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Neighbour tolerance, not suppression, provides competitive advantage to non-native plantsAuthor(s): Marina Golivets; Kimberly F. Wallin
Source: Ecology Letters
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionHigh competitive ability has often been invoked as a key determinant of invasion success and ecological impacts of non-native plants. Yet our understanding of the strategies that non-natives use to gain competitive dominance remains limited. Particularly, it remains unknown whether the two non-mutually exclusive competitive strategies, neighbour suppression and neighbour tolerance, are equally important for the competitive advantage of non-native plants. Here, we analyse data from 192 peer-reviewed studies on pairwise plant competition within a Bayesian multilevel meta-analytic framework and show that non-native plants outperform their native counterparts due to high tolerance of competition, as opposed to strong suppressive ability. Competitive tolerance ability of non-native plants was driven by neighbour’s origin and was expressed in response to a heterospecific native but not heterospecific non-native neighbour. In contrast to natives, nonnative species were not more suppressed by hetero- vs. conspecific neighbours, which was partially due to higher intensity of intraspecific competition among non-natives. Heterogeneity in the data was primarily associated with methodological differences among studies and not with phylogenetic relatedness among species. Altogether, our synthesis demonstrates that non-native plants are competitively distinct from native plants and challenges the common notion that neighbour suppression is the primary strategy for plant invasion success.
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CitationGolivets, Marina; Wallin, Kimberly F. 2018. Neighbour tolerance, not suppression, provides competitive advantage to non-native plants. Ecology Letters. 21(5): 745-759. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12934.
KeywordsBayesian multilevel meta-analysis, competitive strategy, inter- vs. intraspecific competition, net neighbour effect, non-native invasive plants, pairwise competition, phylogenetic correction, statistical non-independence
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