Haeuser, Emily Sutton
Effects of climate change and horticultural use on the spread of naturalized alien garden plants in Europe
2019-09, Klonner, Günther, Wessely, Johannes, Gattringer, Andreas, Moser, Dietmar, Dullinger, Iwona, Hülber, Karl, Dawson, Wayne, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, van Kleunen, Mark
Climate warming is supposed to enlarge the area climatically suitable to the naturalization of alien garden plants in temperate regions. However, the effects of a changing climate on the spread of naturalized ornamentals have not been evaluated by spatially and temporarily explicit range modelling at larger scales so far. Here, we assess how climate change and the frequency of cultivation interactively determine the spread of 15 ornamental plants over the 21st century in Europe. We coupled species distribution modelling with simulations of demography and dispersal to predict range dynamics of these species in annual steps across a 250 × 250 m raster of the study area. Models were run under four scenarios of climate warming and six levels of cultivation intensity. Cultivation frequency was implemented as size of the area used for planting a species. Although the area climatically suitable to the 15 species increases, on average, the area predicted to be occupied by them in 2090 shrinks under two of the three climate change scenarios. This contradiction obviously arises from dispersal limitations that were pronounced although we assumed that cultivation is spatially adapting to the changing climate. Cultivation frequency had a much stronger effect on species spread than climate change, and this effect was non‐linear. The area occupied increased sharply from low to moderate levels of cultivation intensity, but levelled off afterwards. Our simulations suggest that climate warming will not necessarily foster the spread of alien garden plants in Europe over the next decades. However, climatically suitable areas do increase and hence an invasion debt is likely accumulating. Restricting cultivation of species can be effective in preventing species spread, irrespective of how the climate develops. However, for being successful, they depend on high levels of compliance to keep propagule pressure at a low level.
An innovative vegetation survey design in Mediterranean cliffs shows evidence of higher tolerance of specialized rock plants to rock climbing activity
2018-04, March-Salas, Martí, Moreno-Moya, Miguel, Palomar, Gemma, Tejero-Ibarra, Pablo, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Pertierra, Luis R.
Is rock climbing pressure, together with microtopographic conditions, disturbing cliff plant cover and composition? What are the climbing impacts on rock specialist and non‐specialist species? Can a case‐control approach, not previously implemented in cliff environments, offer additional value for actual and long‐term ecological research?
Chulilla, Levante coast, Spain.
We surveyed in situ nine rock climbing routes in order to examine differences in plant species richness and vegetation cover between unclimbed and climbed transects. To evaluate the effect of rock climbing on vegetation, we implemented a case‐control methodology using the two zones immediately adjacent to common climbing routes as control points (i.e. unclimbed transects). Three quadrats of 3 m × 3 m were established at different cliff heights. All identified species were categorized as either specialized rock species or non‐specialized rock species based on their habitat preferences from literature. Non‐specialized rock species were further differentiated as either moderately associated with rocky environments or strict generalists. The rock climbing impact on each group of species was analysed using LMM.
Our results provide evidence of the effects of rock climbing on a Mediterranean cliff, which has received little attention so far. Significantly fewer generalist species were present on climbed compared to unclimbed transects, while specialized and moderately specialized rock species were not significantly affected by rock climbing intensity. Furthermore, while rock‐specific and moderately specialized species could cope with microsite heterogeneity, areas with fewer cracks had significantly negative effects on generalist species.
Moderate rock climbing activity on cliff environments might not reduce the presence of specialized rock‐dwelling species; however, this activity inherently impacts the biodiversity of cliff ecosystems due to its large effect on generalist species. We recommend that future conservation studies account for the degree of species dependence on rocky habitats to better understand rock‐climbing impacts in these singular ecosystems. According to our experience, the implementation of an adjacent case‐control survey design for monitoring cliff vegetation can help improve and unify methodology for such studies, as this is still an underdeveloped field.
The effects of climate warming and disturbance on the colonization potential of ornamental alien plant species
2017-11, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Dawson, Wayne, van Kleunen, Mark
1. A large number of alien plant species have been introduced as ornamental garden plants to Europe, but relatively few have become invasive. Low climatic suitability may be limiting the current invasion potential of many alien ornamental species. However, with ongoing disturbance and climate change, this barrier may be reduced for some species.
2. Here, we tested how colonization ability (a prerequisite for invasion) of frequently planted alien ornamentals depends on disturbance and heating, and on their species characteristics. We sowed seeds of 37 non-naturalized alien herbaceous garden-plant species into native grassland plots with and without disturbance, and with and without infrared-heating lamps. To assess whether their responses differ from those within the regional wild flora, we also sowed 14 native species and 12 naturalized alien species. During 2 years, we assessed the likelihoods of germination, first-year survival, second-year survival and flowering of these 63 study species.
3. The heating treatment, which also reduced soil moisture, decreased all measures of colonization success, but more so for sown native species than for the non-naturalized and naturalized alien ones. The disturbance treatment increased colonization success, and because heating decreased productivity of the undisturbed grassland plots, it also increased invasibility of these plots. Average colonization success of non-naturalized aliens was reduced by heating, but some species were not affected or performed even better with heating, particularly those with an annual life span and a high seed mass. Winter hardiness improved colonization ability of non-naturalized aliens, but this advantage was reduced in the heated plots.
4. Synthesis. Disturbance increased and heating decreased the absolute colonization success of most of the 63 species sown. However, heating had stronger adverse effects on the resident grassland and sown native species than either type of sown alien species. Together, these results suggest that some alien plants may have greater colonization success relative to native plants under a warmer climate.
Does greater specific leaf area plasticity help plants to maintain a high performance when shaded?
2016, Liu, Yanjie, Dawson, Wayne, Prati, Daniel, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Feng, Yanhao, van Kleunen, Mark
It is frequently assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be very advantageous for plants, because it may increase environmental tolerance (fitness homeostasis). This should, however, only hold for plastic responses that are adaptive, i.e. increase fitness. Numerous studies have shown shade-induced increases in specific leaf area (SLA), and there is wide consensus that this plastic response optimizes light capture and thus has to be adaptive. However, it has rarely been tested whether this is really the case.
Introduced garden plants are strong competitors of native and alien residents under simulated climate change
2019-05, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Dawson, Wayne, van Kleunen, Mark
1. Most invasive plants have been originally introduced for horticultural purposes. Still, most alien garden plants have not naturalized yet, probably due in part to inadequate climatic conditions. Climate change may alter this, but few experimental studies have addressed this for non‐naturalized alien garden plants, and those that have, addressed only singular aspects of climate change.
2. In a greenhouse experiment, we examined the performance of nine non‐naturalized alien herbaceous garden plants of varying climatic origins in response to simulated climate warming and reduced water availability, in a factorial design, as projected for southern Germany. To assess their invasion potential, we grew the species in competition with resident native and already‐naturalized alien species.
3. Reduced watering negatively affected non‐naturalized garden plants, as well as the native and naturalized competitors, particularly at higher temperatures. However, non‐naturalized aliens performed better relative to competitors when temperatures increased. Naturalized and native resident competitor responses to climate change were both negative, but across climate treatments, non‐naturalized aliens, irrespective of their climatic origins, performed better against native than against naturalized competitors.
4. Synthesis. We conclude that relative performance compared to resident species may increase for non‐naturalized alien garden plants under climate change, as resident species become less competitive. Ongoing climate change is therefore likely to promote naturalization of commonly planted alien herbaceous species.
Simulating plant invasion dynamics in mountain ecosystems under global change scenarios
2018-01, Carboni, Marta, Guéguen, Maya, Barros, Ceres, Georges, Damien, Boulangeat, Isabelle, Douzet, Rolland, Dullinger, Stefan, Klonner, Guenther, van Kleunen, Mark, Haeuser, Emily Sutton
Across the globe, invasive alien species cause severe environmental changes, altering species composition and ecosystem functions. So far, mountain areas have mostly been spared from large-scale invasions. However, climate change, land-use abandonment, the development of tourism and the increasing ornamental trade will weaken the barriers to invasions in these systems. Understanding how alien species will react and how native communities will influence their success is thus of prime importance in a management perspective. Here, we used a spatially and temporally explicit simulation model to forecast invasion risks in a protected mountain area in the French Alps under future conditions. We combined scenarios of climate change, land-use abandonment and tourism-linked increases in propagule pressure to test if the spread of alien species in the region will increase in the future. We modelled already naturalized alien species and new ornamental plants, accounting for interactions among global change components, and also competition with the native vegetation. Our results show that propagule pressure and climate change will interact to increase overall species richness of both naturalized aliens and new ornamentals, as well as their upper elevational limits and regional range-sizes. Under climate change, woody aliens are predicted to more than double in range-size and herbaceous species to occupy up to 20% of the park area. In contrast, land-use abandonment will open new invasion opportunities for woody aliens, but decrease invasion probability for naturalized and ornamental alien herbs as a consequence of colonization by native trees. This emphasizes the importance of interactions with the native vegetation either for facilitating or potentially for curbing invasions. Overall, our work highlights an additional and previously underestimated threat for the fragile mountain flora of the Alps already facing climate changes, land-use transformations and overexploitation by tourism.
Will climate change increase hybridization risk between potential plant invaders and their congeners in Europe?
2017-08, Klonner, Günther, Dullinger, Iwona, Wessely, Johannes, Bossdorf, Oliver, Carboni, Marta, Dawson, Wayne, Essl, Franz, Gattringer, Andreas, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, van Kleunen, Mark
Aim: Interspecific hybridization can promote invasiveness of alien species. In many regions of the world, public and domestic gardens contain a huge pool of non-native plants. Climate change may relax constraints on their naturalization and hence facilitate hybridization with related species in the resident flora. Here, we evaluate this possible increase in hybridization risk by predicting changes in the overlap of climatically suitable ranges between a set of garden plants and their congeners in the resident flora.
Methods: From the pool of alien garden plants, we selected those which (1) are not naturalized in Europe, but established outside their native range elsewhere in the world; (2) belong to a genus where interspecific hybridization has been previously reported; and (3) have congeners in the native and naturalized flora of Europe. For the resulting set of 34 alien ornamentals as well as for 173 of their European congeners, we fitted species distribution models and projected suitable ranges under the current climate and three future climate scenarios. Changes in range overlap between garden plants and congeners were then assessed by means of the true skill statistic.
European ornamental garden flora as an invasion debt under climate change
2018-09, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Dawson, Wayne, Thuiller, Wilfried, Dullinger, Stefan, Block, Svenja, Bossdorf, Oliver, Carboni, Marta, Conti, Luisa, Dullinger, Iwona, Essl, Franz, van Kleunen, Mark
1. Most naturalised and invasive alien plant species were originally introduced to regions for horticultural purposes. However, many regions now face an invasion debt from ornamental alien species, which have not yet naturalised. In this regard, climate change represents a threat as it may lower the barriers to naturalisation for some ornamental alien species. Identifying those species is extremely important for anticipating impending invasions.
2. To identify predictors of naturalisation, we modelled the effects of climate, nursery availability and species characteristics on the current European naturalisation success of 2,073 ornamental aliens commonly planted in European gardens. We then used the resulting model together with climate projections for 2050 to forecast future naturalisation risks for the 1,583 species not yet naturalised in Europe.
3. We found that non-European naturalised range size, climatic suitability, propagule pressure, having a dioecious sexual system and plant height jointly explained current naturalisation success in Europe. By 2050, naturalisation probability projections increased by more than 0.1 for 41 species, and only decreased by more than 0.1 for one species.
4. Policy implications. Using predictions based on our integrated model of alien ornamental naturalisation success, we identified species with high future naturalisation risk and species with high projected increases in naturalisation potential in Europe under climate change. This species list allows for prioritisation of monitoring and regulation of ornamental plants to mitigate the invasion debt.
Naturalization of ornamental plant species in public green spaces and private gardens
2017-12, Mayer, Katharina, Haeuser, Emily Sutton, Dawson, Wayne, Essl, Franz, Kreft, Holger, Pergl, Jan, Pyšek, Petr, Weigelt, Patrick, Winter, Marten, van Kleunen, Mark
Ornamental horticulture is the most important pathway for alien plant introductions worldwide, and consequently, invasive spread of introduced plants often begins in urban areas. Although most introduced ornamental garden-plant species are locally not naturalized yet, many of them have shown invasion potential elsewhere in the world, and might naturalize when climate changes. We inventoried the planted flora of 50 public and 61 private gardens in Radolfzell, a small city in southern Germany, to investigate whether local naturalization success of garden plants is associated with their current planting frequency, climatic suitability (as assessed with climatic niche modelling) and known naturalization status somewhere in the world. We identified 954 introduced garden-plant species, of which 48 are already naturalized in Radolfzell and 120 in other parts of Germany. All currently naturalized garden plants in Radolfzell have a climatic suitability probability of ≥ 0.75 and are naturalized in ≥ 13 out of 843 regions globally. These values are significantly higher than those of garden plants that have not become locally naturalized yet. Current planting frequencies, however, were not related to current naturalization success. Using the identified local naturalization thresholds of climatic suitability and global naturalization frequency, and climate projections for the years 2050 and 2070, we identified 45 garden-plant species that are currently not naturalized in Radolfzell but are likely to become so in the future. Although our approach cannot replace a full risk assessment, it is well-suited and applicable as one element of a screening or horizon scanning-type approach.