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Controls on pathogen species richness in plants’ introduced and native ranges: roles of residence time, range size and host traits

Authors

  • Charles E. Mitchell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA
      Correspondence: E-mail: mitchell@bio.unc.edu
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  • Dana Blumenthal,

    1. Rangeland Resources Research Unit, USDA-ARS, 1701 Center Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
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  • Vojtěch Jarošík,

    1. Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Charles University Prague, Viničná 7, CZ-128 44 Prague, Czech Republic
    2. Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
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  • Emily E. Puckett,

    1. Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA
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    • Present address: Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

  • Petr Pyšek

    1. Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Charles University Prague, Viničná 7, CZ-128 44 Prague, Czech Republic
    2. Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
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Correspondence: E-mail: mitchell@bio.unc.edu

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2010) 13: 1525–1535

Abstract

Introduced species escape many pathogens and other enemies, raising three questions. How quickly do introduced hosts accumulate pathogen species? What factors control pathogen species richness? Are these factors the same in the hosts’ native and introduced ranges? We analysed fungal and viral pathogen species richness on 124 plant species in both their native European range and introduced North American range. Hosts introduced 400 years ago supported six times more pathogens than those introduced 40 years ago. In hosts’ native range, pathogen richness was greater on hosts occurring in more habitat types, with a history of agricultural use and adapted to greater resource supplies. In hosts’ introduced range, pathogen richness was correlated with host geographic range size, agricultural use and time since introduction, but not any measured biological traits. Introduced species have accumulated pathogens at rates that are slow relative to most ecological processes, and contingent on geographic and historic circumstance.

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