Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Effect of Competition from Native on Alien Species in a Multitrophic Setting

Version 1 : Received: 10 October 2019 / Approved: 11 October 2019 / Online: 11 October 2019 (07:40:52 CEST)

How to cite: Malecore, E.M.; van Kleunen, M. Effect of Competition from Native on Alien Species in a Multitrophic Setting. Preprints 2019, 2019100132 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0132.v1). Malecore, E.M.; van Kleunen, M. Effect of Competition from Native on Alien Species in a Multitrophic Setting. Preprints 2019, 2019100132 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0132.v1).

Abstract

1. Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis predicts that alien species closely related to native species are less likely to naturalize because of strong competition due to niche overlap. Closely related species are likely to attract similar herbivores and to release similar plant volatiles following herbivore attack, thus could attract the same predators. However, the importance of phylogenetic relatedness on the interaction between alien and native plants has never been tested in a multitrophic context. 2. In a mesocosm experiment we grew six alien target plant species alone and in competition with nine native plant species of varying phylogenetic relatedness. To test the effects of multitrophic interactions on the performance of alien target species, we used enclosure cages to expose plants to the presence and absence of herbivorous arthropods, predatory arthropods and nematodes. 3. Surprisingly, biomass and number of flowering structures increased with presence of competitors for some of the alien species, but overall there was no consistent competition effect. Similarly, we found that none of the multitrophic-interaction treatments affected survival, biomass or number of flowering structures of the alien species. 4. We conclude there was no significant relationship between performance measures of the alien species and their phylogenetic relatedness to the native competitors.

Subject Areas

enemy release hypothesis; multitrophic interactions; Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis; competition; alien species; exotic species; mesocosm experiment

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