Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2006
Publication Date: March 1, 2007
Citation: Blumenthal, D.M. 2007. Shared traits but different environments: Does enemy release amplify effects of resource availability on invasion?. Ecological Society of America Abstracts. p. 27. Technical Abstract: Resistance to invasion by plant communities appears to be inversely related to resource availability. As resource availability, determined by both disturbance and community structure, would not be expected to differ consistently between a plant’s native and exotic range, native and exotic colonizing species would be expected share adaptations to high-resource environments. These same traits, however, may also influence interactions with enemies, which would be expected to differ between ranges. Specifically, species adapted to high levels of available resources may be poorly defended, nutritious, and therefore susceptible to enemies, relative to species adapted to low levels of available resources. Consequently, these species may benefit most from enemy release in their new range. Examining this possibility for 236 European species that are naturalized in North America, we found that plant species from habitats with moderate to high N and water availability harbored the most pathogens in Europe, and lost the most pathogens upon moving to North America. Contrary to our predictions, however, species from habitats with very high resource availability had relatively few pathogens in their native range, and experienced relatively little enemy release. This interaction between plant resource strategy and enemy release suggests that although native and exotic colonizing species share adaptations to high-resource environments, these adaptations may confer additional benefits in a plant’s exotic range. Consequently, factors influencing resource availability and colonization, including plant community structure, disturbance and global change, may influence colonization by exotic species more strongly than colonization by native species.