Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Effects of soil nutrients on reproductive traits of invasive and native annual Asteraceae plants.

Abstract

Aims: Understanding the reproductive strategy of invasive plants is fundamental to identify the mechanisms of plant invasion and success. In order to understand how soil nutrient conditions influence reproductive capacity in native and invasive plants, and specifically whether nutrient addition increases the reproductive capacity more for the invasive plants, we conducted a common garden experiment. Method: In low and high soil nutrient conditions we measured and compared the reproductive traits of annual Asteraceae plants including the invasive species (Praxelis clematidea, Ageratum conyzoides, and Bidens pilosa) and native species (Vernonia cinerea, Emilia sonchifolia, and Eclipta prostrata) . Results: We found that nutrient addition increased the flowering plant height, plant height, aboveground biomass, single seed weight, total inflorescence number, seed number per inflorescence, total seed number and total seed weight of all Asteraceae plants, and also advanced the flowering time and extended the duration of flowering. Nutrient addition increased the flowering plant height and single seed weight of invasive species more than those of native species, and in some invasive species (P. clematideaand A. conyzoides) it increased the reproductive capacity compared to some native sepcies (V. cinerea and Eclipta prostrata) . The total seed number and total seed weight of B. pilosa and Emilia sonchifoliawere small under both low and high soil nutrient conditions. The total seed number of the native Eclipta prostrata was higher than that of the three invasive sepcies under low soil nutrient condition, and its total seed weight was higher than that of the three invasive sepcies. Conclusion: These results indicate that high soil nutrients promote the reproductive capacity of some but not all invasive plants compared with native plants.