Huff and puff and blow down: invasive plants traits response to strong winds at the Southern Oceanic Islands

Saiz, Hugo; Renault, David; Puijalon, Sara; Barrio, Miguel; Bertrand, Mathilde; Tolosano, Matteo; Pierre, Aurélien; Ferreira, Charly; Prouteau, Clémentine; Bittebiere, Anne-Kristel (2021). Huff and puff and blow down: invasive plants traits response to strong winds at the Southern Oceanic Islands. Oikos, 130(11), pp. 1919-1929. Wiley 10.1111/oik.08249

[img] Text
2021_Oikos_130_1919.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Invasions constitute a major driver of biodiversity changes. Insular plant communities are particularly vulnerable to invasions and are relevant models for investigating mechanisms supporting the establishment and spread of introduced plants. Terrestrial flora of sub-Antarctic islands must often thrive in highly windy habitats, thus imposing strong mechanical constraints on individuals. Many alien plants at the sub-Antarctic islands are of tropical or temperate origins, where they were exposed to less stringent wind conditions. As wind likely represents a strong environmental filter for the successful establishment and further geographic spread of plants, they should have developed responses to resist and successfully colonize the Iles Kerguelen. We studied responses to wind of three herbaceous species that are invasive at Iles Kerguelen. We sampled plant individuals at different locations, under windy and sheltered conditions. Traits related to wind avoidance and tolerance and to resource acquisition were measured. We additionally assessed individual performance (biomass) to determine the consequences of trait variations. We focused on trait mean and variance, in particular, through the calculation of hypervolumes. This study emphasized that wind has important effects on plant economics spectrum, including traits involved in mechanical avoidance and light acquisition, with varying strategies, which seem to depend on the biological type of the species (grass versus non-grass). Wind generally reduces individual performance, and this negative effect is not direct but operates through the modification of plant trait values. Furthermore, analyses performed at the hypervolume scale indicate that not only functional trait mean but also its variability account for plant performance. The existence of contrasting growth strategies to cope with local environmental conditions suggests that invaders will be able to occupy different niches, which may ultimately impact local communities. Our results highlight the importance of considering multi-traits responses to meaningfully capture plant adjustments to stress. © 2021 Nordic Society Oikos. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biodiversity

UniBE Contributor:

Saiz Bustamante, Hugo


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

20 Oct 2021 13:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:53

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

environmental filter, functional traits, hypervolume, Iles Kerguelen, intraspecific variability, mechanical stress




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback