Biotic resistance to plant invasion in grassland: Does seed predation increase with resident plant diversity?

Preukschas, Juliane; Zeiter, Michaela; Fischer, Markus; Stampfli, Andreas (2014). Biotic resistance to plant invasion in grassland: Does seed predation increase with resident plant diversity? Basic and applied ecology, 15(2), pp. 133-141. Elsevier 10.1016/j.baae.2014.01.004

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Seed predation impacts heavily on plant populations and community composition in grasslands. In particular, generalist seed predators may contribute to biotic resistance, i.e. the ability of resident species in a community to reduce the success of non-indigenous plant invaders. However, little is known of predators' preferences for seeds of indigenous or non-indigenous plant species or how seed predation varies across communities. We hypothesize that seed predation does not differ between indigenous and non-indigenous plant species and that seed predation is positively related to plant species diversity in the resident community. The seed removal of 36 indigenous and non-indigenous grassland species in seven extensively or intensively managed hay meadows across Switzerland covering a species-richness gradient of 18-50 plant species per unit area (c. 2 m(2)) was studied. In mid-summer 2011, c. 24,000 seeds were exposed to predators in Petri dishes filled with sterilized soil, and the proportions of seeds removed were determined after three days' exposure. These proportions varied among species (9.2-62.5%) and hay meadows (17.8-48.6%). Seed removal was not related to seed size. Moreover, it did not differ between indigenous and non-indigenous species, suggesting that mainly generalist seed predators were active. However, seed predation was positively related to plant species richness across a gradient in the range of 18-38 species per unit area, representing common hay meadows in Switzerland. Our results suggest that generalist post-dispersal seed predation contributes to biotic resistance and may act as a filter to plant invasion by reducing the propagule pressure of non-local plant species.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Preukschas, Juliane; Zeiter, Michaela; Fischer, Markus and Stampfli, Andreas

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1439-1791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

30 Oct 2014 12:05

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 11:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.baae.2014.01.004

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Biotic filter, Community invasibility, Native non-native comparison, Propagule pressure, Seed availability, Seed provenance, Seed removal, Seed size, Semi-natural grassland, Species richness

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.59605

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/59605

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