Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The invasive aquatic plant Ludwigia grandiflora affects pollinator visitants to a native plant at high abundances.

Abstract

The presence of an invasive species can either have a negative effect on pollination of natives by competing for pollinators or a positive effect since they may act as 'magnet' species facilitating pollinator visits to co-flowering species. We studied the plant-pollinator interactions for Ludwigia grandiflora, a highly invasive aquatic weed in Europe. First, a food web approach was used in one field site and our results showed an integration of L. grandiflora into the native plant-pollinator network with a dominance of L. grandiflora in terms of frequency of pollinator visits. Second, an experiment was designed to identify the pollinator guild of invasive L. grandiflora and native Lythrum salicaria and to measure interspecific pollinator switching. We also estimated the pollinator-mediated effect of high relative abundance of L. grandiflora (% cover of L. grandiflora) on L. salicaria plants. We monitored species composition, abundance and foraging behaviour of pollinators on L. salicaria. In addition, we assessed seed set per fruit of L. salicaria. Competition for pollinator services between invasive L. grandiflora and native L. salicaria seems minor as there was no evidence for decreased pollinator visitation or seed set of L. salicaria. On the contrary, more pollinators were recorded on L. salicaria plants when the cover of L. grandiflora was high compared to the control plants thereby indicating a facilitation effect, however this was not reflected in seed set. Despite the fact that L. grandiflora is well integrated in the native plant-pollinator network and highly attractive to pollinators, there was no evidence of negative impact of L. grandiflora on pollination of a native plant.