Data: Native plants diverge in resource availability response depending on whether they experienced multigenerational interactions with invasives

Published: 10 May 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/7r2wgwdh7h.1
Alicia Foxx


Meta-analysis: Invasive plant species critically threaten native plant communities and have devastating ecosystem impacts. They do so often with stronger belowground mechanisms. Despite the major negative impacts of invasive species, some populations of native plants have avoided extirpation from invasive species and native plants have responded through rapid trait change. Evidence shows that plants correspondingly respond rapidly in root allocation (RMF) to multigeneration invasive exposure, but whether RMF increases, decreases, or experiences little change between invader-naïve and invader-experienced native plants requires generalizations to better typify the effects invasive plants have on root traits of native species, including in the presence of resource stress. I performed a meta-analysis on studies that use common garden methods to evaluate root allocation in invader-experienced and invader-naïve populations and found on 242 effect sizes on 17 native plants from nine studies that invader-experienced plants had greater RMF that increased under resource stress compared to invader-naïve plants and invader-experienced natives were slightly more competitive with the co-occurring invasive. These outcomes indicate adaptive nature of RMF in invasive exposure and begs a deeper dive in root trait responses influencing evolutionary responses and competition or coexistence with invasive species.



Chicago Botanic Garden, Northwestern University


Plant Ecology