Phylogenetic relatedness and plant invader success across two spatial scales
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Diversity and Distributions
Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 481–488, May 2009
How to Cite
Cadotte, M. W., Hamilton, M. A. and Murray, B. R. (2009), Phylogenetic relatedness and plant invader success across two spatial scales. Diversity and Distributions, 15: 481–488. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2009.00560.x
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Angiosperm phylogeny;
- biological invasions;
- community assembly;
- niche conservatism
Aim Successful invaders often possess similar ecological traits that contribute to success in new regions, and thus under niche conservatism, invader success should be phylogenetically clustered. We asked if the degree to which non-native plant species are phylogenetically related is a predictor of invasion success at two spatial scales.
Location Australia – the whole continent and Royal National Park (south-eastern Australia).
Methods We used non-native plant species occupancy in Royal National Park, as well as estimated continental occupancy of these species from herbarium records. We then estimated phylogenetic relationships using molecular data from three gene sequences available on GenBank (matK, rbcL and ITS1). We tested for phylogenetic signals in occupancy using Blomberg's K.
Results Whereas most non-native plants were relatively scarce, there was a strong phylogenetic signal for continental occupancy, driven by the clustering of successful species in Asteraceae, Caryophyllaceae, Poaceae and Solanaceae. However, we failed to detect a phylogenetic signal at the park scale.
Main Conclusions Our results reveal that at a large spatial scale, invader success is phylogenetically clustered where ecological traits promoting success appear to be shared among close relatives, indicating that phylogenetic relationships can be useful predictors of invasion success at large spatial scales. At a smaller, landscape scale, there was no evidence of phylogenetic clustering of invasion success, and thus, relatedness plays a much reduced role in determining the relative success of invaders.