Are invasives bigger? a global study of seed size variation in two invasive shrubs

Buckley, Yvonne M., Downey, Paul, Fowler, Simon V., Hill, Richard, Memmot, Jane, Norambuena, Hernan, Pitcairn, Mike, Shaw, Richard, Sheppard, Andrew W., Winks, Chris, Wittenberg, Ruediger and Rees, Mark (2003) Are invasives bigger? a global study of seed size variation in two invasive shrubs. Ecology, 84 6: 1434-1440. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(2003)084[1434:AIBAGS]2.0.CO;2

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Author Buckley, Yvonne M.
Downey, Paul
Fowler, Simon V.
Hill, Richard
Memmot, Jane
Norambuena, Hernan
Pitcairn, Mike
Shaw, Richard
Sheppard, Andrew W.
Winks, Chris
Wittenberg, Ruediger
Rees, Mark
Title Are invasives bigger? a global study of seed size variation in two invasive shrubs
Journal name Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication date 2003-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/0012-9658(2003)084[1434:AIBAGS]2.0.CO;2
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 84
Issue 6
Start page 1434
End page 1440
Total pages 7
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Language eng
Abstract We explored the spatial structure of seed size variation and tested whether seed size differed between native and exotic populations in two invasive species. Seed of Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) is significantly heavier in its exotic range, whereas seed of Ulex europaeus (European gorse) is no different between ranges. This result suggests that seed size in C. scoparius is either adaptively or phenotypically responsive to conditions in its exotic range or that plants with large seeds were preferentially introduced. We found that modern ornamental broom seed was no bigger than seed from natural or naturalized populations, suggesting that large seed size in the exotic range is not due to preferential introduction of ornamental varieties with large seeds. Most previous studies of trait differences between native and exotic ranges in invasive species have not taken variation throughout the ranges into account. This is the most comprehensive survey of seed size variation in any species, and the first time that variation in a trait of an invasive species has been studied from individual plant level up to global ranges. Demographic rates can be affected by seed attributes making this study an important first step in understanding how population processes may differ between native and exotic ranges.
Keyword Cytisus scoparius
evolutionary change
invasive plants
linear mixed effects models
phenotypic plasticity
seed size variation
Ulex europaeus
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Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Created: Thu, 05 May 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Yvonne M Buckley on behalf of School of Biological Sciences