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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2016

Authors: Hirsch, H; Hensen, I; Wesche, K; Renison, D; Wypior, C; Hartmann, M; von Wehrden, H

Title: Non-native populations of an invasive tree outperform their native conspecifics.

Source: Aob Plants. 2016; 8: Plw071.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

von Wehrden Henrik

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Medicine

Introduced plants often face new environmental conditions in their non-native ranges. To become invasive, they need to overcome several biotic and abiotic filters that may trigger adaptive changes in life-history traits, like post-germination processes. Such early life cycle traits may play a crucial role in the colonization and establishment success of invasive plants. As a previous study revealed that seeds of non-native populations of the woody Siberian elm, Ulmus pumila, germinated faster than those of native populations, we expected growth performance of seedlings to mirror this finding. Here, we conducted a common garden greenhouse experiment using different temperature and watering treatments to compare the biomass production of U. pumila seedlings derived from 7 native and 13 populations from two non-native ranges. Our results showed that under all treatments, non-native populations were characterized by higher biomass production and enhanced resource allocation to aboveground biomass compared to the native populations. The observed enhanced growth performance of non-native populations might be one of the contributing factors for the invasion success of U. pumila due to competitive advantages during the colonization of new sites.© The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

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