Apr 21, 2020

Effects of species traits and abiotic factors during the stages of plant invasions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
D. VedderJ. Sarmento Cabral


The success of species invasions depends on multiple factors acting over the four invasion stages transport, colonisation, establishment, and landscape spread. Each of these stages is influenced simultaneously by particular species traits and abiotic factors. While the importance of many of these determinants has already been investigated in relative isolation, they are rarely studied in combination and even then mostly ignore the final phase, i.e., landscape spread. Here we address this shortcoming by exploring the effect of both species traits and abiotic factors on the success of invasions using an individual-based mechanistic model, and relate those factors to the stages of invasion. This approach enables us to explicitly control abiotic factors (temperature as surrogate for productivity, disturbance and propagule pressure) as well as to monitor whole-community trait distributions of environmental adaptation, mass and dispersal abilities. We simulated introductions of plant individuals to an oceanic island to assess which abiotic factors and species traits contribute to invasion success. We found that the most influential factors were higher propagule pressure and a particular set of traits. This invasion trait syndrome was...Continue Reading

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