Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 457-467.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017294

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On reproductive strategies of invasive plants and their impacts on native plants

Shiguo Sun1, Bin Lu2, Xinmin Lu1, Shuangquan Huang1,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Evolution and Ecology, School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079
    2 School of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002
  • Received:2017-11-01 Accepted:2018-03-21 Online:2018-05-20 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Huang Shuangquan
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


Non-native plant invasion imposes great threats to global diversity and ecological safety, and now is a hot-spot of ecological studies. Understanding the reproductive strategies of invasive plants could provide insights into the invasion mechanisms and be helpful for proposing prevention and control strategies. Non-native invasive plants generally possess following reproductive traits: hermaphrodite-dominated sexual system, autonomous selfing-dominated breeding system, even asexual reproduction and apomixis, and high proportion of resources allocated to sexual reproduction, which may facilitate the success of some invasive plants. In turn, non-native plants could alter native plant-pollinator interactions, and in most cases decrease pollinator visitation and fitness of native plants. In addition, non-native plants may act as environmental stresses triggering rapid adaptation and evolution in reproductive strategies and phenotypes of resident native species in receipt communities. Studies in this field mostly have focused on rapid adaptation of invasive species to their new environments, while how native and non-native plants co-adapt and diverge remains largely unexplored, in particular from the perspective of plant reproduction. A better understanding of competition and cooperation between native and non-native plants will shed lights on rapid responses of native plants to non-native plant invasions. Such community studies of interspecific interactions with or without a competitor could provide evidence for displacement of reproductive traits and species coexistence, and improve our ability to predict and manage non-native invasive plants.

Key words: biological invasion, breeding system, reproductive strategy, invasive plant, native plant, remnant plant.