Functional differences between alien and native species: Do biotic interactions determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands?

Nicolas Gross, Luca Börger, Richard DUNCAN, Philip E. Hulme

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    1. Although observed functional differences between alien and native plant species support the idea that invasions are favoured by niche differentiation (ND), when considering invasions along large ecological gradients, habitat filtering (HF) has been proposed to constrain alien species such that they exhibit similar trait values to natives. 2. To reconcile these contrasting observations, we used a multiscale approach using plant functional traits to evaluate how biotic interactions with native species and grazing might determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands along an elevation gradient in New Zealand. 3. At a regional scale, functional differences between alien and native plant species translated into nonrandom community assembly and high ND. Alien and native species showed contrasting responses to elevation and the degree of ND between them decreased as elevation increased, suggesting a role for HF. At the plant-neighbourhood scale, species with contrasting traits were generally spatially segregated, highlighting the impact of biotic interactions in structuring local plant communities. A confirmatory multilevel path analysis showed that the effect of elevation and grazing was moderated by the presence of native species, which in turn influenced the local abundance of alien species. 4. Our study showed that functional differences between aliens and natives are fundamental to understand the interplay between multiple mechanisms driving alien species success and their coexistence with natives. In particular, the success of alien species is driven by the presence of native species which can have a negative (biotic resistance) or a positive (facilitation) effect depending on the functional identity of alien species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1262-1272
    Number of pages11
    JournalFunctional Ecology
    Volume27
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    introduced species
    native species
    indigenous species
    grasslands
    grassland
    niche
    niches
    grazing
    path analysis
    facilitation
    habitat
    habitats
    coexistence
    plant community
    plant communities

    Cite this

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    title = "Functional differences between alien and native species: Do biotic interactions determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands?",
    abstract = "1. Although observed functional differences between alien and native plant species support the idea that invasions are favoured by niche differentiation (ND), when considering invasions along large ecological gradients, habitat filtering (HF) has been proposed to constrain alien species such that they exhibit similar trait values to natives. 2. To reconcile these contrasting observations, we used a multiscale approach using plant functional traits to evaluate how biotic interactions with native species and grazing might determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands along an elevation gradient in New Zealand. 3. At a regional scale, functional differences between alien and native plant species translated into nonrandom community assembly and high ND. Alien and native species showed contrasting responses to elevation and the degree of ND between them decreased as elevation increased, suggesting a role for HF. At the plant-neighbourhood scale, species with contrasting traits were generally spatially segregated, highlighting the impact of biotic interactions in structuring local plant communities. A confirmatory multilevel path analysis showed that the effect of elevation and grazing was moderated by the presence of native species, which in turn influenced the local abundance of alien species. 4. Our study showed that functional differences between aliens and natives are fundamental to understand the interplay between multiple mechanisms driving alien species success and their coexistence with natives. In particular, the success of alien species is driven by the presence of native species which can have a negative (biotic resistance) or a positive (facilitation) effect depending on the functional identity of alien species.",
    keywords = "Biological invasions, Community assembly, Competition, Exotic, Facilitation, Habitat filtering, Niche differentiation, Plant functional traits, Weed",
    author = "Nicolas Gross and Luca B{\"o}rger and Richard DUNCAN and Hulme, {Philip E.}",
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    Functional differences between alien and native species: Do biotic interactions determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands? / Gross, Nicolas; Börger, Luca; DUNCAN, Richard; Hulme, Philip E.

    In: Functional Ecology, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2013, p. 1262-1272.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Functional differences between alien and native species: Do biotic interactions determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands?

    AU - Gross, Nicolas

    AU - Börger, Luca

    AU - DUNCAN, Richard

    AU - Hulme, Philip E.

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - 1. Although observed functional differences between alien and native plant species support the idea that invasions are favoured by niche differentiation (ND), when considering invasions along large ecological gradients, habitat filtering (HF) has been proposed to constrain alien species such that they exhibit similar trait values to natives. 2. To reconcile these contrasting observations, we used a multiscale approach using plant functional traits to evaluate how biotic interactions with native species and grazing might determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands along an elevation gradient in New Zealand. 3. At a regional scale, functional differences between alien and native plant species translated into nonrandom community assembly and high ND. Alien and native species showed contrasting responses to elevation and the degree of ND between them decreased as elevation increased, suggesting a role for HF. At the plant-neighbourhood scale, species with contrasting traits were generally spatially segregated, highlighting the impact of biotic interactions in structuring local plant communities. A confirmatory multilevel path analysis showed that the effect of elevation and grazing was moderated by the presence of native species, which in turn influenced the local abundance of alien species. 4. Our study showed that functional differences between aliens and natives are fundamental to understand the interplay between multiple mechanisms driving alien species success and their coexistence with natives. In particular, the success of alien species is driven by the presence of native species which can have a negative (biotic resistance) or a positive (facilitation) effect depending on the functional identity of alien species.

    AB - 1. Although observed functional differences between alien and native plant species support the idea that invasions are favoured by niche differentiation (ND), when considering invasions along large ecological gradients, habitat filtering (HF) has been proposed to constrain alien species such that they exhibit similar trait values to natives. 2. To reconcile these contrasting observations, we used a multiscale approach using plant functional traits to evaluate how biotic interactions with native species and grazing might determine the functional structure of highly invaded grasslands along an elevation gradient in New Zealand. 3. At a regional scale, functional differences between alien and native plant species translated into nonrandom community assembly and high ND. Alien and native species showed contrasting responses to elevation and the degree of ND between them decreased as elevation increased, suggesting a role for HF. At the plant-neighbourhood scale, species with contrasting traits were generally spatially segregated, highlighting the impact of biotic interactions in structuring local plant communities. A confirmatory multilevel path analysis showed that the effect of elevation and grazing was moderated by the presence of native species, which in turn influenced the local abundance of alien species. 4. Our study showed that functional differences between aliens and natives are fundamental to understand the interplay between multiple mechanisms driving alien species success and their coexistence with natives. In particular, the success of alien species is driven by the presence of native species which can have a negative (biotic resistance) or a positive (facilitation) effect depending on the functional identity of alien species.

    KW - Biological invasions

    KW - Community assembly

    KW - Competition

    KW - Exotic

    KW - Facilitation

    KW - Habitat filtering

    KW - Niche differentiation

    KW - Plant functional traits

    KW - Weed

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    ER -