Reconstructing the invasion history of a spreading, non-native, tropical tree through a snapshot of current distribution, sizes, and growth rates

Chong, Kwek Yan, Raphael, Mark B., Carrasco, L. Roman, Yee, Alex T. K., Giam, Xingli, Yap, Von Bing and Tan, Hugh T. W. (2017) Reconstructing the invasion history of a spreading, non-native, tropical tree through a snapshot of current distribution, sizes, and growth rates. Plant Ecology, 1-13. doi:10.1007/s11258-017-0720-3


Author Chong, Kwek Yan
Raphael, Mark B.
Carrasco, L. Roman
Yee, Alex T. K.
Giam, Xingli
Yap, Von Bing
Tan, Hugh T. W.
Title Reconstructing the invasion history of a spreading, non-native, tropical tree through a snapshot of current distribution, sizes, and growth rates
Journal name Plant Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-5052
1385-0237
Publication date 2017-03-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11258-017-0720-3
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Elucidating the invasion history of non-native species has been dependent on coarse-grain and expensive methods or long-term monitoring during which the spread may have proceeded beyond feasible control. We used the case of a relatively recent introduction and spread of the neotropical Cecropia pachystachya in Singapore to develop a method for reconstructing spatio-temporal patterns of spread through a low-cost, cross-sectional study. Size and growth rates were measured for C. pachystachya trees as well as the native Macaranga gigantea. A power-expansion exponential-decline function was a better fit than the probability density function of the log-normal distribution in describing the growth-rate to size relationship for both species. C. pachystachya trees generally grew faster (up to 5.4 ± 0.1 cm per year at 12.2 ± 0.2 cm DBH) than M. gigantea trees (up to 3.8 ± 0.2 cm per year at 11.5 ± 0.3 cm DBH). We demonstrated that the integral of the reciprocal of these growth equations provides an estimate of the age of the individuals from their size. Using the size and geographic coordinates of C. pachystachya trees from an island-wide search, we estimate that the invasion front of reproductive trees (>5 cm DBH) showed at least a 20-year lag phase from the time of initial establishment to the year 2005, before advancing exponentially at median rates between 5 and 466 m year−1 with maximum rates of several km year−1. The extent of occurrence expanded by nearly tenfold from 2004 to 2012. Consequently, the spatial dynamics of trees can be reproduced using ontogenetic growth functions.
Keyword Age–size relationships
Cecropia
Invasive trees
Macaranga
Range expansion
Spread rates
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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