Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Phylogenetic diversity of wetland plants across China.

Abstract

Accelerating and severe wetland loss has made wetland restoration increasingly important. Current wetland restorations do not take into consideration the ecological adaptability of wetland plants at large scales, which likely affects their long-term restoration success. We explored the ecological adaptability, including plant life forms and phylogenetic diversity, of plants across 28 wetlands in China. We found that perennial herbs were more common than annual herbs, with the proportion of perennial herbs accounting for 40-50%, 45-65%, 45-70%, 50-60%, and 60-80% of species in coastal wetlands, human-made wetlands, lake wetlands, river wetlands, and marsh wetlands, respectively. A ranking of phylogenetic diversity indices (PDIs) showed an order of marsh < river < coastal < lake < human-made, meaning that human-made wetlands had the highest phylogenetic diversity and marsh wetlands had the lowest phylogenetic diversity. The nearest taxon index (NTI) was positive in 23 out of 28 wetlands, indicating that species were phylogenetically clustered in wetland habitats. Dominant species tended to be distantly related to non-dominant species, as were alien invasive species and native species. Our study indicated that annual herbs and perennial herbs were found in different proportions in different types of wetlands and that species were phylogenetically clustered in wetland habitats. To improve wetland restoration, we suggest screening for native annual herbs and perennial herbs in proportions that occur naturally and the consideration of the phylogenetic similarity to dominant native species.