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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Corbett, Erica A. [1].

Taxonomic affiliation of invasive exotic and invasive native plant species.

Invasive plant species represent a major ecological concern. It has been suggested that there are “invasive traits,” which could be inherited from common ancestors. Taxonomic affiliation may predict invasiveness. I examined species considered to be invasive in the United States. First, I compared taxonomic affiliation of exotic vs. native invasives. Chi-square analysis revealed a relationship between nativity status and invasiveness (χ2=61.99, p <.001, d.f.=20). The top four families with exotic invasives were Poaceae (15.7% of invasives), Asteraceae (12.1%), Fabaceae (8.37%), and Brassicaceae (5.28%). Among native invasives, the top families were Asteraceae (21.5% of invasives), Poaceae (11.97%), Fabaceae (6.87%), and Solanaceae (3.77%). Next, I examined the relationship of invasive species to total number of species by family to determine if family affiliation and invasiveness were related, or if “many invasives” was merely an artifact of speciose families. Chi-square analysis was significant (χ2=933.16 , p <.001, d.f.=133). However, of the five families noted as having a high proportion of invasive species, only Poaceae and Solanaceae had more invasive species than expected given the number of species present in the U.S. Fabaceae actually had fewer invasive species than expected based on the total number of species in the U.S. Flora. Other families showing high frequency of invasive species based on this analysis included predominantly aquatic families (Hydrocharitaceae, Pontederiaceae), tropical families (Melastomataceae, Passifloraceae), families found in arid lands (Aizoaceae, Crassulaceae, Tamaricaceae), and families with no native members in the U.S. (Butomaceae, Corynocarpaceae, and Sphenocleaceae). These patterns suggest that perhaps both invasibility of habitat and characteristics of species may play a role in invasion by plants. Invasive species in other countries are also being examined for similar patterns.

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1 - Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 1405 N. 4th Ave, PMB 4013, Durant, OK, 74701, USA

exotic species

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP02
Location: PDR 4/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: CP02001
Abstract ID:569

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