Publications by authors named "Tim Engelkes"

4 Publications

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Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

Oecologia 2016 Feb;180(2):507-17

Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3472-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4723625PMC
February 2016

Additive effects of aboveground polyphagous herbivores and soil feedback in native and range-expanding exotic plants.

Ecology 2011 Jun;92(6):1344-52

Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 50, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Plant biomass and plant abundance can be controlled by aboveground and belowground natural enemies. However, little is known about how the aboveground and belowground enemy effects may add up. We exposed 15 plant species to aboveground polyphagous insect herbivores and feedback effects from the soil community alone, as well as in combination. We envisaged three possibilities: additive, synergistic, or antagonistic effects of the aboveground and belowground enemies on plant biomass. In our analysis, we included native and phylogenetically related range-expanding exotic plant species, because exotic plants on average are less sensitive to aboveground herbivores and soil feedback than related natives. Thus, we examined if lower sensitivity of exotic plant species to enemies also alters aboveground-belowground interactions. In a greenhouse experiment, we exposed six exotic and nine native plant species to feedback from their own soil communities, aboveground herbivory by polyphagous insects, or a combination of soil feedback and aboveground insects and compared shoot and root biomass to control plants without aboveground and belowground enemies. We observed that for both native and range-expanding exotic plant species effects of insect herbivory aboveground and soil feedback added up linearly, instead of enforcing or counteracting each other. However, there was no correlation between the strength of aboveground herbivory and soil feedback. We conclude that effects of polyphagous aboveground herbivorous insects and soil feedback add up both in the case of native and related range-expanding exotic plant species, but that aboveground herbivory effects may not necessarily predict the strengths of soil feedback effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/10-1937.1DOI Listing
June 2011

Climate change and invasion by intracontinental range-expanding exotic plants: the role of biotic interactions.

Ann Bot 2010 Jun 30;105(6):843-8. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren, The Netherlands.

Background And Aims: In this Botanical Briefing we describe how the interactions between plants and their biotic environment can change during range-expansion within a continent and how this may influence plant invasiveness.

Scope: We address how mechanisms explaining intercontinental plant invasions by exotics (such as release from enemies) may also apply to climate-warming-induced range-expanding exotics within the same continent. We focus on above-ground and below-ground interactions of plants, enemies and symbionts, on plant defences, and on nutrient cycling.

Conclusions: Range-expansion by plants may result in above-ground and below-ground enemy release. This enemy release can be due to the higher dispersal capacity of plants than of natural enemies. Moreover, lower-latitudinal plants can have higher defence levels than plants from temperate regions, making them better defended against herbivory. In a world that contains fewer enemies, exotic plants will experience less selection pressure to maintain high levels of defensive secondary metabolites. Range-expanders potentially affect ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling. These features are quite comparable with what is known of intercontinental invasive exotic plants. However, intracontinental range-expanding plants will have ongoing gene-flow between the newly established populations and the populations in the native range. This is a major difference from intercontinental invasive exotic plants, which become more severely disconnected from their source populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcq064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2876007PMC
June 2010

Successful range-expanding plants experience less above-ground and below-ground enemy impact.

Nature 2008 Dec 19;456(7224):946-8. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

Department of Multitrophic Interactions, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), PO Box 40, 6666 ZG Heteren, The Netherlands.

Many species are currently moving to higher latitudes and altitudes. However, little is known about the factors that influence the future performance of range-expanding species in their new habitats. Here we show that range-expanding plant species from a riverine area were better defended against shoot and root enemies than were related native plant species growing in the same area. We grew fifteen plant species with and without non-coevolved polyphagous locusts and cosmopolitan, polyphagous aphids. Contrary to our expectations, the locusts performed more poorly on the range-expanding plant species than on the congeneric native plant species, whereas the aphids showed no difference. The shoot herbivores reduced the biomass of the native plants more than they did that of the congeneric range expanders. Also, the range-expanding plants developed fewer pathogenic effects in their root-zone soil than did the related native species. Current predictions forecast biodiversity loss due to limitations in the ability of species to adjust to climate warming conditions in their range. Our results strongly suggest that the plants that shift ranges towards higher latitudes and altitudes may include potential invaders, as the successful range expanders may experience less control by above-ground or below-ground enemies than the natives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature07474DOI Listing
December 2008