Traits correlate with invasive success more than plasticity: a comparison of three Centaurea congeners

Montesinos, Daniel, and Callaway, Ragan M. (2018) Traits correlate with invasive success more than plasticity: a comparison of three Centaurea congeners. Ecology and Evolution, 8 (15). pp. 7378-7385.

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The importance of phenotypic plasticity for successful invasion by exotic plant species has been well studied, but with contradictory and inconclusive results. However, many previous studies focused on comparisons of native and invasive species that co‐occur in a single invaded region, and thus on species with potentially very different evolutionary histories. We took a different approach by comparing three closely related Centaurea species: the highly invasive C. solstitialis, and the noninvasive but exotic C. calcitrapa and C. sulphurea. These species have overlapping distributions both in their native range of Spain and in their non‐native range of California. We collected seeds from 3 to 10 populations from each region and species and grew them in common garden greenhouse conditions to obtain an F1 generation in order to reduce maternal effects. Then, F1 seeds were grown subjected to simulated herbivory, variation in nutrient availability, and competition, to explore plasticity in the responses to these conditions. We found little variation in phenotypic plasticity among species and regions, but C. solstitialis plants from California produced more biomass in competition than their Spanish conspecifics. This species also had the highest relative growth rates when in competition and when grown under low nutrient availability. Noninvasive congeners produced intermediate or opposite patterns.

Item ID: 57471
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: biogeography, competition, nutrient availability, phenotypic plasticity, relative distance plasticity indexes, trait shifts
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (FCT)
Projects and Grants: FCT grant PTDC/BIA-PLA/0763/2014
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 05:42
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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