New publication.

Our paper, ‘Evidence for shifts to faster growth strategies in the new ranges of invasive alien plants’ is now available open-access in Journal of Ecology.  From the abstract: “We assessed leaf herbivory and leaf-level traits associated with growth strategy in the native and exotic ranges of 13 invasive plant species from 256 populations. Species were native to either the Western Cape region of South Africa, south-western Australia, or south-eastern Australia and had been introduced to at least one of the other regions or to New Zealand. We tested for evidence of herbivore release and shifts in leaf traits between native and exotic ranges of the 13 species. […]  These results provide evidence that introduction of a plant species into a novel environment commonly results in a reduction in the top-down constraint imposed by herbivores on growth, allowing plants to shift towards a faster growth strategy which may result in an increase in population size and spread and consequently to invasive success.”


Paraserianthes lophantha, native to Western Australia, photographed in South Africa where it is a weed in South Africa. Photo: Julia Cooke.