Advertisement

Plant Ecology

, Volume 220, Issue 3, pp 361–369 | Cite as

Tradeoffs between growth rate and water-use efficiency in seedlings of native perennials but not invasive annuals

  • Justin M. ValliereEmail author
Article
  • 41 Downloads

Abstract

Tradeoffs among species’ traits play an important role in shaping communities. These relationships may also mediate community response to environmental change. In plants of water-limited ecosystems, tradeoffs between growth and water use may impose an important physiological constraint within and across species. I investigated how functional traits associated with this tradeoff differ between seedlings of native perennials in California and the invasive annuals displacing them. I created plant community mesocosms of native and invasive species grown under altered N and water availability, measuring multiple plant functional traits. Natives responded positively to N and water when grown separately, but grew best under low resources when in competition with invasives. Invasives grew much larger than natives and exhibited traits associated with rapid growth. Native species also suffered a tradeoff between relative growth rate (RGR) and water-use efficiency (WUE), while nonnatives exhibited both high RGR and high WUE, especially under high resource availability. The ability to grow rapidly and use limiting resources efficiently undoubtedly contributes to the dominance of these invasive species over native seedlings. Such superior trait combinations and differences in physiological tradeoffs could explain reduced native seedling establishment and restoration success in the presence of these invasives.

Keywords

Nitrogen deposition Drought Relative growth rate Water-use efficiency Ecological tradeoffs Coastal sage scrub 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DEB-1501110) and the National Park Service Air Resource Division (TASK AGREEMENT J8C07110022). I am grateful to Edith Allen for her advice throughout the experiment.

Supplementary material

11258_2019_919_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (86 kb)
Supplementary file1 (PDF 85 kb)
11258_2019_919_MOESM2_ESM.docx (55 kb)
Supplementary file2 (DOCX 54 kb)
11258_2019_919_MOESM3_ESM.docx (73 kb)
Supplementary file3 (DOCX 73 kb)

References

  1. Allen EB, Eliason SA, Marquez VJ, Schultz GP, Storms NK, Stylinski CD, Zink TA, Allen MF (2000) What are the limits to restoration of coastal sage scrub in southern California. 2nd Interface Between Ecology and Land Development in California. USGS Report 00–62:253–262Google Scholar
  2. Allen EB, Egerton-Warburton LM, Hilbig BE, Valliere JM (2016) Interactions of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, critical loads of nitrogen deposition, and shifts from native to invasive species in a southern California shrubland. Botany 94(6):425–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angert AL, Huxman TE, Barron-Gafford GA, Gerst KL, Venable DL (2007) Linking growth strategies to long-term population dynamics in a guild of desert annuals. J Ecol 95:321–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blumenthal D (2005) Interrelated causes of plant invasion. Science 310:243–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cleland EE, Harpole WS (2010) Nitrogen enrichment and plant communities. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1195:46–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cox RD, Preston KL, Johnson RF, Minnich RA, Allen EB (2014) Influence of landscape-scale variables on vegetation conversion to exotic annual grassland in southern California, USA. Glob Ecol Conserv 2:190–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Craine JM (2009) Resource strategies of wild plants. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis MA, Grime JP, Thompson K (2000) Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. J Ecol 88:528–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Díaz S, Kattge J, Cornelissen JH, Wright IJ, Lavorel S, Dray S, Reu B, Kleyer M, Wirth C, Prentice IC (2016) The global spectrum of plant form and function. Nature 529:167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dukes JS, Mooney HA (1999) Does global change increase the success of biological invaders? Trends Ecol Evolut 14:135–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eliason SA, Allen EB (1997) Exotic grass competition in suppressing native shrubland re-establishment. Restor Ecol 5:245–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Everard K, Seabloom EW, Harpole WS, de Mazancourt C (2010) Plant water use affects competition for nitrogen: why drought favors invasive species in California. Am Nat 175:85–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Funk JL (2013) The physiology of invasive plants in low-resource environments. Conserv Physiol 1Google Scholar
  14. Funk JL, Vitousek PM (2007) Resource-use efficiency and plant invasion in low-resource systems. Nature 446:1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Funk JL, Standish RJ, Stock WD, Valladares F (2016) Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems. Ecology 97:75–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gremer JR, Kimball S, Keck KR, Huxman TE, Angert AL, Venable DL (2013) Water-use efficiency and relative growth rate mediate competitive interactions in Sonoran desert winter annual plants. Am J Bot 100:2009–2015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harrison A, Small E, Mooney H (1971) Drought relationships and distribution of two Mediterranean-climate California plant communities. Ecology 52:869–875CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huxman TE, Barron-Gafford G, Gerst KL, Angert AL, Tyler AP, Venable DL (2008) Photosynthetic resource-use efficiency and demographic variability in desert winter annual plants. Ecology 89:1554–1563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kimball S, Gremer JR, Huxman TE, Venable DL, Angert AL (2013) Phenotypic selection favors missing trait combinations in coexisting annual plants. Am Nat 182:191–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kimball S, Goulden ML, Suding KN, Parker S (2014a) Altered water and nitrogen input shifts succession in a Southern California coastal sage community. Ecol Appl 24:1390–1404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kimball S, Gremer JR, Barron-Gafford GA, Angert AL, Huxman TE, and Venable DL (2014b) High water-use efficiency and growth contribute to success of non-native Erodium cicutarium in a Sonoran Desert winter annual community. Conserv Physiol 2Google Scholar
  22. Kimball S, Funk JL, Spasojevic MJ, Suding KN, ParkerS, Goulden ML (2016) Can functional traits predict plant community response to global change? Ecosphere 7.Google Scholar
  23. Larson JE, Funk JL (2016) Seedling root responses to soil moisture and the identification of a belowground trait spectrum across three growth forms. New Phytol 210:827–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lavorel S, Garnier É (2002) Predicting changes in community composition and ecosystem functioning from plant traits: revisiting the Holy Grail. Funct Ecol 16:545–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leishman MR, Haslehurst T, Ares A, Baruch Z (2007) Leaf trait relationships of native and invasive plants: community-and global-scale comparisons. New Phytol 176:635–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Matzek V (2011) Superior performance and nutrient-use efficiency of invasive plants over non-invasive congeners in a resource-limited environment. Biol Invasions 13:3005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McDowell SC (2002) Photosynthetic characteristics of invasive and noninvasive species of Rubus (Rosaceae). Am J Bot 89:1431–1438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Molina-Montenegro MA, Cleland EE, Watts SM, Broitman BR (2012) Can a breakdown in competition–colonization tradeoffs help explain the success of exotic species in the California flora? Oikos 121:389–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pierce S, Brusa G, Vagge I, Cerabolini BE (2013) Allocating CSR plant functional types: the use of leaf economics and size traits to classify woody and herbaceous vascular plants. Funct Ecol 27:1002–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rejmánek M, Richardson DM (1996) What attributes make some plant species more invasive? Ecology 77:1655–1661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Seabloom EW, Harpole WS, Reichman O, Tilman D (2003) Invasion, competitive dominance, and resource use by exotic and native California grassland species. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100:13384–13389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Talluto MV, Suding KN (2008) Historical change in coastal sage scrub in southern California, USA in relation to fire frequency and air pollution. Landsc Ecol 23:803–815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tylianakis JM, Didham RK, Bascompte J, Wardle DA (2008) Global change and species interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecol Lett 11:1351–1363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Valliere JM, Allen EB (2016) Interactive effects of nitrogen deposition and drought-stress on plant-soil feedbacks of Artemisia californica seedlings. Plant Soil 403:277–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Valliere JM, Irvine IC, Santiago L, Allen EB (2017) High N, dry: experimental nitrogen deposition exacerbates native shrub loss and nonnative plant invasion during extreme drought. Global Chang Biol 23:4333–4345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vilà M, Corbin JD, Dukes JS, Pino J, Smith SD (2007) Linking plant invasions to global environmental change. Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world. Springer, Berlin, pp 93–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vourlitis GL (2017) Chronic N enrichment and drought alter plant cover and community composition in a mediterranean-type semi-arid shrubland. Oecologia 184:267–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wainwright CE, Cleland EE (2013) Exotic species display greater germination plasticity and higher germination rates than native species across multiple cues. Biol Invasions 15:2253–2264CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, Institute of the Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations