A1 Journal article – refereed
Propagule pressure governs establishment of an invasive herb

List of Authors: Ramula S, Jauni M, van Ooik T
Publisher: Gauthier-Villars/Editions Elsevier
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Acta Oecologica
Journal acronym: Acta Oecol
Volume number: 68
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 1146-609X


The success of plant invasions may be limited by the availability of propagules and/or of suitable microsites, with microsite availability being affected by, for example, disturbance and interspecific competition. A mechanistic understanding of the contributions of propagule pressure and microsite limitation to plant invasions is therefore required to minimise future invasions. Here, we investigated the relative roles of propagule pressure, the availability of microsites, and their interaction on the establishment of an invasive herb, Lupinus polyphyllus, in two geographic regions representing different climate and growth conditions in Finland (a more productive southern region and a harsher central region). We carried out a field experiment in 14 L. polyphyllus populations, in which we manipulated both propagule pressure and disturbance. In a complementary greenhouse experiment, we manipulated propagule pressure and interspecific competition. Seedling establishment of L. polyphyllus was higher in the more productive southern region than in the harsher central region. The number of L. polyphyllus seedlings increased with increasing propagule pressure regardless of disturbance or interspecific competition. However, the number of L. polyphyllus seedlings per sown seed (relative establishment) tended to decrease with increasing propagule pressure, indicating that the positive effect of propagule pressure on early invasion is partially counteracted by density-dependent mortality at high seed densities. Our results highlight the dominant role of propagule pressure over disturbance and interspecific competition in the establishment of L. polyphyllus, suggesting that the early stage of invasion is limited by the availability of propagules rather than the availability of suitable microsites. (C) 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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