title Evidence for enemy release and increased seed production and size for two invasive Australian acacias
authors Correia, M; Montesinos, D; French, K; Rodriguez-Echeverria, S
author full name Correia, Marta; Montesinos, Daniel; French, Kristine; Rodriguez-Echeverria, Susana
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords Acacia dealbata; Acacia longifolia; alien species; elaiosome; enemy release; invasive plants; legume; reproduction; seed size
abstract Invasive plants are hypothesized to have higher fitness in introduced areas due to their release from pathogens and herbivores and the relocation of resources to reproduction. However, few studies have tested this hypothesis in native and introduced regions. A biogeographical approach is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms involved in plant invasions and to detect rapid evolutionary changes in the introduced area. Reproduction was assessed in native and introduced ranges of two invasive Australian woody legumes, Acacia dealbata and A.longifolia. Seed production, pre-dispersal seed predation, seed and elaiosome size and seedling size were assessed in 7-10 populations from both ranges, taking into account the effect of differences in climate. There was a significantly higher percentage of fully developed seeds per pod, a lower proportion of aborted seeds and the absence of pre-dispersal predation in the introduced range for both Acacia species. Acacia longifolia produced more seeds per pod in the invaded range, whereas A.dealbata produced more seeds per tree in the invaded range. Seeds were bigger in the invaded range for both species, and elaiosome: seed ratio was smaller for A.longifolia in the invaded range. Seedlings were also larger in the invaded range, suggesting that the increase in seed size results into greater offspring growth. There were no differences in the climatic conditions of sites occupied by A.longifolia in both regions. Minimum temperature was higher in Portuguese A.dealbata populations, but this difference did not explain the increase in seed production and seed size in the introduced range. It did have, however, a positive effect on the number of pods per tree.Synthesis. Acacia dealbata and A.longifolia escape pre-dispersal predation in the introduced range and display a higher production of fully developed seeds per fruit and bigger seeds. These differences may explain the invasion of both species because they result in an increased seedling growth and the production of abundant soil seedbanks in the introduced area.
author address [Correia, Marta; Montesinos, Daniel; Rodriguez-Echeverria, Susana] Univ Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, CFE, P-3000456 Coimbra, Portugal; [French, Kristine] Univ Wollongong, Sch Biol Sci, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
reprint address Correia, M (reprint author), Univ Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, CFE, P-3000456 Coimbra, Portugal.
e-mail address correio.marta@gmail.com
funding agency and grant number project MUTUALNET - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) [PTDC/BIA-BEC/103507/2008]; FCT [SFRH/BPD/72595/2010, IF-00066-2013, IF/00462/2013]; EU via QREN; COMPETE; FEDER
funding text We thank Joao A. Crisostomo for field assistance in Portugal. This research was supported by the project MUTUALNET (PTDC/BIA-BEC/103507/2008) funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). The FCT financed the work of DM (SFRH/BPD/72595/2010; Starting grant IF-00066-2013) and SRE (Development Grant IF/00462/2013). FCT is partially funded by the EU via QREN, COMPETE and FEDER. We thank the associate editors and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments that allowed us to improve the overall quality of the manuscript.
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cited reference count 77
publisher city HOBOKEN
publisher address 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
issn 0022-0477
29-character source abbreviation J ECOL
iso source abbreviation J. Ecol.
publication date SEP
year published 2016
volume 104
issue 5
beginning page 1391
ending page 1399
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1111/1365-2745.12612
page count 9
web of science category Plant Sciences; Ecology
subject category Plant Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
document delivery number DW3OU
unique article identifier WOS:000383551800018
file correiaetal2016enemyreleaseacaciasjecol.pdf
link http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/1365-2745.12612
CFE authors
Daniel Montesinos