Phenotypic plasticity of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in relation to different water availability, compared to its native congener

Article


Geng, Yu-Peng, Pan, Xiao-Yun, Xu, Cheng-Yuan, Zhang, Wen-Ju, Li, Bo and Chen, Jia-Kuan. 2006. "Phenotypic plasticity of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in relation to different water availability, compared to its native congener." Acta Oecologica. 30 (3), pp. 380-385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2006.07.002
Article Title

Phenotypic plasticity of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in relation to different water availability, compared to its native congener

ERA Journal ID3189
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGeng, Yu-Peng (Author), Pan, Xiao-Yun (Author), Xu, Cheng-Yuan (Author), Zhang, Wen-Ju (Author), Li, Bo (Author) and Chen, Jia-Kuan (Author)
Journal TitleActa Oecologica
Journal Citation30 (3), pp. 380-385
Number of Pages6
Year2006
Place of PublicationFrance
ISSN1146-609X
1873-6238
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2006.07.002
Abstract

Phenotypic plasticity and genetic differentiation are two possible mechanisms that plants use to cope with varying environments. Although alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) possesses very low genetic diversity, this alien weed has successfully invaded diverse habitats with considerably varying water availability (from swamps to dry lands) in China. In contrast, its native congener (Alternanthera sessilis) has a much narrower ecological
breadth, and is usually found in moist habitats. To understand the mechanisms underlying the contrasting pattern, we performed a greenhouse experiment to compare
the reaction norms of alligator weed with those of its native congener, in which water availability was manipulated.
Our results revealed that the two congeners had similar direction of phenotypic plasticity. However, A. philoxeroides showed greater plasticity in amount than did A. sessilis in many traits examined during the switch from wet to drought treatment. Nearly all of the phenotypic variance in A. philoxeroides could be ascribed to plasticity, while A. sessilis had a much higher fraction of phenotypic variance that could be explained by genotypic variation. These interspecific differences in plastic
responses to variable water availability partially explained the difference in spatial distribution of the two congeners.

Keywordsphenotypic plasticity: biomass allocation; invasive species; Alternanthera philoxeroides, Alternanthera sessilis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020310806. Plant physiology
410202. Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology
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Byline AffiliationsFudan University, China
Columbia University, United States
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