INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Analysis of an invasion in the community context: a case study about differences and similarities between native and non-native shrubs
VÁZQUEZ, DIEGO P.; MAZZOLARI, ANA CLARA; HIERRO, JOSÉ L.
Año: 2019 vol. 221 p. 83 - 89
Although much effort has been devoted toidentify plant traits related to invasiveness, the successof this approach remains elusive, likely because therelevance of particular traits for invasions is contextdependent. We studied plant invasions in the contextof the recipient community in a mountain ecosystemof western Argentina by comparing traits between twonon-native shrubs, Rosa canina and R. rubiginosa, andall native shrubs coexisting with them. We expectedthat both rose species differed from natives in traits related to an acquisitive strategy of resources. Wegrouped native shrubs into species with high (abundant) and low abundance (rare). We expected smallerdifferences between non-natives and abundant nativesthan between non-natives and rare natives, as shrubabundance may depend on possessing a particularsuite of traits, independent of species origin. We foundthat both rose species were different from nativeshrubs when analyzing all traits in combination. Nonnatives presented a strategy that may allow them toacquire resources and grow at faster rates than natives,offering support to our prediction. Yet, native and nonnative shrub species overlapped in flower phenology.When comparing non-natives to abundant and rarenatives, we found no support for our expectation, asnon-natives did not show smaller differences with abundant natives, but shared similarities with rarenatives. This pattern suggests successful coexistencevia niche partitioning, but this possibility deservesfuture studies. Our work highlights the importance ofconsidering non-native plant traits in a communitycontext to further understand the invasion process.