Biological Invasions

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 355–365 | Cite as

The influence of an invasive plant species on the pollination success and reproductive output of three riparian plant species

  • Koen W. Thijs
  • Rein Brys
  • Hans A. F. Verboven
  • Martin Hermy
Original Paper


Besides competition for abiotic resources, an increasing number of studies show evidence of the effects of invasive species on the pollination success and reproductive output of indigenous species. We studied the effect of the invasive Impatiens glandulifera Royle on the process of reproduction in the indigenous Lythrum salicaria L. and Alisma plantago-aquatica L. and the naturalized Oenothera biennis L. The latter three species (target species) were transplanted into pots and placed in invaded and non-invaded areas. During flowering season of each of these species, we measured species composition and abundance of pollinators, pollinator behaviour, pollen deposition and female reproductive output of the target species. Competitive effects were found for L. salicaria, in which fewer pollinator species and number of foraging individuals were observed, and also, lower pollen deposition and seed set were measured in these invaded populations. In contrast, the reproductive success of A. plantago-aquatica and O. biennis was not affected by the presence of I. glandulifera. Our data indicate that when invasive and indigenous species show a large overlap in pollinator community, which is the case for I. glandulifera and L. salicaria, competition between these species can occur. When both species have a different pollinator community, pollination success and reproductive output is not affected, even when the indigenous populations are densely and abundantly invaded.


Alisma plantago-aquatica Competition Impatiens glandulifera Invasive plants Lythrum salicaria Invasion Oenothera biennis Pollen deposition Pollination Pollinator behaviour Pollinator community Pollinator service Riparian species 



We thank the Research Institute for Nature and Forest for the technical support. The first author is funded by a Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (University of Leuven) FLOF grant. R.B. and H.V. were funded by a Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (FWO) and Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) grant, respectively. We would like to acknowledge the thoughtful comments of Montserrat Vilà and two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koen W. Thijs
    • 1
  • Rein Brys
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hans A. F. Verboven
    • 1
  • Martin Hermy
    • 1
  1. 1.Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Research Institute for Nature and ForestBrusselBelgium
  3. 3.Terrestrial Ecology Unit, Department of BiologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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