Traits of co-occurring native and non-native plants in invaded communities

ID: 613 / 366

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Traits of co-occurring native and non-native plants in invaded communities


Montserrat Vilà1,2, Javier Galán-Díaz3, Ingrid M Parker4, Enrique G de la Riva5

Affiliations: 1 Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC), Sevilla, Spain 2 Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain 3 Department of Pharmacology, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain 4 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA 5 Department of Biodiversity and Environmental Management, University of León, León, Spain


Many plant species of European origin have been introduced North America. Many introduced species are highly competitive, and have displaced endemic native plant species. However, in most invaded communities, non-native species co-occur with some native species. We investigated the role of non-native plant species in the functional assembly of putative donor and recipient communities by conducting coordinated floristic surveys and analysis of plant traits in California and Spanish grasslands. While in Spain, all species were native, in California, half species were non-native. All non-native species found in California grasslands were native in Spain. Many non-native species were more abundant in the Californian invaded grasslands than in the communities of their putative Spanish native range. Invaded California grasslands were more similar in species composition to Spanish grasslands than some Spanish grasslands were among themselves.

In California, non-native species had more resource acquisitive traits than co-occurring native species. In Spain, species that invaded California were also more acquisitive than species not known to be invasive somewhere. However, trait differences were not as large as in the introduced range of California. This might reflect preadaptation of the entire species pool to the management practices that have taken place in Europe for millennia. Trait differences between native and non-native species were also dependent on environmental conditions indicating that niche differentiation are subject to the influence of abiotic filters. Our results show that plant trait comparisons between co-occurring native and non-native species are context dependent and that a correct interpretation of filtering processes in community assembly requires a biogeographical perspective.

Symposia selection: 171, ,

Key words: biogeography, biological invasions, community assembly, functional traits, Mediterranean grasslands