Planta

, Volume 228, Issue 3, pp 383–390

Specific leaf area relates to the differences in leaf construction cost, photosynthesis, nitrogen allocation, and use efficiencies between invasive and noninvasive alien congeners

Original Article

Abstract

Comparisons between invasive and native species may not characterize the traits of invasive species, as native species might be invasive elsewhere if they were introduced. In this study, invasive Oxalis corymbosa and Peperomia pellucida were compared with their respective noninvasive alien congeners. We hypothesized that the invasive species have higher specific leaf (SLA) than their respective noninvasive alien congeners, and analyzed the physiological and ecological consequences of the higher SLA. Higher SLA was indeed the most important trait for the two invaders, which was associated with their lower leaf construction cost, higher nitrogen (N) allocation to photosynthesis and photosynthetic N use efficiency (PNUE). The higher N allocation to photosynthesis of the invaders in turn increased their PNUE, N content in photosynthesis, biochemical capacity for photosynthesis, and therefore light-saturated photosynthetic rate. The above resource capture-, use- and growth-related traits may facilitate the two invaders’ invasion, while further comparative studies on a wider range of invasive and noninvasive congeners are needed to understand the generality of this pattern and to fully assess the competitive advantages afforded by these traits.

Keywords

Congeneric comparison Invasiveness Nitrogen allocation Nitrogen use efficiency Photosynthesis Specific leaf area 

Abbreviations

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

CC

Leaf construction cost

CE

Carboxylation efficiency

Gs

Stomatal conductance

Jmax

Maximum electron transport rate

NA

Total leaf nitrogen content

NB

Nitrogen content in bioenergetics

NC

Nitrogen content in carboxylation

PB

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to bioenergetics

PC

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to carboxylation

Pmax

Light-saturated photosynthetic rate

PNUE

Photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency

RGR

Relative growth rate

SLA

Specific leaf area

Vcmax

Maximum carboxylation rate

WUE

Water use efficiency

References

  1. Bernacchi CJ, Singsaas EL, Pimentel C, Portis AR, Long SP (2001) Improved temperature response functions for models of Rubisco-limited photosynthesis. Plant Cell Environ 24:253–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burns JH (2004) A comparison of invasive and non-invasive dayflowers (Commelinaceae) across experimental nutrient and water gradients. Divers Distrib 10:387–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burns JH (2006) Relatedness and environment affect traits associated with invasive and noninvasive introduced Commelinaceae. Ecol Appl 16:1367–1376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Daehler CC (2003) Performance comparisons of co-occurring native and alien invasive plants: implications for conservation and restoration. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:183–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. D’Antonio CM, Kark S (2002) Impacts and extent of biotic invasions in terrestrial ecosystems. Trends Ecol Evol 17:202–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davis MA, Grime JP, Thompson K (2000) Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. J Ecol 88:528–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Durand LA, Goldstein G (2001) Photosynthesis, photoinhibition, and nitrogen use efficiency in native and invasive tree ferns in Hawaii. Oecologia 126:345–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ewe SML, Sternberg LSL (2003) Seasonal exchange characteristics of Schinus terebinthifolius in a native and disturbed upland community in Everglade National Park, Florida. For Ecol Manage 179:27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farquhar GD, Sharkey TD (1982) Stomatal conductance and photosynthesis. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 11:191–210Google Scholar
  10. Feng Y-L, Auge H, Ebeling SK (2007a) Invasive Buddleja davidii allocates more nitrogen to its photosynthetic machinery than five native woody species. Oecologia 153:501–510PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feng Y-L, Wang J-F, Sang W-G (2007b) Irradiance acclimation, capture ability, and efficiency in invasive and non-invasive alien plant species. Photosynthetica 45:245–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Feng Y-L, Wang J-F, Sang W-G (2007c) Biomass allocation, morphology and photosynthesis of invasive and noninvasive exotic species grown at four irradiance levels. Acta Oecologica 31:40–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldberg D (1987) Neighborhood competition in an old field plant community. Ecology 68:1211–1223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodger JQD, Gleadow RM, Woodrow IE (2006) Growth cost and ontogenetic expression patterns of defence in cyanogenic Eucalyptus spp. Trees Struct Funct 20:757–765Google Scholar
  15. Griffin KL (1994) Calorimetric estimates of CC and their use in ecological studies. Funct Ecol 8:551–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grotkopp E, Rejmánek M, Rost TL (2002) Toward a causal explanation of plant invasiveness: seedling growth and life-history strategies of 29 pine (Pinus) species. Am Nat 159:396–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grotkopp E, Rejmánek M (2007) High seedling relative growth rate and specific leaf area are traits of invasive species: phylogenetically independent contrasts of woody angiosperms. Am J Bot 94:526–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harvey PH, Purvis A (1991) Comparative methods for explaining adaptations. Nature 351:619–624PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hikosaka K, Terashima I (1995) A model of the acclimation of photosynthesis in the leaves of C3 plants to sun and shade with respect to nitrogen use. Plant Cell Environ 18:605–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lambers H, Poorter H (1992) Inherent variation in growth rate between higher plants: a search for physiological causes and ecological consequences. Adv Ecol Res 23:188–261Google Scholar
  21. Loomis RS (1997) Commentary on the utility of nitrogen in leaves. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:13378–13379PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loustau D, Beahim M, Gaudillère JP, Dreyer E (1999) Photosynthetic responses to phosphorous nutrition in two-year-old maritime pine seedlings. Tree Physiol 19:707–715PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Mack RN (1996) Predicting the identity and fate of plant invaders, emergent and emerging approaches. Biol Conserv 78:107–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McDowell SCL (2002) Photosynthetic characteristics of invasive and noninvasive species of Rubus (Rosaceae). Am J Bot 89:1431–1438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nagel JM, Griffin KL (2001) Construction cost and invasive potential: Comparing Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae) with co-occurring native species along pond banks. Am J Bot 88:2252–2258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Niinemets Ü, Tenhunen JD (1997) A model separating leaf structural and physiological effects on carbon gain along light gradients for the shade-tolerant species Acer saccharum. Plant Cell Environ 20:845–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Niinemets Ü, Valladares F, Ceulemans R (2003) Leaf-level phenotypic variability and plasticity of invasive Rhododendron ponticum and non-invasive Ilex aquifolium co-occurring at two contrasting European sites. Plant Cell Environ 26:941–956PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Onoda Y, Hikosaka K, Hirose T (2004) Allocation of nitrogen to cell walls decreases photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency. Funct Ecol 18:419–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pattison RR, Goldstein G, Ares A (1998) Growth, biomass allocation and photosynthesis of invasive and native Hawaiian rain-forest species. Oecologia 117:449–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pimentel D, Lach L, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2000) Environmental and economic costs of nonindigenous species in the United States. BioScience 50:53–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Poorter H, Villar R (1997) The fate of acquired carbon in plants: chemical composition and construction costs. In: Bazzaz FA, Grace J (eds) Plant resource allocation. Academic Press, New York, pp 39–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Poorter H, Evans JR (1998) Photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency of species that differ inherently in specific leaf area. Oecologia 116:26–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Radford IJ, Cousens RD (2000) Invasiveness and comparative life-history traits of exotic and indigenous Senecio species in Australian. Oecologia 125:531–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Reich PB, Walters MB, Ellsworth DS (1997) From tropics to tundra: global convergence in plant functioning. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:13730–13734PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reichard SH, White P (2001) Horticulture as a pathway of invasive plant introductions in the United States. BioScience 51:103–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schieving F, Poorter H (1999) Carbon gain in a multisoecies canopy: the role of specific leaf area and photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency in the tragedy of the commons. New Phytol 143:201–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shipley B (2006) Net assimilation rate, specific leaf area and leaf mass ratio: which is most closely correlated with relative growth rate? A meta-analysis. Funct Ecol 20:565–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith MD, Knapp AK (2001) Physiological and morphological traits of exotic, invasive exotic and native species in tallgrass prairie. Int J Plant Sci 162:785–792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Takashima T, Hikosaka K, Hirose T (2004) Photosynthesis or persistence: nitrogen allocation in leaves of evergreen and deciduous Quercus species. Plant Cell Environ 27:1047–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tsialtas JT, Kassioumi M, Veresoglou DS (2002) Leaf construction cost of the most abundant species in an upland grassland area of northern Greece. Russ J Plant Physiol 49:360–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Williamson M, Fitter A (1996) The varying success of invaders. Ecology 77:1661–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu C-Y, Griffin KL, Schuster WSF (2007) Leaf phenology and seasonal variation of photosynthesis of invasive Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) and two co-occurring native understory shrubs in a northeastern United States deciduous forest. Oecologia 154:11–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xu H-G, Ding H, Li M-Y, Qiang S, Guo J-Y, Han Z-M, Huang Z-G, Sun H-Y, He S-P, Wu H-R, Wan F-H (2006) The distribution and economic losses of alien species invasion to China. Biol Invasions 8:1459–1500CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations