Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Non-naturalized alien plants receive fewer flower visits than naturalized and native plants in a Swiss botanical garden.

Abstract

Many animal-pollinated plant species have been introduced to non-native regions without their usual pollinators. Nevertheless, some of these alien species managed to establish reproducing naturalized populations, which might negatively affect native plants. Recent studies have shown that many naturalized alien species can readily attract native pollinators. However, it is not known whether alien species that have not established naturalized populations are less successful in attracting pollinators. Therefore, we tested whether flower-visitation rates are lower for non-naturalized aliens than for naturalized alien and native species. We conducted a comparative study on flower visitation of 185 native, 37 naturalized alien and 224 non-naturalized alien plant species in the Botanical Garden of Bern, Switzerland. Our phylogenetically corrected analyses showed that non-naturalized alien species received fewer flower visitors than both naturalized alien and native species. Native, naturalized alien and non-naturalized alien species were visited by similar flower-visitor communities. Furthermore, among the naturalized alien species, the ones with a broader distribution range in Switzerland received a more diverse set of flower visitors. Although it has been suggested that most alien plants can readily integrate into native plant-pollinator networks, we show evidence that the capacity to attract flower visitors in non-native regions is different for naturalized and non-naturalized alien plants. Therefore, we conclude that successful naturalization of alien plants may be related to flower visitation.