Contribution of environmental and soil physicochemical attributes in invasiveness of Ipomoea carnea Jacq. in diverse habitats along elevation and salinity gradients.
A study was conducted in Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to evaluate invasion success of Ipomoea carnea in different ecological zones. The thirty selected habitats were grouped on the basis of salinity levels into non-saline (0.9-3.8 dS m-1), moderately saline (4.1-7.1 dS m-1) and highly saline (10-31.5 dS m-1). Data for weather attributes was obtained from meteorology station, Islamabad-, while soil physicochemical traits and ecological parameters were recorded. Importance value of Ipomoea carnea inhabiting non-saline habitats was the maximum at Puran (PRN). Among moderately saline habitats, I. carnea was the most abundant at Pasrur Pond (PPD), while at highly saline in populations growing at Gatwala (GWA). Importance value and relative density were associated with annual precipitation and maximum and minimum temperatures at non-saline sites. Relative cover as associated with soil physicochemical attributes like ECe, Na+, Cl-, K+, Ca2+. PO43- and NO3-. Relative density was associated with soil moisture content and soil Ca2+ at moderately saline sites. The highly saline sites showed association of RF with climate factors like maximum and minimum temperatures and soil physicochemical traits like saturation percentage, ECe, Na+, K+, Ca2+ and PO43-. Invasion success based on frequency, density and percent cover decreased with increase in elevation at non-saline, moderately saline and highly saline habitats. Invasive success decreased along salinity gradient at moderately saline habitats, while increased at non-saline and highly saline habitats.