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Factors associated with alien plants transitioning from casual, to naturalized, to invasive.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Conservation Biology, ISSN 1523-1739, Vol. 22, no 2, 308-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To explain current plant invasions, or predict future ones, more knowledge on which factors increase the probability of alien species becoming naturalized and subsequently invasive is needed. We created a database of the alien plants in seminatural habitats in Ireland that included data on taxonomy, invasive status, invasion history, distribution, and biological and ecological plant characteristics. We used information from this database to determine the importance of these factors in increasing the ability of species to become naturalized and invasive. More specifically, we used two multiple logistic regressions to identify factors that distinguish naturalized from casual alien plant species and invasive from noninvasive, naturalized alien species. Clonal growth, moisture-indicator value, nitrogen-indicator value, native range, and date of first record affected (in order of decreasing importance) the probability of naturalization. Factors that distinguished invasive from noninvasive species were ornamental introduction, hermaphrodite flowers, pollination mode, being invasive elsewhere, onset of flowering season, moisture-indicator value, native range, and date of first record. Incorporation of phylogenetic information had little influence on the results, suggesting that the capacity of alien species to naturalize and become invasive evolved largely independently in several phylogenetic lineages. Whereas some of the variables were important for both transitions, others were only important for naturalization or for invasion. This emphasizes the importance of studying different stages of the invasion process when looking for mechanisms of becoming a successful invasive plant, instead of simply comparing invasive with noninvasive alien species. Our results also suggest that a combination of species traits and other variables is likely to produce the most accurate prediction of invasions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 22, no 2, 308-17 p.
Keyword [en]
Biodiversity, Databases; Factual, Demography, Ecosystem, Ireland, Logistic Models, Models; Theoretical, Odds Ratio, Phylogeny, Plants/*growth & development, Population Dynamics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11464DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00877.xPubMedID: 18261149OAI: diva2:151135
Available from: 2009-01-09 Created: 2009-01-09 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Milbau, Ann
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