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Herbivores and the success of exotic plants: a phylogenetically controlled experiment




In a field experiment with 30 locally occurring old-field plant species grown in a common garden, we found that non-native plants suffer levels of attack (leaf herbivory) equal to or greater than levels suffered by congeneric native plants. This phylogenetically controlled analysis is in striking contrast to the recent findings from surveys of exotic organisms, and suggests that even if ‘enemy release’ does accompany the invasion process, this may not be an important mechanism of invasion, particularly for plants with close relatives in the recipient flora.