Effects of extreme temperatures on the growth and photosynthesis of invasive Bidens alba and its native congener B. biternata.
Temperatures are expected to fluctuate widely under climate change but little is known about how extreme temperatures might affect the physiology and performance of invasive compared to native plant species. In this study, we evaluated the effects of high (40/35°C) and low (10/5°C) temperature regimes on the growth and photosynthesis of the invasive Asteraceae species Bidens alba and its native congener B. biternata using a growth chamber experiment. Results showed that invasive B. alba had significantly greater total biomass and relative growth rate, accompanied by higher net photosynthetic rate (Pn), than native B. biternata at both low and high temperature extremes. The reduction in Pn for B. alba was mainly caused by stomatal limitations, but for B. biternata it was caused by non-stomatal factors, indicating that greater damage to physiological processes may occur in native B. biternata under both low and high temperature stress. Higher cyclic electron flow around photosystem I in invasive B. alba than in native B. biternata under extreme temperatures might alleviate the negative effect of temperature extremes to photosynthetic and thus promote its photosynthetic efficiency. To conclude, the invasive B. alba has both greater cold and heat tolerance than its native congener B. biternata, suggesting that the invader may outperform native species under future extreme temperature conditions.