Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 3333–3342 | Cite as

Phylogenetically structured damage to Asteraceae: susceptibility of native and exotic species to foliar herbivores

  • Steven B. Hill
  • Peter M. Kotanen
Original Paper


Invasive plants often lose natural enemies while moving to new regions; however, once established in a new area, these invaders may be susceptible to attack by locally occurring enemies. Such damage may be more likely for exotics with close native relatives in the invaded area, since shifts of enemies should be more likely among closely related hosts. In this study, we evaluated whether exotics experience less herbivore damage than natives, and whether phylogenetically novel exotics experience less damage that those that are more closely related to locally occurring family members. Foliar damage was measured on 20 native and 15 exotic Asteraceae that co-occur locally in southern Ontario, Canada. The phylogenetic structure of this damage was quantified using an eigenvector decomposition method, and the relationship between damage and phylogenetic novelty of exotics was evaluated based on phylogenetic distances to other locally occurring Asteraceae. Our results show that 32% of the variation in damage was explained by phylogenetic relationship; similarity in damage tended to be associated with tribes. As predicted, exotics experienced lower damage than native species, even when the dataset was corrected for phylogenetic nonindependence. Contrary to our prediction, however, exotics that were more phylogenetically isolated from locally occurring relatives did not experience less damage. These results suggest that, though exotic Asteraceae may escape many of their natural enemies, this is not in general more likely for species phylogenetically distant from locally occurring native confamilials.


Asteraceae Community phylogenetics Enemy release hypothesis Exotic species Invasion biology 



This research was supported by NSERC Research and Equipment Grants (PMK), an NSERC PGS-D (SBH), and the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill. Thanks to Kateryna Kostyukova for her continuous help, and Andrew MacDonald and Megan Saunders for their support, discussions, and field assistance, and to two anonymous reviewers for their comments. All of the experiments conducted in this study comply with the current laws of Canada. This is a publication of the Koffler Scientific Reserve.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada

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