Skip to main content
Log in

Different gardens, different results: native and introduced populations exhibit contrasting phenotypes across common gardens

  • Population Ecology - Original Paper
  • Published:
Oecologia Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Invasive plants may respond through adaptive evolution and/or phenotypic plasticity to new environmental conditions where they are introduced. Although many studies have focused on evolution of invaders particularly in the context of testing the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis, few consistent patterns have emerged. Many tests of the EICA hypothesis have been performed in only one environment; such assessments may be misleading if plants that perform one way at a particular site respond differently across sites. Single common garden tests ignore the potential for important contributions of both genetic and environmental factors to affect plant phenotype. Using a widespread invader in North America, Cynoglossum officinale, we established reciprocal common gardens in the native range (Europe) and introduced range (North America) to assess genetically based differences in size, fecundity, flowering phenology and threshold flowering size between native and introduced genotypes as well as the magnitude of plasticity in these traits. In addition, we grew plants at three nutrient levels in a pot experiment in one garden to test for plasticity across a different set of conditions. We did not find significant genetically based differences between native and introduced populations in the traits we measured; in our experiments, introduced populations of C. officinale were larger and more fecund, but only in common garden experiments in the native range. We found substantial population-level plasticity for size, fecundity and date of first flowering, with plants performing better in a garden in Germany than in Montana. Differentiation of native populations in the magnitude of plasticity was much stronger than that of introduced populations, suggesting an important role for founder effects. We did not detect evidence of an evolutionary change in threshold flowering size. Our study demonstrates that detecting genetically based differences in traits may require measuring plant responses to more than one environment.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Baker HG (1965) Characteristics and modes of origin of weeds. In: Baker HG, Stebbins GL (eds) The genetics of colonizing species. Academic Press, New York, pp 147–168

    Google Scholar 

  • Blair AC, Wolfe LM (2004) The evolution of an invasive plant: an experimental study with Silene latifolia. Ecology 85:3035–3042

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blossey B, Nötzold R (1995) Evolution of increased competitive ability in invasive nonindigenous plants: a hypothesis. J Ecol 83:887–889

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bossdorf O, Prati D, Auge H, Schmid B (2004) Reduced competitive ability in an invasive plant. Ecol Lett 7:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bossdorf O, Auge H, Lafuma L, Rogers WE, Siemann E, Prati D (2005) Phenotypic and genetic differentiation between native and introduced plant populations. Oecologia 144:1–11

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Byers JE et al (2002) Directing research to reduce the impacts of nonindigenous species. Conserv Biol 16:630–640

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clausen JD, Keck DD, Hiesey WM (1940) Experimental studies on the nature of species. I. The effects of varied environments on North American Plants. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 520, Washington

  • de Jong TJ, Klinkhamer PG (1988) Population ecology of the biennials Cirsium vulgare and Cynoglossum officinale in a coastal sand-dune area. J Ecol 76:366–382

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Jong TJ, Klinkhamer PG, Boorman LA (1990) Biological flora of the British Isles: Cynoglossum officinale L. J Ecol 78:1123–1144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Jong TJ, Goosen-de Roo L, Klinkhamer PG (1998) Is the threshold size for flowering in Cynoglossum officinale fixed or dependent on the environment? New Phytol 138:489–496

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeWalt SJ, Denslow JS, Hamrick JL (2004) Biomass allocation, growth, and photosynthesis of genotypes from native and introduced ranges of the tropical shrub Clidemia hirta. Oecologia 138:521–531

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Genton BJ, Kotanen PM, Cheptou P-O, Adolphe C, Shykoff J (2005) Enemy release but no evolutionary loss of defence in a plant invasion: an intercontinental reciprocal transplant experiment. Oecologia 146:404–414

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Griffith TM, Watson MA (2006) Is evolution necessary for range expansion? Manipulating reproductive timing of a weedy annual transplanted beyond its range. Am Nat 167:153–164

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hänfling B, Kollman J (2002) An evolutionary perspective of biological invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 17:545–546

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jonas CS, Geber MA (1999) Variation among populations of Clarkia unguiculata (Onagraceae) along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients. Am J Bot 86:333–343

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Joshi J, Vrieling K (2005) The enemy release and EICA hypothesis revisited: incorporating the fundamental difference between specialist and generalist herbivores. Ecol Lett 8:704–714

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman SR, Smouse PE (2001) Comparing indigenous and introduced populations of Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake: response of seedlings to water and pH levels. Oecologia 127:487–494

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lacey EP (1988) Latitudinal variation in reproductive timing of a short-lived monocarp, Daucus carota (Apiaceae). Ecology 69:220–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee CE (2002) Evolutionary genetics of invasive species. Trends Ecol Evol 17:386–391

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leger EA, Rice KJ (2003) Invasive California poppies (Eschscholzia californica Cham.) grow larger than native individuals under reduced competition. Ecol Lett 6:257–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maron JL, Vilà M, Bommarco R, Elmendorf S, Beardsley P (2004) Rapid evolution of an invasive plant. Ecol Monogr 74:261–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maron JL, Elmendorf S, Vila M (2007) Contrasting plant physiological adaptation to climate in the native and introduced range of Hypericum perforatum. Evolution 61:1912–1924

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Muth NZ, Pigliucci M (2007) Implementation of a novel framework for assessing species plasticity in biological invasions: responses of Centaurea and Crepis to phosphorus and water availability. J Ecol 95:1001–1013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neubert MG, Caswell H (2000) Demography and dispersal: calculation and sensitivity analysis of invasion speed for structured populations. Ecology 81:1613–1628

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pigliucci M (2001) Phenotypic plasticity: beyond nature and nurture. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  • Prins AH, Nell HW, Klinkhamer PG (1992) Size-dependent root herbivory on Cynoglossum officinale. Oikos 65:409–413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richards CL, Bossdorf O, Muth NZ, Gurevitch J, Pigliucci M (2006) Jack of all trades, master of some? On the role of phenotypic plasticity in plant invasions. Ecol Lett 9:981–993

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Roff DK (1992) The evolution of life histories. Chapman and Hall, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Sakai AK et al (2001) The population biology of invasive species. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 32:305–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Satterthwaite FE (1946) An approximate distribution of estimates of variance components. Biometrics Bull 2:110–114

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Schwarzlaender M (2000) Host specificity of Longitarsus quadriguattaus Pont., a below-ground herbivore for the biological control of houndstongue. Biol Control 18:18–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siemann E, Rogers WE (2003) Increased competitive ability of an invasive tree may be limited by an invasive beetle. Ecol Appl 13:1503–1507

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stastny M, Schaffner U, Elle E (2005) Do vigour of introduced populations and escape from specialist herbivores contribute to invasiveness? J Ecol 93:27–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stockwell CA, Hendry A, Kinnison M (2003) Contemporary evolution meets conservation biology. Trends Ecol Evol 18:94–101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Upadhyaya MK, Tilsner HR, Pitt MD (1988) The biology of Canadian weeds. 87. Cynoglossum officinale L. Can J Plant Sci 68:763–774

    Google Scholar 

  • van Kleunen M, Schmid B (2003) No evidence for an evolutionary increased competitive ability in an invasive plant. Ecology 84:2816–2823

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wesselingh RA, Klinkhamer PG, de Jong TJ, Boorman LA (1997) Threshold size for flowering in different habitats: effects of size-dependent growth and survival. Ecology 78:2118–2132

    Google Scholar 

  • Widmer TL, Guermache F, Dolgovskaia MY, Reznik SY (2007) Enhanced growth and seed properties in introduced vs. native populations of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis). Weed Sci 55:465–473

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wolfe LM, Elzinga JA, Biere A (2004) Increased susceptibility to enemies following introduction in the invasive plant Silene latifolia. Ecol Lett 7:813–820

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Sigrid Berger, Carrie Craig, Ronald Eickner, Ina Geier, Martina Herrmann, Renate Hintz, Eva Gonzalez, Maxi Huth, Friedrich Kohlmann, Antje Thondorf, Sabine Strassenburg and Christa Wolfram for assisting with harvesting plants in the German gardens, and Cedar Brant and Courtney Hall for assistance in the Montana garden. Special thanks to Verena Schmidt for her continual maintenance of the German experiments and to Petra Petersohn for maintaining the weather station at Bad Lauchstädt. We also thank Stefan Toepfer and Jennifer Andreas for collecting seeds and Tom de Jong for assisting with seed collections and providing access to field sites. Dan Barton, Ray Callaway, Elizabeth Crone, Rebecca Irwin and several anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on this manuscript. Support for this study to JW was provided by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant DEB 05-08102. JLM was supported by NSF DEB-0296175. This work was conducted in accordance with the all federal and state laws of the US and Germany; seeds were imported into the US under USDA-APHIS permit 37-86531.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jennifer L. Williams.

Additional information

Communicated by Rebecca Irwin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Williams, J.L., Auge, H. & Maron, J.L. Different gardens, different results: native and introduced populations exhibit contrasting phenotypes across common gardens. Oecologia 157, 239–248 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-008-1075-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-008-1075-1

Keywords

Navigation