Phylogenetically independent associations between autonomous self-fertilization and plant invasiveness
van Kleunen, M.
Format Extent246470 bytes
MetadataShow full item record
Many plant species have been introduced from their native ranges to new continents, but few have become naturalized or, ultimately, invasive. It has been predicted that species that do not require the presence of compatible mates and the services of pollinators for reproduction will be favored in establishment after longdistance dispersal. We tested whether this hypothesis, generally referred to as Baker’s law, holds for South African species of Iridaceae (iris family) that have been introduced in other regions for horticultural purposes. Fruit and seed production of flowers from which pollinators had been experimentally excluded was assessed for 10 pairs of species from nine different genera or subgenera. Each species pair comprised one naturalized and one nonnaturalized species, all of which are used in international horticulture. On average, species of Iridaceae that have become naturalized outside their native ranges showed a higher capacity for autonomous fruit and seed production than congeneric species that have not become naturalized. This was especially true for the naturalized species that are considered to be invasive weeds. These results provide strong evidence for the role of autonomous seed production in increasing potential invasiveness in plants.
- RESEARCH: Johnson S