Skip to main content

The invasive Lespedeza cuneata attracts more insect pollinators than native congeners in tallgrass prairie with variable impacts

Abstract

Invasive plant species can potentially exert competitive or facilitative effects on insect pollination services of native species. Factors that influence these effects include the degree of shared pollinator species, synchronous flowering phenology, similar flower morphology and color, relatedness of invasive and natives, and showiness and densities of flowers. We investigated such plant-pollinator dynamics by comparing the invasive Lespedeza cuneata and three native congeners, all sympatric with synchronous flowering, using in situ populations over 2 years during peak floral displays. Insect visitation rates of the invasive were significantly higher per plant in both years than on the native species. The invasive exerted a competitive effect on visitation of the two native species with fewer shared pollinators, and a facilitative effect on visitation of the native species with the highest degree of shared insect visitors. Positive correlations were found between floral density and visitation rate per plant in all the native species. Although no such correlation was found for the invasive, floral density in L. cuneata was at least twenty times higher than in the native species and likely saturated the response of the pollinator community. Analyses of insect visitor taxonomic data indicated the insect communities visiting each of the Lespedeza species were generally similar though with species-specific differences. The main exception was that the common honeybee, Apis mellifera, was a primary visitor to the invasive plant species, yet was never observed on the native Lespedeza species.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  • Abe T, Wada K, Kato Y, Makino S, Okochi I (2011) Alien pollinator promotes invasive mutualism in an insular pollination system. Biol Invasions 13:957–967

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allard RW, Babbel GR, Clegg MT, Kahler AL (1972) Evidence for coadaptation in Avena barbata. Proc Natl Acad Sci 69:3043–3048

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Allard RW, García P, Sáenz-de-Miera LE, MPdl Vega (1993) Evolution of multilocus genetic structure in Avena hirtula and Avena barbata. Genetics 135:1125–1139

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baker HG (1974) The evolution of weeds. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 5:1–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barrat-Segretain MH (2005) Competition between invasive and indigenous species: impact of spatial pattern and developmental stage. Plant Ecol 180:153–160

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barrett SCH (1992) Genetics of weed invasions. In: Jain SK, Botsford LW (eds) Applied population biology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp 91–119

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Barrett SCH (2003) Mating strategies in flowering plants: the outcrossing-selfing paradigm and beyond. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 358:991–1004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barrett SCH, Colautti RI, Eckert CG (2008) Plant reproductive systems and evolution during biological invasion. Mol Ecol 17:373–383

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Barthell JF, Randall JM, Thorp RW, Wenner AM (2001) Promotion of seed set in yellow star-thistle by honey bees: evidence of an invasive mutualism. Ecol Appl 11:1870–1883

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bartomeus I, Vilà M, Santamaría L (2008) Contrasting effects of invasive plants in plant-pollinator networks. Oecologia 155:761–770

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bjerknes A, Totland Ø, Hegland SJ, Nielsen A (2007) Do alien plant invasions really affect pollination success in native plant species? Biol Conserv 138:1–12

    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 

  • Brandon AL, Gibson DJ, Middleton BA (2004) Mechanisms for dominance in an early successional old field by the invasive non-native Lespedeza cuneata (Dum. Cours.) G. Don. Biol Invasions 6:483–493

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brock JH, Child LE, deWaal LC, Wade M (1995) The invasive nature of Fallopia japonica is enhanced by vegetative regeneration from stem tissues. In: Pyšek P, Prach K, Rejmánek M, Wade M (eds) Plant invasions, general aspects and special problems. SPB Academic Publishing, Amsterdam, pp 131–139

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown BB, Mitchell RJ (2001) Competition for pollination: effects of pollen of an invasive plant on seed set of a native congener. Oecologia 129:43–49

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown BB, Mitchell RJ, Graham SA (2002) Competition for pollination between an invasive species (purple loosestrife) and a native congener. Ecology 83:2328–2336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bruno JF, Fridley JD, Bromberg KD, Bertness MD (2005) Insights into biotic interactions from studies of species invasions. In: Sax DF, Stachowicz JJ, Gaines SD (eds) Species invasions: insights into ecology, evolution and biogeography. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, pp 13–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Callaway RM, Thelen GC, Rodriguez A, Holben WE (2004) Soil biota and exotic plant invasion. Nature 427:731–733

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Carr DE, Dudash MR (2003) Recent approaches into the genetic basis of inbreeding depression in plants. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 358:1071–1084

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chang SM, Rausher MD (1998) Frequency-dependent pollen discounting contributes to maintenance of a mixed mating system in the common morning glory Ipomoea purpurea. Am Nat 152:671–683

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chittka L, Schürkens S (2001) Successful invasion of a floral market. Nature 411:653

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Clewell AF (1964) The biology of the common native lespedezas in southern Indiana. Brittonia 16:208–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clewell AF (1966) Natural history, cytology and isolating mechanisms of the native American Lespedezas. Bull Tall Timbers Res Stn 6:10–12

    Google Scholar 

  • Cole CT, Biesboer DD (1992) Monomorphism, reduced gene flow, and cleistogamy in rare and common species of Lespedeza (Fabaceae). Am J Bot 79:567–575

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colwell RK (2005) Estimates: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 7.5

    Google Scholar 

  • Cope WA (1966) Cross-pollination in Sericea Lespedeza. Crop Sci 6:469–470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cox GW (2004) Alien species and evolution. Island Press, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  • Daehler CC (1998) Variation in self-fertility and the reproductive advantage of self-fertility for an invading plant (Spartina alterniflora). Evol Ecol 12:553–568

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dalsgaard B, Gonzalez AMM, Olesen JM, Timmermann A, Andersen LH, Ollerton J (2008) Pollination networks and functional specialization: a test using Lesser Antillean plant-hummingbird assemblages. Oikos 117:789–793

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D’Antonio CM, Hobbie SE (2005) Plant species effects on ecosystem processes. In: Sax DF, Stachowicz JJ, Gaines SD (eds) Species invasions. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, pp 65–84

    Google Scholar 

  • Dlugosch KM, Parker IM (2008) Founding events in species invasions: genetic variation, adaptive evolution, and the role of multiple introductions. Mol Ecol 17:431–449

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Donnelly ED (1955) The effects of outcrossing on forage and seed yields in sericea lespedeza, L. cuneata. Agron J 47:466–467

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drake JM, Baggenstos P, Lodge DM (2005) Propagule pressure and persistence in experimental populations. Biol Lett UK 1:480–483

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goodin DG, Fay PA, McHugh MJ (2003) Climate variability in tallgrass prairie at multiple timescales: Konza Prairie Biological Station. In: Greenland D, Goodin DG, Smith RC (eds) Climate variability and ecosystem response at long-term ecological research sites. Oxford University Press, NY, pp 411–424

    Google Scholar 

  • Great Plains Flora Association (1986) Flora of the great plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence

    Google Scholar 

  • Gross CL (2001) The effect of introduced honeybees on native bee visitation and fruit-set in Dillwynia juniperina (Fabaceae) in a fragmented ecosystem. Biol Conserv 102:89–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kandori K, Hirao T, Matsunaga S, Kurosaki T (2009) An invasive dandelion unilaterally reduces the reproduction of a native congener through competition for pollination. Oecologia 159:559–569

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lambrinos JG (2001) The expansion history of a sexual and asexual species of Cortaderia in California, USA. J Ecol 89:88–98

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lambrinos JG (2004) How interactions between ecology and evolution influence contemporary invasion dynamics. Ecology 85:2061–2070

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Larson KC, Fowler SP, Walker JC (2002) Lack of pollinators limits fruit set in the exotic Lonicera japonica. Am Midl Nat 148:54–60

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leung B, Drake JM, Lodge DM (2004) Predicting invasions: propagule pressure and the gravity of allee effects. Ecology 85:1651–1660

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levin DA (2003) Ecological speciation: lessons from invasive species. Syst Bot 28:643–650

    Google Scholar 

  • Lloyd DG (1992) Self- and cross-fertilization in plants: the selection of self-fertilization. Int J Plant Sci 153:370–380

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McKey DB, Kaufmann SC (1988) Naturalization of exotic Ficus species (Moraceae) in south Florida. Paper presented at proceedings of the symposium on exotic pest plants 1988. University of Miami, Florida

  • Mitchell RJ, Flanagan RJ, Brown BJ, Waser NM, Karron JD (2009) New frontiers in competition for pollination. Ann Bot 103:1403–1413

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Moragues E, Traveset A (2005) Effect of Carpobrotus spp. on the pollination success of native plant species of the Balearic Islands. Biol Conserv 122:611–619

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morales CL, Traveset A (2009) A meta-analysis of impacts of alien vs. native plants on pollinator visitation and reproductive success of co-flowering native plants. Ecol Lett 12:716–728

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Muñoz AA, Cavieres LA (2008) The presense of a showy invasive plant disrupts pollinator service and reproductive output in native alpine species only at high densities. J Ecol 96:459–467

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nadel H, Frank JH, Knight RJ (1992) Escapees and accomplices: the naturalization of exotic Ficus and their associated faunas in Florida. Fla Entomol 75:29–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nielsen C, Heimes C, Kollmann J (2008) Little evidence for negative effects of an invasive alien plant on pollinator services. Biol Invasions 10:1353–1363

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Novak SJ, Mack RN, Soltis DE (1991) Genetic variation in Bromus tectorum (Poaceae): population differentiation in its North American range. Am J Bot 78:1150–1161

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ohlenbusch PD, Bidwell T, Fick WH, Scott W, Clubine S, Coffin M (2007) Sericea lespedeza: history, characteristics and identification. Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, Manhattan

    Google Scholar 

  • Pannell JR, Barrett SCH (1998) Baker’s Law revisited: reproductive assurance in a metapopulation. Evolution 52:657–668

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pappert RA, Hamrick JL, Donovan LA (2000) Genetic variation in Pueraria lobata (Fabaceae), an introduced, clonal, invasive plant of the southeastern United States. Am J Bot 87:1240–1245

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Parker IM (1997) Pollinator limitation of Cytisus scoparius (scotch broom), an invasive exotic shrub. Ecology 78:1457–1470

    Google Scholar 

  • Parker IM, Haubensak KA (2002) Comparative pollinator limitation of two non-native shrubs: do mutualisms influence invasions? Oecologia 130:250–258

    Google Scholar 

  • Parker IM, Rodriguez J, Loik ME (2003) An evolutionary approach to understanding the biology of invasions: local adaptation and general-purpose genotypes in the weed Verbascum thapsus. Conserv Biol 17:59–72

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Potts SG (2005) Recording pollinator behaviour on flowers. In: Dafni A, Kevan PG, Husband BC (eds) Practical pollination biology. Enviroquest, Ltd., Cambridge, pp 330–339

    Google Scholar 

  • Prentis PJ, Wilson JRU, Dormontt EE, Richardson DM, Lowe AJ (2008) Adaptive evolution in invasive species. Trends Plant Sci 13:288–294

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pyšek P, Mandák B, Francírková T, Prach K (2001) Persistence of stout clonal herbs as invaders in the landscape: a field test of historical records. In: Brundu G, Brock J, Camarda I, Child L, Wade M (eds) Plant invasions: species ecology and ecosystem management. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp 235–244

    Google Scholar 

  • Rejmánek M, Richardson DM, Higgins SI, Pitcairn MJ, Grotkopp E (2005) Ecology of invasive plants: state of the art. In: Mooney HA, Mack RN, McNeely JA, Neville LE, Schei PJ, Waage JK (eds) Invasive alien species: a new synthesis. Vol 63: SCOPE. Island Press, Washington, pp 104–161

    Google Scholar 

  • Richardson DM, Allsopp N, D’Antonio CM, Milton SJ, Rejmánek M (2000) Plant invasions—the role of mutualisms. Biol Rev 75:65–93

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rodger JG, vanKleunen M, Johnson SD (2010) Does specialized pollination impede plant invasions? Int J Plant Sci 171:382–391

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sargent RD, Ackerly DD (2008) Plant-pollinator interactions and the assembly of plant communities. Trends Ecol Evol 23:123–130

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • SAS Institute Inc. (2002–2003) SAS 9.1 TS level 1M3, Cary, NC

  • Schaffer WM, Jensen DB, Hobbs DE, Gurevitch J, Todd JR, Schaffer MV (1979) Competition, foraging energetics and the cost of sociality in three species of bees. Ecology 60:976–987

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schaffer WM, Zeh DW, Buchmann SL, Kleinhans S, Schaffer MV, Antrim J (1983) Competition for nectar between introduced honey bees and native North American bees and ants. Ecology 64:564–577

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schutzenhofer MR (2007) The effect of herbivory on the mating system of congeneric native and exotic Lespedeza species. Int J Plant Sci 168:1021–1026

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simberloff D (2006) Invasional meltdown 6 years later: important phenomenon, unfortunate metaphor, or both? Ecol Lett 9:912–919

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Simberloff D, VonHolle B (1999) Positive interactions of nonindigenous species: invasional meltdown. Biol Invasions 1:21–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stitt RE (1946) Natural crossing and segregation in sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don. J Am Soc Agron 38:1–5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stout JC, Kells AR, Goulson D (2002) Pollination of the invasive exotic shrub Lupinus arboreus (Fabaceae) by introduced bees in Tasmania. Biol Conserv 106:425–434

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stout JC, Parnell JAN, Arroyo J, Crowe TP (2006) Pollination ecology and seed production of Rhododendron ponticum in native and exotic habitats. Biodivers Conserv 15:755–777

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sundberg MI, Slaughter DM, Crupper SS (2002) Application of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting to detect genetic variation in sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata). T Kans Acad Sci 105:91–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Takakura K-I, Nishida T, Matsumoto T, Nishida S (2009) Alien dandelion reduces the seed-set of a native congener through frequency-dependent and one-sided effects. Biol Invasions 11:973–981

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomson D (2005) Measuring the effects of invasive species on the demography of a rare endemic plant. Biol Invasions 7:615–624

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Totland Ø, Nielsen A, Bjerknes A, Ohlson M (2006) Effects of an exotic plant and habitat disturbance on pollinator visitation and reproduction in a boreal forest herb. Am J Bot 93:868–873

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Traveset A, Richardson DM (2006) Biological invasions as disruptors of plant reproductive mutualisms. Trends Ecol Evol 21:208–216

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Valdovinos FS, Ramos-Jiliberto R, Flores JD, Espinoza C, Lopez G (2009) Structure and dynamics of pollination networks: the role of alien plants. Oikos 118:1190–1200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watson MA, Casper BB (1984) Morphogenetic constraints on patterns of carbon distribution in plants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 15:233–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson JRU, Dormontt EE, Prentis PJ, Lowe AJ, Richardson DM (2009) Something in the way you move: dispersal pathways affect invasion success. Trends Ecol Evol 24:136–144

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Woods TM (2006) A comparison of the reproductive systems of the invasive Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don (Fabaceae) with three native congeners in the Flint Hills region of the tallgrass prairie. M.S. Thesis, Kansas State University

  • Woods TM, Hartnett DC, Ferguson CJ (2009) High propagule production and reproductive fitness homeostasis contribute to the invasiveness of Lespedeza cuneata (Fabaceae). Biol Invasions 11:1913–1927

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors thank David C. Hartnett and Anthony Joern for invaluable guidance, and for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We also are grateful for the expert contributions of Robert Brown, Greg Zolnerowich, and Mark Mayfield, as well as the field assistance of Ruth Gibson and Sarah Haller. The land managers and landowners of our sites were generous and gracious, and we are indebted to them: Jerold Spohn at Ft. Riley Military Base; James Hulbert at Pottawatomie No. 2 State Lake; Tom Van Slyke and Jim Larkins at Konza Prairie Biological Station; Dru and Mike Clarke; and Jerry Hageman. The thoughtful comments from two anonymous reviewers contributed to the strength of this paper, for which we are most grateful. We acknowledge support from the Konza Prairie Biological Station. This is contribution number 11-335 J of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Teresa M. Woods.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Woods, T.M., Jonas, J.L. & Ferguson, C.J. The invasive Lespedeza cuneata attracts more insect pollinators than native congeners in tallgrass prairie with variable impacts. Biol Invasions 14, 1045–1059 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-011-0138-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-011-0138-0

Keywords