Clonal integration facilitates the colonization of drought environments by plant invaders

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This picture shows the invasion of Carpobrotus clones in a coastal sand dune.
This picture shows the invasion of Carpobrotus clones in a coastal sand dune.

Identifying the mechanisms underlying the process of biological invasions is a crucial objective for ecological research. In a study published in AoB PLANTS, Lechuga-Lago et al. examined the role of clonal integration in the colonization of a water-stressed environment by an aggressive invader. Their results demonstrate that the effects of clonal integration confer a benefit to clonal plants for the colonization of stressful environments, and therefore should be considered as a mechanism to explain the success of some clonal invaders. Understanding the influence of clonal life-history traits in plant invasions seems key for predicting future invasion scenarios and for devising efficient strategies of control and restoration of invaded areas.

Reference

Yaiza Lechuga-Lago, Marta Sixto-Ruiz, Sergio R. Roiloa, Luís González, 2016, 'Clonal integration facilitates the colonization of drought environments by plant invaders', AoB Plants, vol. 8, p. plw023 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw023


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