A Meta-analysis of Evolutionary Responses in Native Plants to Introduced Plant Species: Does Phylogenetic Distance Play a Role?
While there is increasing interest in the evolutionary consequences of species invasions on native plant communities, the connection between the phylogenetic relatedness of invaders and natives, and its evolutionary consequences, has not yet received much attention. One way to examine the role of relatedness on the impact of species invasions is through the use of meta-analytical techniques combined with a phylogenetic framework. I apply this technique and expand on a prior meta-analysis by
... r (2013), in order to compare how native plant species that either have prior experience coexisting with an invasive ('experienced') or do not ('naïve'), differ in terms of their growth and reproduction in the presence of the invasive for evidence of a phylogenetic signal in their response to plan invasions. My results suggest that the effects of a species invasion on native growth and reproductive traits may be greater when the native and invasive species are distantly related, and/or when the invasive species is allelopathic, but only in the presence on the invader. I also found that the negative effect of competition with an invader on native growth traits tended to be greatest when the native and invasive species were closely related, suggesting that the strength of competition and the evolutionary response of native plants to invasive plants may not be as closely associated as it is often assumed. Overall, my analysis suggests that future studies may benefit from integrating phylogenetic relatedness when exploring native evolutionary responses to invasions, but that considerable work need sot be done to tease apart the roles of relatedness and competition.