Early emergence and resource availability can competitively favour natives over a functionally similar invader

Firn, Jennifer, MacDougall, Andrew S., Schmidt, Susanne and Buckley, Yyonne M. (2010) Early emergence and resource availability can competitively favour natives over a functionally similar invader. Oecologia, 163 3: 775-784. doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1583-7

Author Firn, Jennifer
MacDougall, Andrew S.
Schmidt, Susanne
Buckley, Yyonne M.
Title Early emergence and resource availability can competitively favour natives over a functionally similar invader
Journal name Oecologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0029-8549
Publication date 2010-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00442-010-1583-7
Volume 163
Issue 3
Start page 775
End page 784
Total pages 10
Editor Christian Körner
K. L. Gross;
Craig W. Osenberg
Roland Brandl
R. K. Monson
H. Ylönen
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
050102 Ecosystem Function
Formatted abstract
Invasive plant species can form dense populations across large tracts of land. Based on these observations of dominance, invaders are often described as competitively superior, despite little direct evidence of competitive interactions with natives. The few studies that have measured competitive interactions have tended to compare an invader to natives that are unlikely to be strong competitors because they are functionally different. In this study, we measured competitive interactions among an invasive grass and two Australian native grasses that are functionally similar and widely distributed. We conducted a pair-wise glasshouse experiment, where we manipulated both biotic factors (timing of establishment, neighbour identity and density) and abiotic factors (nutrients and timing of water supply). We found that the invader significantly suppressed the performance of the natives; but its suppression ability was contingent on resource levels, with pulsed water/low nutrients or continuous watering reducing its competitive effects. The native grasses were able to suppress the performance of the invader when given a 3-week head-start, suggesting the invader may be incapable of establishing unless it emerges first, including in its own understorey. These findings provide insight for restoration, as the competitive effect of a functionally similar invader may be reduced by altering abiotic and biotic conditions in favour of natives.
© 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Keyword Competitive effect and response
Facilitation and suppression
Pulsed water regime
Inter- and intraspecific competition
Nutrient availability
Limiting similarity
Relative importance
Correlated traits
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 04 Jul 2010, 00:01:14 EST