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      Trait–environment relationships of plant species at different stages of the introduction process

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The success of alien plant species can be attributed to differences in functional traits compared to less successful aliens as well as to native species, and thus their adaptation to environmental conditions. Studies have shown that alien (especially invasive) plant species differ from native species in traits such as specific leaf area (SLA), height, seed size or flowering period, where invasive species showed significantly higher values for these traits. Different environmental conditions, though, may promote the success of native or alien species, leading to competitive exclusion due to dissimilarity in traits between the groups. However, native and alien species can also be similar, with environmental conditions selecting for the same set of traits across species. So far, the effect of traits on invasion success has been studied without considering environmental conditions. To understand this interaction we examined the trait–environment relationship within natives, and two groups of alien plant species differing in times of introduction (archaeophytes vs. neophytes). Further, we investigated the difference between non-invasive and invasive neophytes. We analyzed the relationship between functional traits of 1,300 plant species occurring in 1000 randomly selected grid-cells across Germany and across different climatic conditions and land-cover types. Our results show that temperature, precipitation, the proportion of natural habitats, as well as the number of land-cover patches and geological patches affect archaeophytes and neophytes differently, regarding their level of urbanity (in neophytes negative for all non-urban land covers) and self-pollination (mainly positive for archaeophytes). Similar patterns were observed between non-invasive and invasive neophytes, where additionally, SLA, storage organs and the beginning of flowering were strongly related to several environmental factors. Native species did not express any strong relationship between traits and environment, possibly due to a high internal heterogeneity within this group of species. The relationship between trait and environment was more pronounced in neophytes compared to archaeophytes, and most pronounced in invasive plants. The alien species at different stages of the invasion process showed both similarities and differences in terms of the relationship between traits and the environment, showing that the success of introduced species is context-dependent.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Does global change increase the success of biological invaders?

          Biological invasions are gaining attention as a major threat to biodiversity and an important element of global change. Recent research indicates that other components of global change, such as increases in nitrogen deposition and atmospheric CO2 concentration, favor groups of species that share certain physiological or life history traits. New evidence suggests that many invasive species share traits that will allow them to capitalize on the various elements of global change. Increases in the prevalence of some of these biological invaders would alter basic ecosystem properties in ways that feed back to affect many components of global change.
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            How does climate warming affect plant-pollinator interactions?

            Climate warming affects the phenology, local abundance and large-scale distribution of plants and pollinators. Despite this, there is still limited knowledge of how elevated temperatures affect plant-pollinator mutualisms and how changed availability of mutualistic partners influences the persistence of interacting species. Here we review the evidence of climate warming effects on plants and pollinators and discuss how their interactions may be affected by increased temperatures. The onset of flowering in plants and first appearance dates of pollinators in several cases appear to advance linearly in response to recent temperature increases. Phenological responses to climate warming may therefore occur at parallel magnitudes in plants and pollinators, although considerable variation in responses across species should be expected. Despite the overall similarities in responses, a few studies have shown that climate warming may generate temporal mismatches among the mutualistic partners. Mismatches in pollination interactions are still rarely explored and their demographic consequences are largely unknown. Studies on multi-species plant-pollinator assemblages indicate that the overall structure of pollination networks probably are robust against perturbations caused by climate warming. We suggest potential ways of studying warming-caused mismatches and their consequences for plant-pollinator interactions, and highlight the strengths and limitations of such approaches.
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              Five potential consequences of climate change for invasive species.

              Scientific and societal unknowns make it difficult to predict how global environmental changes such as climate change and biological invasions will affect ecological systems. In the long term, these changes may have interacting effects and compound the uncertainty associated with each individual driver. Nonetheless, invasive species are likely to respond in ways that should be qualitatively predictable, and some of these responses will be distinct from those of native counterparts. We used the stages of invasion known as the "invasion pathway" to identify 5 nonexclusive consequences of climate change for invasive species: (1) altered transport and introduction mechanisms, (2) establishment of new invasive species, (3) altered impact of existing invasive species, (4) altered distribution of existing invasive species, and (5) altered effectiveness of control strategies. We then used these consequences to identify testable hypotheses about the responses of invasive species to climate change and provide suggestions for invasive-species management plans. The 5 consequences also emphasize the need for enhanced environmental monitoring and expanded coordination among entities involved in invasive-species management.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                July 01 2020
                July 01 2020
                : 58
                : 55-74
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.58.51655
                © 2020

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