Publications by authors named "Marten Winter"

54 Publications

Maintaining momentum for collaborative working groups in a post-pandemic world.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Synthesis Centre on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (SinBiose), Brasília, Brazil.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01521-0DOI Listing
July 2021

Persistent soil seed banks promote naturalisation and invasiveness in flowering plants.

Ecol Lett 2021 Aug 24;24(8):1655-1667. Epub 2021 May 24.

Institute of Botany, Department of Invasion Ecology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

With globalisation facilitating the movement of plants and seeds beyond the native range, preventing potentially harmful introductions requires knowledge of what drives the successful establishment and spread of alien plants. Here, we examined global-scale relationships between naturalisation success (incidence and extent) and invasiveness, soil seed bank properties (type and densities) and key species traits (seed mass, seed dormancy and life form) for 2350 species of angiosperms. Naturalisation and invasiveness were strongly associated with the ability to form persistent (vs. transient) seed banks but relatively weakly with seed bank densities and other traits. Our findings suggest that seed bank persistence is a trait that better captures the ability to become naturalised and invasive compared to seed traits more widely available in trait databases. Knowledge of seed persistence can contribute to our ability to predict global naturalisation and invasiveness and to identify potentially invasive flowering plants before they are introduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.13783DOI Listing
August 2021

Widespread decline in Central European plant diversity across six decades.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Dec 16. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Based on plant occurrence data covering all parts of Germany, we investigated changes in the distribution of 2136 plant species between 1960 and 2017. We analyzed 29 million occurrence records over an area of ~350,000 km on a 5 × 5 km grid using temporal and spatiotemporal models and accounting for sampling bias. Since the 1960s, more than 70% of investigated plant species showed declines in nationwide occurrence. Archaeophytes (species introduced before 1492) most strongly declined but also native plant species experienced severe declines. In contrast, neophytes (species introduced after 1492) increased in their nationwide occurrence but not homogeneously throughout the country. Our analysis suggests that the strongest declines in native species already happened in the 1960s-1980s, a time frame in which often few data exist. Increases in neophytic species were strongest in the 1990s and 2010s. Overall, the increase in neophytes did not compensate for the loss of other species, resulting in a decrease in mean grid cell species richness of -1.9% per decade. The decline in plant biodiversity is a widespread phenomenon occurring in different habitats and geographic regions. It is likely that this decline has major repercussions on ecosystem functioning and overall biodiversity, potentially with cascading effects across trophic levels. The approach used in this study is transferable to other large-scale trend analyses using heterogeneous occurrence data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15447DOI Listing
December 2020

LCVP, The Leipzig catalogue of vascular plants, a new taxonomic reference list for all known vascular plants.

Sci Data 2020 11 26;7(1):416. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity / Botanical Garden, Institute of Biology, Leipzig University, Johannisallee 21-23, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

The lack of comprehensive and standardized taxonomic reference information is an impediment for robust plant research, e.g. in systematics, biogeography or macroecology. Here we provide an updated and much improved reference list of 1,315,562 scientific names for all described vascular plant species globally. The Leipzig Catalogue of Vascular Plants (LCVP; version 1.0.3) contains 351,180 accepted species names (plus 6,160 natural hybrids), within 13,460 genera, 564 families and 84 orders. The LCVP a) contains more information on the taxonomic status of global plant names than any other similar resource, and b) significantly improves the reliability of our knowledge by e.g. resolving the taxonomic status of ~181,000 names compared to The Plant List, the up to date most commonly used plant name resource. We used ~4,500 publications, existing relevant databases and available studies on molecular phylogenetics to construct a robust reference backbone. For easy access and integration into automated data processing pipelines, we provide an 'R'-package (lcvplants) with the LCVP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-00702-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693275PMC
November 2020

Role of diversification rates and evolutionary history as a driver of plant naturalization success.

New Phytol 2021 03 20;229(5):2998-3008. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Rennweg 13, Vienna, 1030, Austria.

Human introductions of species beyond their natural ranges and their subsequent establishment are defining features of global environmental change. However, naturalized plants are not uniformly distributed across phylogenetic lineages, with some families contributing disproportionately more to the global alien species pool than others. Additionally, lineages differ in diversification rates, and high diversification rates have been associated with characteristics that increase species naturalization success. Here, we investigate the role of diversification rates in explaining the naturalization success of angiosperm plant families. We use five global data sets that include native and alien plant species distribution, horticultural use of plants, and a time-calibrated angiosperm phylogeny. Using phylogenetic generalized linear mixed models, we analysed the effect of diversification rate, different geographical range measures, and horticultural use on the naturalization success of plant families. We show that a family's naturalization success is positively associated with its evolutionary history, native range size, and economic use. Investigating interactive effects of these predictors shows that native range size and geographic distribution additionally affect naturalization success. High diversification rates and large ranges increase naturalization success, especially of temperate families. We suggest this may result from lower ecological specialization in temperate families with large ranges, compared with tropical families with smaller ranges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894487PMC
March 2021

Projecting the continental accumulation of alien species through to 2050.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Oct 1. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Biological invasions have steadily increased over recent centuries. However, we still lack a clear expectation about future trends in alien species numbers. In particular, we do not know whether alien species will continue to accumulate in regional floras and faunas, or whether the pace of accumulation will decrease due to the depletion of native source pools. Here, we apply a new model to simulate future numbers of alien species based on estimated sizes of source pools and dynamics of historical invasions, assuming a continuation of processes in the future as observed in the past (a business-as-usual scenario). We first validated performance of different model versions by conducting a back-casting approach, therefore fitting the model to alien species numbers until 1950 and validating predictions on trends from 1950 to 2005. In a second step, we selected the best performing model that provided the most robust predictions to project trajectories of alien species numbers until 2050. Altogether, this resulted in 3,790 stochastic simulation runs for 38 taxon-continent combinations. We provide the first quantitative projections of future trajectories of alien species numbers for seven major taxonomic groups in eight continents, accounting for variation in sampling intensity and uncertainty in projections. Overall, established alien species numbers per continent were predicted to increase from 2005 to 2050 by 36%. Particularly, strong increases were projected for Europe in absolute (+2,543 ± 237 alien species) and relative terms, followed by Temperate Asia (+1,597 ± 197), Northern America (1,484 ± 74) and Southern America (1,391 ± 258). Among individual taxonomic groups, especially strong increases were projected for invertebrates globally. Declining (but still positive) rates were projected only for Australasia. Our projections provide a first baseline for the assessment of future developments of biological invasions, which will help to inform policies to contain the spread of alien species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15333DOI Listing
October 2020

Blind spots in global soil biodiversity and ecosystem function research.

Nat Commun 2020 08 3;11(1):3870. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Soils harbor a substantial fraction of the world's biodiversity, contributing to many crucial ecosystem functions. It is thus essential to identify general macroecological patterns related to the distribution and functioning of soil organisms to support their conservation and consideration by governance. These macroecological analyses need to represent the diversity of environmental conditions that can be found worldwide. Here we identify and characterize existing environmental gaps in soil taxa and ecosystem functioning data across soil macroecological studies and 17,186 sampling sites across the globe. These data gaps include important spatial, environmental, taxonomic, and functional gaps, and an almost complete absence of temporally explicit data. We also identify the limitations of soil macroecological studies to explore general patterns in soil biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, with only 0.3% of all sampling sites having both information about biodiversity and function, although with different taxonomic groups and functions at each site. Based on this information, we provide clear priorities to support and expand soil macroecological research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17688-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400591PMC
August 2020

Drivers of future alien species impacts: An expert-based assessment.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Sep 14;26(9):4880-4893. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt, Germany.

Understanding the likely future impacts of biological invasions is crucial yet highly challenging given the multiple relevant environmental, socio-economic and societal contexts and drivers. In the absence of quantitative models, methods based on expert knowledge are the best option for assessing future invasion trajectories. Here, we present an expert assessment of the drivers of potential alien species impacts under contrasting scenarios and socioecological contexts through the mid-21st century. Based on responses from 36 experts in biological invasions, moderate (20%-30%) increases in invasions, compared to the current conditions, are expected to cause major impacts on biodiversity in most socioecological contexts. Three main drivers of biological invasions-transport, climate change and socio-economic change-were predicted to significantly affect future impacts of alien species on biodiversity even under a best-case scenario. Other drivers (e.g. human demography and migration in tropical and subtropical regions) were also of high importance in specific global contexts (e.g. for individual taxonomic groups or biomes). We show that some best-case scenarios can substantially reduce potential future impacts of biological invasions. However, rapid and comprehensive actions are necessary to use this potential and achieve the goals of the Post-2020 Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15199DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496498PMC
September 2020

Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges.

Glob Ecol Biogeogr 2020 Feb 1;29(2):281-294. Epub 2019 Dec 1.

Computational and Applied Vegetation Ecology (CAVElab) Ghent University Ghent Belgium.

Aim: Alien plant species can cause severe ecological and economic problems, and therefore attract a lot of research interest in biogeography and related fields. To identify potential future invasive species, we need to better understand the mechanisms underlying the abundances of invasive tree species in their new ranges, and whether these mechanisms differ between their native and alien ranges. Here, we test two hypotheses: that greater relative abundance is promoted by (a) functional difference from locally co-occurring trees, and (b) higher values than locally co-occurring trees for traits linked to competitive ability.

Location: Global.

Time Period: Recent.

Major Taxa Studied: Trees.

Methods: We combined three global plant databases: sPlot vegetation-plot database, TRY plant trait database and Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database. We used a hierarchical Bayesian linear regression model to assess the factors associated with variation in local abundance, and how these relationships vary between native and alien ranges and depend on species' traits.

Results: In both ranges, species reach highest abundance if they are functionally similar to co-occurring species, yet are taller and have higher seed mass and wood density than co-occurring species.

Main Conclusions: Our results suggest that light limitation leads to strong environmental and biotic filtering, and that it is advantageous to be taller and have denser wood. The striking similarities in abundance between native and alien ranges imply that information from tree species' native ranges can be used to predict in which habitats introduced species may become dominant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geb.13027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7006795PMC
February 2020

Drivers of the relative richness of naturalized and invasive plant species on Earth.

AoB Plants 2019 Oct 4;11(5):plz051. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Biological invasions are a defining feature of the Anthropocene, but the factors that determine the spatially uneven distribution of alien plant species are still poorly understood. Here, we present the first global analysis of the effects of biogeographic factors, the physical environment and socio-economy on the richness of naturalized and invasive alien plants. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models and variation partitioning to disentangle the relative importance of individual factors, and, more broadly, of biogeography, physical environment and socio-economy. As measures of the magnitude of permanent anthropogenic additions to the regional species pool and of species with negative environmental impacts, we calculated the relative richness of naturalized (= RRN) and invasive (= RRI) alien plant species numbers adjusted for the number of native species in 838 terrestrial regions. Socio-economic factors (per-capita gross domestic product (GDP), population density, proportion of agricultural land) were more important in explaining RRI (~50 % of the explained variation) than RRN (~40 %). Warm-temperate and (sub)tropical regions have higher RRN than tropical or cooler regions. We found that socio-economic pressures are more relevant for invasive than for naturalized species richness. The expectation that the southern hemisphere is more invaded than the northern hemisphere was confirmed only for RRN on islands, but not for mainland regions nor for RRI. On average, islands have ~6-fold RRN, and >3-fold RRI compared to mainland regions. Eighty-two islands (=26 % of all islands) harbour more naturalized alien than native plants. Our findings challenge the widely held expectation that socio-economic pressures are more relevant for plant naturalization than for invasive plants. To meet international biodiversity targets and halt the detrimental consequences of plant invasions, it is essential to disrupt the connection between socio-economic development and plant invasions by improving pathway management, early detection and rapid response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plz051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795282PMC
October 2019

The geography of biodiversity change in marine and terrestrial assemblages.

Science 2019 10;366(6463):339-345

Centre for Biological Diversity, School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, UK.

Human activities are fundamentally altering biodiversity. Projections of declines at the global scale are contrasted by highly variable trends at local scales, suggesting that biodiversity change may be spatially structured. Here, we examined spatial variation in species richness and composition change using more than 50,000 biodiversity time series from 239 studies and found clear geographic variation in biodiversity change. Rapid compositional change is prevalent, with marine biomes exceeding and terrestrial biomes trailing the overall trend. Assemblage richness is not changing on average, although locations exhibiting increasing and decreasing trends of up to about 20% per year were found in some marine studies. At local scales, widespread compositional reorganization is most often decoupled from richness change, and biodiversity change is strongest and most variable in the oceans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw1620DOI Listing
October 2019

Evolution of interdisciplinarity in biodiversity science.

Ecol Evol 2019 Jul 10;9(12):6744-6755. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

The study of biodiversity has grown exponentially in the last thirty years in response to demands for greater understanding of the function and importance of Earth's biodiversity and finding solutions to conserve it. Here, we test the hypothesis that biodiversity science has become more interdisciplinary over time. To do so, we analyze 97,945 peer-reviewed articles over a twenty-two-year time period (1990-2012) with a continuous time dynamic model, which classifies articles into concepts (i.e., topics and ideas) based on word co-occurrences. Using the model output, we then quantify different aspects of interdisciplinarity: concept diversity, that is, the diversity of topics and ideas across subdisciplines in biodiversity science, subdiscipline diversity, that is, the diversity of subdisciplines across concepts, and network structure, which captures interactions between concepts and subdisciplines. We found that, on average, concept and subdiscipline diversity in biodiversity science were either stable or declining, patterns which were driven by the persistence of rare concepts and subdisciplines and a decline in the diversity of common concepts and subdisciplines, respectively. Moreover, our results provide evidence that conceptual homogenization, that is, decreases in temporal β concept diversity, underlies the observed trends in interdisciplinarity. Together, our results reveal that biodiversity science is undergoing a dynamic phase as a scientific discipline that is consolidating around a core set of concepts. Our results suggest that progress toward addressing the biodiversity crisis via greater interdisciplinarity during the study period may have been slowed by extrinsic factors, such as the failure to invest in research spanning across concepts and disciplines. However, recent initiatives such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) may attract broader support for biodiversity-related issues and hence interdisciplinary approaches to address scientific, political, and societal challenges in the coming years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6640045PMC
July 2019

Assessing the utility of conserving evolutionary history.

Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2019 10 31;94(5):1740-1760. Epub 2019 May 31.

Department of Biological Sciences, 8888 University Drive, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.

It is often claimed that conserving evolutionary history is more efficient than species-based approaches for capturing the attributes of biodiversity that benefit people. This claim underpins academic analyses and recommendations about the distribution and prioritization of species and areas for conservation, but evolutionary history is rarely considered in practical conservation activities. One impediment to implementation is that arguments related to the human-centric benefits of evolutionary history are often vague and the underlying mechanisms poorly explored. Herein we identify the arguments linking the prioritization of evolutionary history with benefits to people, and for each we explicate the purported mechanism, and evaluate its theoretical and empirical support. We find that, even after 25 years of academic research, the strength of evidence linking evolutionary history to human benefits is still fragile. Most - but not all - arguments rely on the assumption that evolutionary history is a useful surrogate for phenotypic diversity. This surrogacy relationship in turn underlies additional arguments, particularly that, by capturing more phenotypic diversity, evolutionary history will preserve greater ecosystem functioning, capture more of the natural variety that humans prefer, and allow the maintenance of future benefits to humans. A surrogate relationship between evolutionary history and phenotypic diversity appears reasonable given theoretical and empirical results, but the strength of this relationship varies greatly. To the extent that evolutionary history captures unmeasured phenotypic diversity, maximizing the representation of evolutionary history should capture variation in species characteristics that are otherwise unknown, supporting some of the existing arguments. However, there is great variation in the strength and availability of evidence for benefits associated with protecting phenotypic diversity. There are many studies finding positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, but little work exists on the maintenance of future benefits or the degree to which humans prefer sets of species with high phenotypic diversity or evolutionary history. Although several arguments link the protection of evolutionary history directly with the reduction of extinction rates, and with the production of relatively greater future biodiversity via increased adaptation or diversification, there are few direct tests. Several of these putative benefits have mismatches between the relevant spatial scales for conservation actions and the spatial scales at which benefits to humans are realized. It will be important for future work to fill in some of these gaps through direct tests of the arguments we define here.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/brv.12526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852562PMC
October 2019

Conventional land-use intensification reduces species richness and increases production: A global meta-analysis.

Glob Chang Biol 2019 06 9;25(6):1941-1956. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Department Computational Landscape Ecology, UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany.

Most current research on land-use intensification addresses its potential to either threaten biodiversity or to boost agricultural production. However, little is known about the simultaneous effects of intensification on biodiversity and yield. To determine the responses of species richness and yield to conventional intensification, we conducted a global meta-analysis synthesizing 115 studies which collected data for both variables at the same locations. We extracted 449 cases that cover a variety of areas used for agricultural (crops, fodder) and silvicultural (wood) production. We found that, across all production systems and species groups, conventional intensification is successful in increasing yield (grand mean + 20.3%), but it also results in a loss of species richness (-8.9%). However, analysis of sub-groups revealed inconsistent results. For example, small intensification steps within low intensity systems did not affect yield or species richness. Within high-intensity systems species losses were non-significant but yield gains were substantial (+15.2%). Conventional intensification within medium intensity systems revealed the highest yield increase (+84.9%) and showed the largest loss in species richness (-22.9%). Production systems differed in their magnitude of richness response, with insignificant changes in silvicultural systems and substantial losses in crop systems (-21.2%). In addition, this meta-analysis identifies a lack of studies that collect robust biodiversity (i.e. beyond species richness) and yield data at the same sites and that provide quantitative information on land-use intensity. Our findings suggest that, in many cases, conventional land-use intensification drives a trade-off between species richness and production. However, species richness losses were often not significantly different from zero, suggesting even conventional intensification can result in yield increases without coming at the expense of biodiversity loss. These results should guide future research to close existing research gaps and to understand the circumstances required to achieve such win-win or win-no-harm situations in conventional agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14606DOI Listing
June 2019

Global mismatches in aboveground and belowground biodiversity.

Conserv Biol 2019 10 26;33(5):1187-1192. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Human activities are accelerating global biodiversity change and have resulted in severely threatened ecosystem services. A large proportion of terrestrial biodiversity is harbored by soil, but soil biodiversity has been omitted from many global biodiversity assessments and conservation actions, and understanding of global patterns of soil biodiversity remains limited. In particular, the extent to which hotspots and coldspots of aboveground and soil biodiversity overlap is not clear. We examined global patterns of these overlaps by mapping indices of aboveground (mammals, birds, amphibians, vascular plants) and soil (bacteria, fungi, macrofauna) biodiversity that we created using previously published data on species richness. Areas of mismatch between aboveground and soil biodiversity covered 27% of Earth's terrestrial surface. The temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome had the highest proportion of grid cells with high aboveground biodiversity but low soil biodiversity, whereas the boreal and tundra biomes had intermediate soil biodiversity but low aboveground biodiversity. While more data on soil biodiversity are needed, both to cover geographic gaps and to include additional taxa, our results suggest that protecting aboveground biodiversity may not sufficiently reduce threats to soil biodiversity. Given the functional importance of soil biodiversity and the role of soils in human well-being, soil biodiversity should be considered further in policy agendas and conservation actions by adapting management practices to sustain soil biodiversity and considering soil biodiversity when designing protected areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13311DOI Listing
October 2019

Mycorrhizal fungi influence global plant biogeography.

Nat Ecol Evol 2019 03 25;3(3):424-429. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA.

Island biogeography has traditionally focused primarily on abiotic drivers of colonization, extinction and speciation. However, establishment on islands could also be limited by biotic drivers, such as the absence of symbionts. Most plants, for example, form symbioses with mycorrhizal fungi, whose limited dispersal to islands could act as a colonization filter for plants. We tested this hypothesis using global-scale analyses of ~1.4 million plant occurrences, including ~200,000 plant species across ~1,100 regions. We find evidence for a mycorrhizal filter (that is, the filtering out of mycorrhizal plants on islands), with mycorrhizal associations less common among native island plants than native mainland plants. Furthermore, the proportion of native mycorrhizal plants in island floras decreased with isolation, possibly as a consequence of a decline in symbiont establishment. We also show that mycorrhizal plants contribute disproportionately to the classic latitudinal gradient of plant species diversity, with the proportion of mycorrhizal plants being highest near the equator and decreasing towards the poles. Anthropogenic pressure and land use alter these plant biogeographical patterns. Naturalized floras show a greater proportion of mycorrhizal plant species on islands than in mainland regions, as expected from the anthropogenic co-introduction of plants with their symbionts to islands and anthropogenic disturbance of symbionts in mainland regions. We identify the mycorrhizal association as an overlooked driver of global plant biogeographical patterns with implications for contemporary island biogeography and our understanding of plant invasions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0823-4DOI Listing
March 2019

The role of fruit heteromorphism in the naturalization of Asteraceae.

Ann Bot 2019 06;123(6):1043-1052

Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.

Background And Aims: Fruit heteromorphism is considered to be a bet-hedging strategy to cope with spatially or temporally heterogeneous environments. The different behaviours of the fruit morphs of the same species might also be beneficial during naturalization, once the species has been introduced to a new range. Yet, no study to date has tested the association between fruit heteromorphism and global-scale naturalization success for a large set of plant species.

Methods: We compiled two large datasets on fruit heteromorphism in Asteraceae. One dataset was on native species in Central Europe (n = 321) and the other was on species frequently planted as ornamentals (n = 584). Using phylogenetic linear and logistic regressions, we tested whether heteromorphic species are more likely to naturalize outside their native range, and in more regions of the world than monomorphic species. We also tested whether the effect of heteromorphism is modulated by life history and height of the species.

Key Results: We show that heteromorphic species were more likely to naturalize outside their native range. However, among the naturalized species, heteromorphic and monomorphic species did not differ in the number of world regions where they became naturalized. A short life span and tall stature both promoted naturalization success and, when life history and height were included in the models, the effect of fruit heteromorphism on the ability to naturalize became non-significant. Nevertheless, among tall plants, heteromorphic ornamental species were significantly more likely to become naturalized in general and in more regions than monomorphic species.

Conclusions: Our results provide evidence that in Asteraceae the production of heteromorphic fruits is associated with naturalization success. It appears, however, that not fruit heteromorphism per se, but a successful combination of other biological traits in fruit heteromorphic species, namely short life span and tall stature, contributes to their naturalization success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcz012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589514PMC
June 2019

Nurturing connections to the environment.

Science 2018 11;362(6417):886-888

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Sciences (sDiv), 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aav9402DOI Listing
November 2018

Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities.

Nat Ecol Evol 2018 12 19;2(12):1906-1917. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Institute of Biology, Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait-environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8DOI Listing
December 2018

The Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database.

Ecology 2019 01 5;100(1):e02542. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

This dataset provides the Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database, version 1.2. GloNAF represents a data compendium on the occurrence and identity of naturalized alien vascular plant taxa across geographic regions (e.g. countries, states, provinces, districts, islands) around the globe. The dataset includes 13,939 taxa and covers 1,029 regions (including 381 islands). The dataset is based on 210 data sources. For each taxon-by-region combination, we provide information on whether the taxon is considered to be naturalized in the specific region (i.e. has established self-sustaining populations in the wild). Non-native taxa are marked as "alien", when it is not clear whether they are naturalized. To facilitate alignment with other plant databases, we provide for each taxon the name as given in the original data source and the standardized taxon and family names used by The Plant List Version 1.1 (http://www.theplantlist.org/). We provide an ESRI shapefile including polygons for each region and information on whether it is an island or a mainland region, the country and the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) regions it is part of (TDWG levels 1-4). We also provide several variables that can be used to filter the data according to quality and completeness of alien taxon lists, which vary among the combinations of regions and data sources. A previous version of the GloNAF dataset (version 1.1) has already been used in several studies on, for example, historical spatial flows of taxa between continents and geographical patterns and determinants of naturalization across different taxonomic groups. We intend the updated and expanded GloNAF version presented here to be a global resource useful for studying plant invasions and changes in biodiversity from regional to global scales. We release these data into the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero license waiver (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/). When you use the data in your publication, we request that you cite this data paper. If GloNAF is a major part of the data analyzed in your study, you should consider inviting the GloNAF core team (see Metadata S1: Originators in the Overall project description) as collaborators. If you plan to use the GloNAF dataset, we encourage you to contact the GloNAF core team to check whether there have been recent updates of the dataset, and whether similar analyses are already ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2542DOI Listing
January 2019

Remoteness promotes biological invasions on islands worldwide.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 09 29;115(37):9270-9275. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Division of Conservation Biology, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

One of the best-known general patterns in island biogeography is the species-isolation relationship (SIR), a decrease in the number of native species with increasing island isolation that is linked to lower rates of natural dispersal and colonization on remote oceanic islands. However, during recent centuries, the anthropogenic introduction of alien species has increasingly gained importance and altered the composition and richness of island species pools. We analyzed a large dataset for alien and native plants, ants, reptiles, mammals, and birds on 257 (sub) tropical islands, and showed that, except for birds, the number of naturalized alien species increases with isolation for all taxa, a pattern that is opposite to the negative SIR of native species. We argue that the reversal of the SIR for alien species is driven by an increase in island invasibility due to reduced diversity and increased ecological naiveté of native biota on the more remote islands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1804179115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140508PMC
September 2018

The role of adaptive strategies in plant naturalization.

Ecol Lett 2018 09 5;21(9):1380-1389. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

Institute of Botany, Department of Invasive Ecology, The Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

Determining the factors associated with the naturalization of alien species is a central theme in ecology. Here, we tested the usefulness of a metric for quantifying Grime's seminal concept of adaptive strategies - competitors, stress-tolerators and ruderals (CSR) - to explain plant naturalizations worldwide. Using a global dataset of 3004 vascular plant species, and accounting for phylogenetic relatedness and species' native biomes, we assessed the associations between calculated C-, S- and R-scores and naturalization success for species exhibiting different life forms. Across different plant life forms, C-scores were positively and S-scores negatively associated with both the probability of naturalization and the number of regions where the species has naturalized. R-scores had positive effects on the probability of naturalization. These effects of the scores were, however, weak to absent for tree species. Our findings demonstrate the utility of CSR-score calculation to broadly represent, and potentially explain, the naturalization success of plant species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.13104DOI Listing
September 2018

The changing role of ornamental horticulture in alien plant invasions.

Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 08 5;93(3):1421-1437. Epub 2018 Mar 5.

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Ryton Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG, U.K.

The number of alien plants escaping from cultivation into native ecosystems is increasing steadily. We provide an overview of the historical, contemporary and potential future roles of ornamental horticulture in plant invasions. We show that currently at least 75% and 93% of the global naturalised alien flora is grown in domestic and botanical gardens, respectively. Species grown in gardens also have a larger naturalised range than those that are not. After the Middle Ages, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, a global trade network in plants emerged. Since then, cultivated alien species also started to appear in the wild more frequently than non-cultivated aliens globally, particularly during the 19th century. Horticulture still plays a prominent role in current plant introduction, and the monetary value of live-plant imports in different parts of the world is steadily increasing. Historically, botanical gardens - an important component of horticulture - played a major role in displaying, cultivating and distributing new plant discoveries. While the role of botanical gardens in the horticultural supply chain has declined, they are still a significant link, with one-third of institutions involved in retail-plant sales and horticultural research. However, botanical gardens have also become more dependent on commercial nurseries as plant sources, particularly in North America. Plants selected for ornamental purposes are not a random selection of the global flora, and some of the plant characteristics promoted through horticulture, such as fast growth, also promote invasion. Efforts to breed non-invasive plant cultivars are still rare. Socio-economical, technological, and environmental changes will lead to novel patterns of plant introductions and invasion opportunities for the species that are already cultivated. We describe the role that horticulture could play in mediating these changes. We identify current research challenges, and call for more research efforts on the past and current role of horticulture in plant invasions. This is required to develop science-based regulatory frameworks to prevent further plant invasions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/brv.12402DOI Listing
August 2018

Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 03 5;115(10):E2264-E2273. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

US Forest Service Northern Research Station, Morgantown, WV 26505.

Our ability to predict the identity of future invasive alien species is largely based upon knowledge of prior invasion history. Emerging alien species-those never encountered as aliens before-therefore pose a significant challenge to biosecurity interventions worldwide. Understanding their temporal trends, origins, and the drivers of their spread is pivotal to improving prevention and risk assessment tools. Here, we use a database of 45,984 first records of 16,019 established alien species to investigate the temporal dynamics of occurrences of emerging alien species worldwide. Even after many centuries of invasions the rate of emergence of new alien species is still high: One-quarter of first records during 2000-2005 were of species that had not been previously recorded anywhere as alien, though with large variation across taxa. Model results show that the high proportion of emerging alien species cannot be solely explained by increases in well-known drivers such as the amount of imported commodities from historically important source regions. Instead, these dynamics reflect the incorporation of new regions into the pool of potential alien species, likely as a consequence of expanding trade networks and environmental change. This process compensates for the depletion of the historically important source species pool through successive invasions. We estimate that 1-16% of all species on Earth, depending on the taxonomic group, qualify as potential alien species. These results suggest that there remains a high proportion of emerging alien species we have yet to encounter, with future impacts that are difficult to predict.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1719429115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877962PMC
March 2018

Naturalization of European plants on other continents: The role of donor habitats.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 12 4;114(52):13756-13761. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Invasion Ecology, Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic.

The success of European plant species as aliens worldwide is thought to reflect their association with human-disturbed environments. However, an explicit test including all human-made, seminatural and natural habitat types of Europe, and their contributions as donor habitats of naturalized species to the rest of the globe, has been missing. Here we combine two databases, the European Vegetation Checklist and the Global Naturalized Alien Flora, to assess how human influence in European habitats affects the probability of naturalization of their plant species on other continents. A total of 9,875 native European vascular plant species were assigned to 39 European habitat types; of these, 2,550 species have become naturalized somewhere in the world. Species that occur in both human-made habitats and seminatural or natural habitats in Europe have the highest probability of naturalization (64.7% and 64.5% of them have naturalized). Species associated only with human-made or seminatural habitats still have a significantly higher probability of becoming naturalized (41.7% and 28.6%, respectively) than species confined to natural habitats (19.4%). Species associated with arable land and human settlements were recorded as naturalized in the largest number of regions worldwide. Our findings highlight that plant species' association with native-range habitats disturbed by human activities, combined with broad habitat range, play an important role in shaping global patterns of plant invasions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1705487114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748166PMC
December 2017

Red list of a black box.

Nat Ecol Evol 2017 Mar 23;1(4):103. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5720341PMC
March 2017

Which Latitudinal Gradients for Genetic Diversity?

Trends Ecol Evol 2017 10 11;32(10):724-726. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

A recent global analysis of GenBank DNA sequences from amphibians and mammals indicated consistent poleward decrease of intraspecific genetic diversity in both classes. We highlight that this result was biased by not accounting for distance decay of similarity and reanalyse the datasets, revealing distinct latitudinal gradients in mammals and amphibians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.07.007DOI Listing
October 2017

Will climate change increase hybridization risk between potential plant invaders and their congeners in Europe?

Divers Distrib 2017 08 31;23(8):934-943. Epub 2017 May 31.

Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research Faculty of Life Sciences University of Vienna Vienna Austria.

Aim: Interspecific hybridization can promote invasiveness of alien species. In many regions of the world, public and domestic gardens contain a huge pool of non-native plants. Climate change may relax constraints on their naturalization and hence facilitate hybridization with related species in the resident flora. Here, we evaluate this possible increase in hybridization risk by predicting changes in the overlap of climatically suitable ranges between a set of garden plants and their congeners in the resident flora.

Location: Europe.

Methods: From the pool of alien garden plants, we selected those which (1) are not naturalized in Europe, but established outside their native range elsewhere in the world; (2) belong to a genus where interspecific hybridization has been previously reported; and (3) have congeners in the native and naturalized flora of Europe. For the resulting set of 34 alien ornamentals as well as for 173 of their European congeners, we fitted species distribution models and projected suitable ranges under the current climate and three future climate scenarios. Changes in range overlap between garden plants and congeners were then assessed by means of the true skill statistic.

Results: Projections suggest that under a warming climate, suitable ranges of garden plants will increase, on average, while those of their congeners will remain constant or shrink, at least under the more severe climate scenarios. The mean overlap in ranges among congeners of the two groups will decrease. Variation among genera is pronounced; however, and for some congeners, range overlap is predicted to increase significantly.

Main Conclusions: Averaged across all modelled species, our results do not indicate that hybrids between potential future invaders and resident species will emerge more frequently in Europe when climate warms. These average trends do not preclude, however, that hybridization risk may considerably increase in particular genera.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518762PMC
August 2017
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