Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive Eupatorium adenophorum suffers lower enemy impact on carbon assimilation than native congeners.

Abstract

Enemy release hypothesis predicts that alien plants that escape from their natural enemies suffer lower enemy regulation in their introduced ranges than in native ranges. An extension of this theory suggests that if enemy release plays a crucial role in invasive success, then in the introduced range, invasive plants should also suffer lower local enemy impact than native residents (local enemy release hypothesis, LERH). In order to test LERH, we compared invasive Eupatorium adenophorum with two native congeners (E. heterophyllum and E. japonicum) in terms of damage by leaf enemies at two natural field sites and two manipulated sites. We also determined enemy impact on carbon assimilation at two manipulated sites. In each site, E. adenophorum was only damaged by herbivores, while in native congeners, leaf scabs or (and) leaf rolls was found in addition to herbivory damage. In both manipulated sites, the total enemy impact on carbon assimilation was lower for E. adenophorum than for native congeners; this observation was consistent with LERH. The results of this study indicate that a short co-existence time with generalist enemies (behavior constraint) might be the main contributor to the lower enemy impact on E. adenophorum.