Determinants of introduction and invasion success for Proteaceae

Moodley, Desika (2013-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Successful biological invasions take place when species introduced to regions outside their natural dispersal range overcome several barriers and establish, persist, proliferate and spread potentially resulting in major threats to biodiversity. The success of invasive alien plants depends on species-specific traits and characteristics of the introduced environment. In this thesis I explore which species traits are important and which environmental barriers need to be overcome for an invasion to occur using Proteaceae as a test case. Firstly, I assessed the global introduction history and invasion ecology of Proteaceae - a large plant family with many taxa that have been widely disseminated by humans, but with few known invaders. This revealed that at least 402 species (i.e. 24% of 1674 species in this family) are known to have been moved by humans out of their native ranges, 58 species (14%) have become naturalized and 8 species (2%) are invasive. The probability of naturalization was greatest for species with large native range sizes, low susceptibility to Phytophthora root-rot disease, larger seeds, mammal-dispersed seeds and those with the capacity to resprout after fire or other disturbances. The probability of naturalized species becoming invasive was greater for species with larger range sizes, species used as barrier plants, taller species, species with smaller seeds, serotinous species, and those that regenerated mainly through re-seeding. Secondly, I looked at mechanisms underlying naturalization on a regional scale, using species which are not already classified as major invaders. At least 26 non-native Proteaceae species have been introduced to, and are cultivated in, South Africa. Propagule pressure facilitated the naturalization of Hakea salicifolia populations in climatically suitable areas, but in suboptimal climates human-mediated land disturbance and land management activities are important for naturalization. Similar drivers are important for naturalization of other alien Proteaceae: a long residence time, fire regimes, poor land management, and propagule pressure were important mechanisms for naturalization. Thirdly, I determined whether reproduction, which in part drives propagule pressure, serves as a barrier for naturalization. I examined several Australian Proteaceae species introduced to South Africa and observed that all species were heavily utilized by native nectar-feeding birds and insects. The five Banksia species that were assessed are self-compatible but four species have a significantly higher reproductive output when pollinators visit inflorescences. Fruit production in H. salicifolia does not differ between naturally-pollinated and autonomously-fertilized flowers. Moreover, no significant difference in fruit production was observed between the five pollination treatments (i.e. natural, pollen-supplementation, autonomous, hand-selfed and hand-crossed treatments) and naturalized and non-naturalized populations. However, pollen limitation was detected in non-naturalized populations which received fewer pollinator visits than naturalized populations. Thus, reproduction limits but is not a fundamental barrier to invasion for H. salicifolia. I conclude that reproductive success of the studied Proteaceae, which is a key barrier determining invasiveness, is not limited by autonomous seed set or mutualisms in the introduced range. In this thesis I highlight biogeographical characteristics, a set of life-history traits and ecological traits as important determinants of invasiveness. These traits are in turn dependent on the stage of invasion. Characteristics of the recipient environment are also important drivers of invasions. This study provides a better understanding of plant invasions in general, but the patterns and processes of invasions highlighted in this thesis will be particularly useful for the current and future management of alien Proteaceae in South Africa and elsewhere, as well as, other species that are adapted to Mediterranean and nutrient poor ecosystems. For example, combining traits of invasiveness and susceptible environments will help to identify which non-native species pose a high risk of becoming invasive (e.g. species with large home ranges and barrier plants) and which conditions in the target area are likely to facilitate or exacerbate invasions (e.g. strong climate match and high propagule pressure).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suksesvolle biologiese indringing vind plaas wanneer ʼn spesie geïntroduseer word in ʼn area buite sy natuurlike verspreidings area, sekere versperrings oorkom, vestig, bly voortbestaan, vermenigvuldig en versprei en potensieel ʼn groot bedreiging inhou vir biodiversiteit. Die sukses van uitheemse indringer plante hang af van spesifieke kenmerke van die spesie en kenmerke van die omgewing waarin dit geïntroduseer word. In hierdie tesis maak ek gebruik van Proteaceae om te ondersoek watter kenmerke is belangrik en watter omgewing versperrings moet oorkom word vir indringing om plaas te vind. Ten eerste assesseer ek die wêreldwye introduksie geskiedenis en indringers ekologie van Proteaceae – ʼn groot plant familie wat wyd gebruik word deur mense, maar met min indringer spesies. Dit het gewys dat mense ten minste 402 spesies (dus 24% van die 1674 spesies in die familie) uit die inheemse areas verskuif het, 58 spesies (14%) genaturaliseer het en 8 spesies (2%) indringers geword het. Die moontlikheid van naturalisasie was die grootste vir spesies met ʼn groot inheemse streek, lae vatbaarheid vir Phytophthora wortelvrot, groter sade, dier verspreide sade en die met ʼn vermoë om weer uit te spruit na ʼn vuur of ander versteuring. Die moontlikheid van genaturaliseerde spesies om indringers te word, was groter vir spesies met groter streek grootte, spesies wat as versperring plante gebruik word, hoër spesies, spesies met kleiner sade, serotiniese spesies, en die wat hoofsaaklik voortbestaan as saadspruiters. Tweedens, het ek gekyk na onderliggende meganismes op ʼn regionale skaal, deur gebruik te maak van spesies wat nie alreeds as belangrike indringers geklassifiseer is nie. Ten minste 26 nie-inheemse Proteaceae spesies is alreeds geïntroduseer en word gekultiveer in Suid Afrika. Propaguul druk fasiliteer die naturalisering van Hakea salicifolia populasies in areas met geskikte klimaat, terwyl in areas met ʼn sub optimale klimaat, versteurings deur mense en grond bestuurs aktiwiteite belangrik is vir naturalisering. Die selfde drywers is belangrik vir die naturalisering van ander uitheemse Proteaceae: lang verblyftyd, vuur bestel, swak land bestuur en propaguul druk. Derdens het ek bepaal of reproduksie, wat gedeeltelik propaguul druk dryf, ʼn versperring is vir naturalisasie. Ek het gekyk na verskeie Australiese Proteaceae spesies wat geïntroduseer is in Suid Afrika, en het gevind dat al die spesies besoek word deur inheemse nektar etende voëls en insekte. Die vyf Banksia spesies wat geassesseer is, kan self bestuif, maar vier van die spesies het ʼn betekenisvolle hoër reproduksie wanneer bloeiwyses deur bestuiwers besoek word. Vrug produksie verskil nie tussen natuurlik bestuifde en self bestuifde blomme in H. salicifolia nie. Verder was daar geen verskil tussen vrug produksie van die vyf bestuiwings behandelinge (naamlik: natuurlik, stuifmeel bygevoeg, self, hand self en hand kruis) en tussen genaturaliseerde en nie genaturaliseerde populasies. Ewenwel, stuifmeel beperking is gevind in nie-genaturaliseerde populasies wat egter ook minder besoeke ontvang het dan die genaturaliseerde populasies. Dus, reproduksie kan die verspreiding beperk maar is nie ʼn fundamentele versperring vir indringing van H. salicifolia nie. My konklusies is dat die reproduktiewe sukses, wat andersins ʼn sleutel versperring is vir indringing, in die bestudeerde Proteaceae nie beperk word deur outonomiese saad produksie of mutualismes in die geïntroduseerde gebied nie. In hierdie tesis beklemtoon ek die biogeografiese karakters, lewens geskiedenis kenmerke en ekologiese kenmerke as belangrike bepalers van indringing. Hierdie kenmerke is op hulle beurt weer afhanklik van die stadium van indringing. Karakters van die ontvangende omgewing is ook belangrike dryfvere van indringing. Hierdie studie verbeter hoe ons plant indringing in die algemeen verstaan, maar die patrone en prosesse van indringing wat beklemtoon word in hierdie tesis sal besonder bruikbaar wees vir huidige en toekomstige bestuur van uitheemse Proteaceae in Suid Afrika en op ander plekke, asook vir ander spesies wat aangepas is tot Mediterreense en nutriënt arm ekosisteme. Byvoorbeeld, die kombinasie van kenmerke van indringing en vatbare omgewings sal help om te identifiseer watter uitheemse spesies ʼn hoë risiko inhou om ʼn indringer te word (byvoorbeeld spesies met ʼn groot streek grootte en versperring spesies) en watter kondisies in die teiken area die waarskynlikste indringing fasiliteer of vererger (byvoorbeeld sterk klimaat ooreenstemming en hoë propaguul druk).

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79851
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