We briefly reviewed the literature on habitat matching in invading non-native plant species. Then we hypothesized that the richness and cover of native annual and perennial plant species integrate complex local information of vegetation and soils that would help to predict invasion success by similarly adapted non-native plant species. We tested these ‘life-history habitat matching’ relationships in 603 0.1-ha plots, including 294 plots in Colorado, which were relatively high for the cover of native perennial plant species, and for 309 0.1-ha plots in southern Utah, which were relatively high in the cover of native annual plant species. We found strong positive relationships between the richness and foliar cover for both native and non-native species, whether they were annual or perennial species (0.34 > r2 < 0.53; P < 0.0001). We also found significant positive relationships between the cover of native annual species at a site and the richness (r2 = 0.13; P < 0.0001) and the foliar cover (r2 = 0.06; P < 0.0001) of non-native annual species. The proportion of non-native annual species in the flora of a plot also increased significantly with the foliar cover of native annual species. Conversely, the richness and cover of non-native annual species were significantly negatively associated with the foliar cover of native perennial species (r2 = 0.05 and 0.06, respectively; P < 0.0001). The cover of non-native annual or perennial species was not significantly correlated with soil texture variables, %N, or %C. We conclude that there may be a high degree of life-history habitat matching by non-native annual species in these study sites. Information on native annual and perennial species richness and cover may help characterize the complex soils, climate, and disturbance environment in which similarly adapted non-native plant species establish and gain foliar cover.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Life-history habitat matching in invading non-native plant species|
|Series title||Plant and Soil|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|