Biological Invasions

, 8:1471 | Cite as

Cultivar selection prior to introduction may increase invasiveness: evidence from Ardisia crenata

  • Kaoru Kitajima
  • Alison M. Fox
  • Tamotsu Sato
  • Dai Nagamatsu


Ardisia crenata (Myrsinaceae), an evergreen shrub with attractive red fruits introduced from Japan to the USA for ornamental purpose, invades the understory of mesic hardwood forests, forming dense patches (up to 300 stems per m2), and competitively displaces native understory plants by creating dense local shade. Comparison of the wild genotype that grows in mature evergreen broadleaf forests in central Kyushu, Japan, with the ecotype invading north central Florida revealed how selection for desirable cultivars might have inadvertently selected for traits that enhance the invasive potential of the species. In Japanese wild populations in deeply shaded evergreen forests, natural selection apparently maintained efficient architecture with a low degree of self-shading and large seed mass to enhance seedling shade tolerance. Cultivar selection for showy appearance can explain the greater fecundity but smaller seed size observed in the Florida populations compared to the Japanese population. Artificial selection for densely foliated appearance can also explain the greater degree of self-shading and less-efficient light use in the Florida genotype compared to the Japanese wild type grown under a common environment. Furthermore, the Florida ecotype allocated more biomass to root carbohydrate storage. These trait modifications resulted in slower growth rates, but greater competitive ability to cast shade upon neighbors and higher resprouting potential in the Florida populations. How traits are modified through the processes of artificial selection and cultivation must be taken into consideration in the evolutionary ecology of many other invasive plants introduced as ornamental plants.


architecture carbohydrate storage cultivation Florida genotype invasive plants Japan light competition seed size shade tolerance 


  1. Anten, NPR 2002Evolutionarily stable leaf area production in plant populationsJournal of Theoretical Biology2171532PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, LH 1922The Standard Encyclopedia of HorticultureMcMillanNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bais, HP, Vepachedu, R, Gilroy, S, Callaway, RM, Vivanco, JM 2003Allelopathy and exotic plant invasion: from molecules and genes to species interactionsScience30113771380PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrett, SCH 1983Crop mimicry of weedsAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics5125Google Scholar
  5. Bartlett, E, Novak, SJ, Mack, RN 2002Genetic variation in Bromus tectorum (Poaceae): differentiation in the eastern United StatesAmerican Journal of Botany89602612Google Scholar
  6. Blossey, B, Notzold, R 1995Evolution of increased competitive ability in invasive nonindigenous plants – a hypothesisJournal of Ecology83887889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bossdorf, O, Prati, D, Auge, H, Schmid, B 2004Reduced competitive ability in an invasive plantEcology Letters7346353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bray, SR, Kitajima, K, Sylvia, DM 2003Differential response of an exotic invasive shrub to mycorrhizal fungi: growth, physiology and competitive interactionEcological Applications13565574Google Scholar
  9. Buckley, YM, Downey, P, Fowler, SV, Hill, R, Memmot, J, Norambuena, H, Pitcairn, M, Shaw, R, Sheppard, AW, Winks, C, Wittenberg, R, Rees, M 2003Are invasives bigger? A global study of seed size variation in two invasive shrubsEcology8414341440Google Scholar
  10. Callaway, RM, Thelen, GC, Rodriguez, A, Holben, WE 2004Soil biota and exotic plant invasionNature427731733PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Canham, CD, Finzi, AD, Pacala, SW, Burbank, DH 1994Causes and consequences of resource heterogeneity in forests: interspecific variation in light transmission by canopy treesCanadian Journal of Forest Research24337349Google Scholar
  12. Canham, CD, Kobe, RK, Latty, EF, Chazdon, RL 1999Interspecific and intraspecific variation in tree seedling survival: effects of allocation to roots versus carbohydrate reservesOecologia121111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Conover, CA, Poole, RT 1989Production and use of Ardisia crenata as a potted foliage plantFoliage Digest1213Google Scholar
  14. Dozier H (1999) Plant introductions and invasion: history, public awareness, and the case of Ardisia crenata. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Florida, 113 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Geritz, SA 1995Evolutionarily stable seed polymorphism and small-scale spatial variation in seedling densityAmerican Naturalist146685707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gordon, DR, Thomas, KP 1998Florida’s invasion by nonindigenous plants: history, screening and regulationSimberloff, DSchmitz, DCBrown, TC eds. Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in FloridaIsland PressWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Harlan, JR 1975Crops and ManAmerican Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of AmericaMadison295Google Scholar
  18. Jia, ZH, Koike, K, Nikaido, T, Ohmoto, T, Ni, MY 1994Triterpenoid saponins from ardisia crenata and their inhibitory activity on camp phosphodiesteraseChemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin4223092314Google Scholar
  19. Kitajima, K, Mulkey, SS, Wright, SJ 2005Variation in crown light utilization characteristics among tropical canopy treesAnnals of Botany95535547PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Langeland, KA, Burks, KC 1998Identification and Biology of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural AreasUniversity of FloridaGainesville165Google Scholar
  21. Lee, A, Suh, J, Roh, MS, Slovin, JP 2003Analysis of genetic relationships of Ardisia spp. using RAPD markersJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology782428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee, CE 2002Evolutionary genetics of invasive speciesTrends in Ecology and Evolution17386391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mack, RN 2000Cultivation fosters plant naturalization by reducing environmental stochasticityBiological Invasions2111122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mack, RN 2003Plant naturalizations and invasions in the eastern United States: 1634–1860Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden907790Google Scholar
  25. Mack, RN, Erneberg, M 2002The United States naturalized flora: largely the product of deliberate introductionsAnnals of the Missouri Botanical Garden89176189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Maron, JL, Vila, M, Bommarco, R, Elmendorf, S, Beardsley, P 2004Rapid evolution of an invasive plantEcological Monographs74261280Google Scholar
  27. Marquis, RJ, Newell, EA, Villegas, AC 1997Non-structural carbohydrate accumulation and use in an understory rain-forest shrub and relevance for the impact of leaf herbivoryFunctional Ecology11636643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Muller-Scharer, H, Schaffner, U, Steinger, T 2004Evolution in invasive plants: implications for biological controlTrends in Ecology and Evolution19417422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ohwi, J 1984The Flora of JapanSmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DC1067Google Scholar
  30. Pearcy, RW, Yang, WM 1996A three-dimensional crown architecture model for assessment of light capture and carbon gain by understory plantsOecologia108112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Poorter, L, Rose, SA 2005Light dependent changes in the relationship between seed mass and seedling traits: a meta-analysis for rain forest tree speciesOecologia142378387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rice, SA, Bazzaz, FA 1989Quantification of plasticity of plant traits in response to light intensity: comparing phenotypes at a common weightOecologia78502507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sato, T, Kominami, Y, Saito, S, Niiyama, K, Manabe, T, Tanouchi, H, Noma, N, Yamamoto, S 1999An introduction to the Aya Research Site, a long-term ecological research site, in a warm temperate evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem in southwestern Japan: Research topics and designBulletin of Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History18157180Google Scholar
  34. Siemann, E, Rogers, WE 2001Genetic differences in growth of an invasive tree speciesEcology Letters4514518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Simons, AM 2003Invasive aliens and sampling biasEcology Letters6278280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Souga, T 1989Engei Shokubutsu Daijiten (The Encyclopedia of Horticultural Plants)ShougakkanTokyo, JapanGoogle Scholar
  37. Susko, DJ, Lovett-Doust, L 2000Patterns of seed mass variation and their effects on seedling traits in Alliaria petiolata (Brassicaceae)American Journal of Botany875666PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tanouchi, H, Yamamoto, S 1995Structure and regeneration of canopy species in an old-growth evergreen broad-leaved forest in Aya district, soutwestern JapanVegetatio1175160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Thebaud, C, Simberloff, D 2001Are plants really larger in their introduced ranges?American Naturalist157231236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Tilman, D 1988Dynamics and Structure of Plant CommunitiesPrinceton University PressPrinceton360Google Scholar
  41. Tsukamoto, Y. 1980Garden Plants of the World in Color, Vol. 15, Ornamental Trees and ShrubsHoikushaOsaka, JapanGoogle Scholar
  42. Tsutsui, ND, Suarez, AV, Holway, DA, Case, TJ 2000Reduced genetic variation and the success of an invasive speciesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America9759485953PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kleunen, M, Schmid, B 2003No evidence for an evolutionary increased competitive ability in an invasive plantEcology8428162823Google Scholar
  44. Vila, M, Gomez, A, Maron, JL 2003Are alien plants more competitive than their native conspecifics? A test using Hypericum perforatum LOecologia137211215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Watkins, JV, Sheehan, TJ 1975Florida Landscape PlantsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  46. Willis, AJ, Memmott, J, Forrester, RI 2000Is there evidence for the post-invasion evolution of increased size among invasive plant species?Ecology Letters3275283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Winn, AA, Gross, KL 1993Latitudinal variation in seed weight and flower number in Prunella Vulgaris Oecologia935562Google Scholar
  48. Wolfe, LM 2002Why alien invaders succeed: Support for the escape-from-enemy hypothesisAmerican Naturalist160705711CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaoru Kitajima
    • 1
  • Alison M. Fox
    • 2
  • Tamotsu Sato
    • 3
  • Dai Nagamatsu
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyUniversity of Florida IFASGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Forestry and Forest Product Research InstituteKumamotoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Regional EnvironmentsTottori UniversityTottoriJapan

Personalised recommendations