Effects of experimental climate warming and associated soil drought on the competition between three highly invasive West European alien plant species and native counterparts
- 1.2k Downloads
It is widely suggested that climate warming will increase the impact of biological invasions, yet, to date studies on the combined effect of these two global changes are scarce. Here, we study how climate warming and associated soil drought affect the competition between native and invasive alien plant species. Three highly invasive alien plant species in West Europe, each with a native competitor, were grown either together or in isolation at ambient and at elevated air temperature (+3 °C) in climate-controlled chambers. Equal amounts of water were added to all communities. Soil drought observed in the heated chambers did not induce severe stress in the plants. In two species pairs, Fallopia japonica (Houtt.)–Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. and Solidago gigantea Ait.–Epilobium hirsutum L. (alien invasive–native), the native species dominated in mixture, while the alien invasive species dominated in the third pair Senecio inaequidens DC.–Plantago lanceolata L. Warming did not modify the competitive balance in any of these pairs, in spite of enhancing the aboveground biomass of S. inaequidens and P. lanceolata and the greater photosynthetic rates in S. inaequidens. The results of this study cannot be extrapolated to all invasive or exotic species but may represent the possible future of three principle invaders and some of their key native counterparts. Future experiments are needed to identify response patterns of alien plants to climate warming more in general.
KeywordsGlobal warming Plant invasions Interspecific competition Highly invasive alien plant species Soil drought
This research was financed by the Belgian Science Policy (framed within the ALIEN IMPACT Project). We thank F. Kockelbergh for technical assistance.
- Ernst WHO (1998) Invasion, dispersal and ecology of the South African neophyte Senecio inaequidens in The Netherlands: from wool alien to railway and road alien. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 1(47):131–151Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Jacobs J, Sciengienka J, Menalled F (2006) Ecology and management of Canada thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.]. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Invasive Species Technical Note 5:1–11Google Scholar
- Pysek P, Richardson DM (2006) Traits associated with invasiveness in alien plants: where do we stand? In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Springer, Berlin, pp 97–125Google Scholar
- Schreiber U, Bilger W, Neubauer C (1994) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a non-destructive indicator for rapid assessment of in vivo photosynthesis. Ecol Stud 100:49–70Google Scholar
- Verloove F (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud 20, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- Vitousek PM, DAntonio CM, Loope LL, Rejmanek M, Westbrooks R (1997) Introduced species: a significant component of human-caused global change. New Zealand J Ecol 21(1):1–16Google Scholar
- Yang LH, Rudolf VHW (2010) Phenology, ontogeny and the effects of climate change on the timing of species interactions. Ecol Let 13:1–10Google Scholar
- Yordanov I, Velikova V, Tsonev T (2003) Plant responses to drought and stress tolerance. Bulgarian J Plant Physiol Special Issue, 187–206Google Scholar