassland plant species were sown into savannah plots, we ask how traits linked with invasion depend on invasion stage (establishment, spread), indicator of invasion success (occupancy, relative abundance), time, environmental conditions, propagule rain, and traits of invaders and invaded communities. Trait data for 164 taxa showed that invader occupancy was primarily associated with traits of invaders, traits of recipient communities, and invader-community interactions. Invader abundance was more strongly associated with community traits (e.g. proportion legume) and trait differences between invaders and the most similar resident species. Annuals and invaders with high-specific leaf area were only successful early in stand development, whereas invaders with conservative carbon capture strategies persisted long-term. Our results indicate that invasion is context-dependent and long-term experiments are required to comprehensively understand invasions.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 February 2019
Published date: April 2019
Keywords: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, ecosystem invasibility, functional traits, indicators of invasion, invasion stages, long-term grassland experiment, seed addition experiment, species invasiveness

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431206
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431206
ISSN: 1461-023X
PURE UUID: b056a3c1-d6ee-46e2-b136-22886c17225c
ORCID for Jane A. Catford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0582-5960

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 21:44

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Contributors

Author: Jane A. Catford ORCID iD
Author: Annabel L. Smith
Author: Peter D. Wragg
Author: Adam T. Clark
Author: Margaret Kosmala
Author: Jeannine Cavender-Bares
Author: Peter B. Reich
Author: David Tilman

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