Effect of asymmetric warming on plant invasion

Although many studies have documented the effects of global warming on invasive plants, little is known about whether the effects of warming on plant invasion differ depending on the imposed change in different diurnal temperature range. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Chen et al. tested the impacts of unequal night-and-day warming on seed germination and seedling growth of invasive and native plants. Most warming treatments facilitated seed germination in natives but not in invasives. The invaders performed better than the natives, and they allocated greater biomass to stems than the natives under all warming treatments. Compared with symmetric warming, both an increase and decrease in the asymmetric summer warming inhibited the growth of the invaders but not the natives, whereas the decrease in asymmetric winter warming inhibited the growth of both invasive and native plants. These findings highlight the importance of asymmetric warming in influencing plant invasion.

Further reading

Chen, B.-M., Gao, Y., Liao, H.-X., & Peng, S.-L. (2017). Differential responses of invasive and native plants to warming with simulated changes in diurnal temperature ranges. AoB PLANTS, 9(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plx028