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Non-random recruitment of invader species in experimental grasslands


Roscher, C; Schmid, B; Schulze, E D (2009). Non-random recruitment of invader species in experimental grasslands. Oikos, 118(10):1524-1540.

Abstract

To assess potential effects of seed limitation, characteristics of invader species and characteristics of established plant communities on recruitment success, we conducted a split-plot experiment factorially combining three weeding treatments corresponding to increasing successional age (regular weeding < cessation of weeding after three years < never weeded since sowing) with two seed limitation treatments (control vs sowing a seed mixture of all experimental species = internal invaders) in experimental grasslands varying in species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and in functional group richness and composition (1, 2, 3, 4 functional groups: presence/absence of legumes x grasses x tall herbs x small herbs). Seed addition increased internal invader seedling densities and the probability of successful colonization per species. Legumes,
tall herbs and species with large and long-lived seeds or a requirement for specific vectors for pollination and dispersal benefited from seed addition most. The number of successfully established internal invader species was highest in plots with low initial species richness and in the regularly weeded treatments and lowest in plots with high initial species richness and in the never weeded treatments, indicating decreased recruitment with increased successional age. Resident plant communities with legumes had mostly negative (legume and small- and tall-herb internal invaders, external invaders) or neutral (grass invaders) effects on seedling density and colonization probability of invader species whereas resident communities with grasses had positive effects on the colonization probability of invader species except grasses themselves. These results show that seed limitation, invader characteristics, and community characteristics all can affect recruitment success in predictable ways, suggesting non-random community assembly during succession starting from different initial species pools.

Abstract

To assess potential effects of seed limitation, characteristics of invader species and characteristics of established plant communities on recruitment success, we conducted a split-plot experiment factorially combining three weeding treatments corresponding to increasing successional age (regular weeding < cessation of weeding after three years < never weeded since sowing) with two seed limitation treatments (control vs sowing a seed mixture of all experimental species = internal invaders) in experimental grasslands varying in species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and in functional group richness and composition (1, 2, 3, 4 functional groups: presence/absence of legumes x grasses x tall herbs x small herbs). Seed addition increased internal invader seedling densities and the probability of successful colonization per species. Legumes,
tall herbs and species with large and long-lived seeds or a requirement for specific vectors for pollination and dispersal benefited from seed addition most. The number of successfully established internal invader species was highest in plots with low initial species richness and in the regularly weeded treatments and lowest in plots with high initial species richness and in the never weeded treatments, indicating decreased recruitment with increased successional age. Resident plant communities with legumes had mostly negative (legume and small- and tall-herb internal invaders, external invaders) or neutral (grass invaders) effects on seedling density and colonization probability of invader species whereas resident communities with grasses had positive effects on the colonization probability of invader species except grasses themselves. These results show that seed limitation, invader characteristics, and community characteristics all can affect recruitment success in predictable ways, suggesting non-random community assembly during succession starting from different initial species pools.

Citations

16 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:4 June 2009
Deposited On:07 Oct 2009 10:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:22
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0030-1299
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17601.x

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