Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Is ploidy status related to growth form? Insights from the alien flora of Kashmir Himalaya.

Abstract

Whether ploidy status of plant species is related to their growth form is not well supported by quantitative data despite having been speculated a lot. Deciphering this relationship has a lot of implications for understanding the current distribution patterns of alien plant species in different biogeographical regions both at global and regional scales. Hence, we tested the relationship between ploidy status and growth form in 390 alien plant species of Kashmir Himalaya, India. Ploidy data were obtained through standard published literature and web-based sources. Comparison of the relative proportion of diploids and polyploids within each growth form was carried out followed by a comparison between different growth forms and also between some major families of alien plants of the Himalayan region. The results showed that alien aquatic plant species have a remarkably higher percentage of polyploids (81.48%) than diploids (18.52%). Among the terrestrial growth forms annuals, particularly diploid-annuals and polyploid-annuals predominate in the study area. Moreover among shrubs and trees, a significant excess of diploids over polyploids was found. Our study indicates that ploidy status and growth form are linked which calls for further studies on similar lines across home and novel ranges of alien plant species for understanding their current distribution patterns and devising thoughtful predictions of potential invaders and invasion sensitive regions.