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Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges.

Sande, Masha T. and Bruelheide, Helge and Dawson, Wayne and Dengler, Jürgen and Essl, Franz and Field, Richard and Haider, Sylvia and Kleunen, Mark and Kreft, Holger and Pagel, Joern and Pergl, Jan and Purschke, Oliver and Pyšek, Petr and Weigelt, Patrick and Winter, Marten and Attorre, Fabio and Aubin, Isabelle and Bergmeier, Erwin and Chytrý, Milan and Dainese, Matteo and De Sanctis, Michele and Fagundez, Jaime and Golub, Valentin and Guerin, Greg R. and Gutiérrez, Alvaro G. and Jandt, Ute and Jansen, Florian and Jiménez‐Alfaro, Borja and Kattge, Jens and Kearsley, Elizabeth and Klotz, Stefan and Kramer, Koen and Moretti, Marco and Niinemets, Ülo and Peet, Robert K. and Penuelas, Josep and Petřík, Petr and Reich, Peter B. and Sandel, Brody and Schmidt, Marco and Sibikova, Maria and Violle, Cyrille and Whitfeld, Timothy J. S. and Wohlgemuth, Thomas and Knight, Tiffany M. (2020) 'Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges.', Global ecology and biogeography., 29 (2). pp. 281-294.


Aim: Alien plant species can cause severe ecological and economic problems, and therefore attract a lot of research interest in biogeography and related fields. To identify potential future invasive species, we need to better understand the mechanisms underlying the abundances of invasive tree species in their new ranges, and whether these mechanisms differ between their native and alien ranges. Here, we test two hypotheses: that greater relative abundance is promoted by (a) functional difference from locally co‐occurring trees, and (b) higher values than locally co‐occurring trees for traits linked to competitive ability. Location: Global. Time period: Recent. Major taxa studied: Trees. Methods: We combined three global plant databases: sPlot vegetation‐plot database, TRY plant trait database and Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database. We used a hierarchical Bayesian linear regression model to assess the factors associated with variation in local abundance, and how these relationships vary between native and alien ranges and depend on species’ traits. Results: In both ranges, species reach highest abundance if they are functionally similar to co‐occurring species, yet are taller and have higher seed mass and wood density than co‐occurring species. Main conclusions: Our results suggest that light limitation leads to strong environmental and biotic filtering, and that it is advantageous to be taller and have denser wood. The striking similarities in abundance between native and alien ranges imply that information from tree species’ native ranges can be used to predict in which habitats introduced species may become dominant.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Publisher statement:© 2019 The Authors. Global Ecology and Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:08 October 2019
Date deposited:03 December 2019
Date of first online publication:01 December 2019
Date first made open access:03 December 2019

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