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Clonal functional traits favor the invasive success of alien plants into native communities

Cite this dataset

Wang, Yong-Jian et al. (2022). Clonal functional traits favor the invasive success of alien plants into native communities [Dataset]. Dryad.


Functional traits are frequently proposed to determine the invasiveness of alien species. However, few empirical studies have directly manipulated functional traits and tested their importance in the invasion success of alien species into native plant communities, particularly under global change. We manipulated clonal integration (a key clonal functional trait) of four alien clonal plants by severing inter-ramet connections or keeping them intact, and simulated their invasion into native plant communities with two levels of species diversity, population density and nutrient availability. High community diversity and density impeded the invasion success of the alien clonal plants. Clonal integration of the alien plants promoted their invasion success, particularly in the low-density communities associated with low species diversity or nutrient addition, which resulted in a negative correlation between performance of alien plants and native communities, as expected under global change. Thus, clonal integration can favor the invasion success of alien clonal plants into degraded resident communities with a high degree of disturbance and eutrophication. Our findings confirm the role of clonal functional traits in facilitating alien plant invasions into native plant communities, and suggest that clonal functional traits should be considered to efficiently restore degraded communities heavily invaded by alien clonal plants.


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 32171510, 31770449

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Award: 2662020YLPY016