Response of plant functional traits to species origin and adaptive reproduction in weeds.
Exotic species and clonal species are more competitive than co-occurring species, and several plant traits have already been identified to contribute to their superior competitiveness. In this study, 13 functional traits of 36 weed species were analyzed to determine if there was generalizable difference among these species. The results indicated that species origin significantly affected fluctuating asymmetry of width (FAW), specific leaf area (SLA), and total dry mass (TDM), with exotic species showing a higher FAW and TDM but a lower SLA. Adaptive reproduction had a significant effect so that FAW and FAA tended to be higher for non-clonal species, but RMF and R/S ratio tended to be higher for clonal species. Meanwhile, the response of these traits to species origin and reproduction was altered by their interactive effect. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) ordination indicated an extremely positive relationship with all leaf traits and TDM, in exotic species, but a similar relationship with SLA, TDM, and Slw in clonal species. Clonal invasive species tended to have higher TDM, while non-clonal invasive species tended to have higher FA.