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Data from: Syndromes in suites of correlated traits suggest multiple mechanisms facilitating invasion in a plant range-expander

Citation

Tewes, Lisa Johanna; Mueller, Caroline (2018), Data from: Syndromes in suites of correlated traits suggest multiple mechanisms facilitating invasion in a plant range-expander, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v17p8m4

Abstract

Various mechanisms can facilitate the success of plant invasions simultaneously, but may be difficult to disentangle. We compared plants of the range-expanding species Bunias orientalis from populations of native, invasive and exotic, not yet invasive origin in a field common garden over two years. Plants were grown under two nitrate-regimes and multiple traits regarding growth, defence, antagonist loads and reproduction were measured. We used a rank-based clustering approach to assign correlated traits to distinct suites. These suites were analysed for “syndromes” that are expressed as a function of population origin and/or fertilisation treatment and might represent different invasion mechanisms. Indeed, distinct suites of traits were differentially affected by these factors. Our results suggest that different pre-adaptation properties, such as certain growth characteristics and intraspecific chemical variation, as well as post-introduction adaptations to antagonists and resource availability in novel habitats are candidate mechanisms that facilitate the success of invasive B. orientalis in parallel. We conclude that rank-based clustering is a robust and expedient approach to integrate multiple traits for elucidating invasion syndromes within individual species. Studying a multitude of traits at different life-history and establishment stages of plants grown under distinct resource treatments reveals species-specific trade-offs and resource sinks and simplifies the interpretation of single trait functions for plant invasiveness.

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