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Abstract Detail


Akin-Fajiye, Morodoluwa [1].

Phenotypic plasticity at different life history stages of the invasive spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe).

As most studies of biological invasions have been carried out post-invasion success of the organism, our understanding of biological invasions may be advanced by the study of organisms on the cusp of invasion success. Centaurea stoebe is an emerging invader in New York State already invasive in Midwestern and North-western USA. This early stage invasion provides a rare opportunity to study the distribution of a naturalized alien species with a high potential to become invasive. In 2014, I established a field experiment in which I manipulated disturbance and density in order to understand how these factors influenced spotted knapweed growth. I also quantified the plasticity of spotted knapweed biomass across the different life history stages: juvenile and early reproductive, in response to these factors, and tested for significant differences between juvenile and reproductive plasticity within years and between plasticity of the same life history stages across years. I found that plants generally survived and performed better under the disturbance and when there was adequate spacing between plants. I found that both juveniles and adults displayed phenotypic plasticity in response to both disturbance and spacing. Juvenile leaf length and leaf number were plastic in response to disturbance in 2015 and 2016, while juvenile leaf length responded to disturbance in 2015 alone. The adult stem length of spotted knapweed responded to disturbance and spacing in 2015, but to only disturbance in 2016. Overall, the plasticity of juvenile biomass was significantly higher than that of adults within years, but there was significant difference in plasticity within life history stage across years. These results suggest that the amount of phenotypic plasticity in a population of invasive species can vary with life history stage. For both disturbance and density treatments, juveniles generally displayed more plasticity than adults. This suggests that plasticity may be important at certain life history stages than at others. The greater plasticity of the juveniles may help the invader adjust to the new environmental conditions. Understanding of the life stages at which phenotypic plasticity is important may have implications for management and control of invasive species.

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1 - stony brook university, ecology and evolution, 650 life sciences, Stony Brook, NEW YORK, 11794, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 8, Ecology Section - Invasive Species
Location: Sundance 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 8001
Abstract ID:321
Candidate for Awards:None

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