Presentation Title

The Role of Phylogenetic Diversity in Facilitating Plant Invasions on a Global Scale

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Globalization has resulted in the anthropogenic movement of plant species, many of which have established and become invasive in their secondary ranges. A fundamental goal in invasion ecology is to increase understanding of the factors that determine successful establishment and spread of introduced species on a global scale.

The coupled effects of evolutionary history on species invasiveness (the propensity for a species to become invasive) and regional invasibility (the propensity for a region to be invaded) have been repeatedly hypothesized as drivers of invasion success but these relationships, to our knowledge, have not been tested on a global scale. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is used as a proxy for evolutionary diversity because it measures the number of traits in a species pool, reflective of the competitive intensity, environmental consistency, and adaptations accumulated by the species in question. We predict that species native to regions of high PD will be more likely to become invasive.

In this study, we analyze invasion patterns of a large dataset of woody invasive plant species over 369 regions to test whether their global invasive distributions were driven by the relative differences in PD between native and non-native regions. Our analysis accounts for additional factors that contribute to successful invasion including 1) habitat suitability of invaded regions and 2) the anthropogenic connectivity of regions involved. A global approach to invasion science is powerful in building a general understanding in the factors that influence species invasions. The outcomes of this study have numerous implications for understanding global dynamics of how and why species invade.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Kimberly Wallin

Status

Graduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Natural Resources

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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The Role of Phylogenetic Diversity in Facilitating Plant Invasions on a Global Scale

Globalization has resulted in the anthropogenic movement of plant species, many of which have established and become invasive in their secondary ranges. A fundamental goal in invasion ecology is to increase understanding of the factors that determine successful establishment and spread of introduced species on a global scale.

The coupled effects of evolutionary history on species invasiveness (the propensity for a species to become invasive) and regional invasibility (the propensity for a region to be invaded) have been repeatedly hypothesized as drivers of invasion success but these relationships, to our knowledge, have not been tested on a global scale. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is used as a proxy for evolutionary diversity because it measures the number of traits in a species pool, reflective of the competitive intensity, environmental consistency, and adaptations accumulated by the species in question. We predict that species native to regions of high PD will be more likely to become invasive.

In this study, we analyze invasion patterns of a large dataset of woody invasive plant species over 369 regions to test whether their global invasive distributions were driven by the relative differences in PD between native and non-native regions. Our analysis accounts for additional factors that contribute to successful invasion including 1) habitat suitability of invaded regions and 2) the anthropogenic connectivity of regions involved. A global approach to invasion science is powerful in building a general understanding in the factors that influence species invasions. The outcomes of this study have numerous implications for understanding global dynamics of how and why species invade.