, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 261-275

Comparative Population Dynamics of an Invading Species in its Native and Novel Ranges

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Abstract

Although the ecology of many exotic invaders has been intensively examined in the novel range, few studies have comparatively explored how population dynamics differ in native and novel parts of an invading plants’ range. The population dynamics of mile-a-minute weed, Polygonum perfoliatum L., was explored in both the native (Japan) and novel (northeastern USA) portions of its range and evaluated using periodic matrix models. Projected per capita population growth rate (λ) varied within and between native and novel range populations. Surprisingly, five of the six populations in the novel range were projected to fail to replace themselves (λ<1) while only two of the four native range populations were projected to decline, although these projections had wider confidence intervals than in the novel habitat. While changes in germination, survivorship, fecundity and seed banking would have equivalent effects on population growth in the invasive habitat, small increases in plant survivorship would greatly increase λ in native populations. The differences between native and novel population growth rates were driven by lower adult survival in the native range caused by annual flooding and higher fecundity. Simulation analyses indicated that a 50% reduction in plant survival would be required to control growing populations in the novel range. Further comparative studies of other invading species in both their native and novel ranges are needed to examine whether the high per capita population growth and strong regulatory effects of adult survival in the native habitat are generally predictive of invasive behavior in novel habitats.

Sachiko Araki: (Deceased)