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Variability in the contribution of different life stages to population growth as a key factor in the invasion success of Pinus strobus.

Münzbergová Z, Hadincová V, Wild J, Kindlmannová J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: In agreement with previous studies on the population dynamics of long-lived perennials, our results show that the survival of the largest trees exhibits the highest elasticity in all of the studied habitats.The results indicate that P. strobus exhibits different growth strategies in different habitats that result in similar population growth rates.In all of the investigated habitats, the population growth rates are above 1, indicating that the population of the species is still increasing and has the ability to spread and occupy a wide range of habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Průhonice, Czech Republic. zuzmun@natur.cuni.cz

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite the increasing number of studies attempting to model population growth in various organisms, we still know relatively little about the population dynamics of long-lived species that reproduce only in the later stages of their life cycle, such as trees. Predictions of the dynamics of these species are, however, urgently needed for planning management actions when species are either endangered or invasive. In long-lived species, a single management intervention may have consequences for several decades, and detailed knowledge of long-term performance can therefore elucidate possible outcomes during the management planning phase.

Methodology and principal findings: We studied the population dynamics of an invasive tree species, Pinus strobus, in three habitat types represented by their position along the elevation gradient occupied by the species. In agreement with previous studies on the population dynamics of long-lived perennials, our results show that the survival of the largest trees exhibits the highest elasticity in all of the studied habitats. In contrast, life table response experiments (LTRE) analysis showed that different stages contribute the most to population growth rates in different habitats, with generative reproduction being more important in lower slopes and valley bottoms and survival being more important on rock tops and upper slopes.

Conclusions: The results indicate that P. strobus exhibits different growth strategies in different habitats that result in similar population growth rates. We propose that this plasticity in growth strategies is a key factor in the invasion success of the white pine. In all of the investigated habitats, the population growth rates are above 1, indicating that the population of the species is still increasing and has the ability to spread and occupy a wide range of habitats.

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Map showing the position of the study area, the 3 basic study localities and the specific plots within a single locality.Background for basic topographic maps were provided by ESRI and digital elevation model by TU Dresden.
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pone-0056953-g002: Map showing the position of the study area, the 3 basic study localities and the specific plots within a single locality.Background for basic topographic maps were provided by ESRI and digital elevation model by TU Dresden.

Mentions: For the purpose of the study, we selected three different basic localities 1.2–3.2 km apart. All of the localities are situated between 50°51′17″ N and 50°54′27″ N and 14°24′7″ E and 14°25′48″ E. Within each locality, three study sites were established, which were situated in three different habitat types, with the habitat type being defined by the position along the slope as follows: (i) upper positions usually including also rock edges; (ii) middle positions; and (iii) lower positions represented by lower slopes and ravine bottoms (Fig. 1, Fig. 2). We studied population dynamics in these three types of habitat because the position along the slope has been shown to have a major effect on vegetation in the area [42]. The slope aspect would also be expected to be ecologically important in many other areas. However, in the study area, where there are deep gorges, the aspect is highly variable. The relief and local supply of water, microelements, and solar radiation are therefore more important for shaping environmental conditions in this region [42].


Variability in the contribution of different life stages to population growth as a key factor in the invasion success of Pinus strobus.

Münzbergová Z, Hadincová V, Wild J, Kindlmannová J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Map showing the position of the study area, the 3 basic study localities and the specific plots within a single locality.Background for basic topographic maps were provided by ESRI and digital elevation model by TU Dresden.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585251&req=5

pone-0056953-g002: Map showing the position of the study area, the 3 basic study localities and the specific plots within a single locality.Background for basic topographic maps were provided by ESRI and digital elevation model by TU Dresden.
Mentions: For the purpose of the study, we selected three different basic localities 1.2–3.2 km apart. All of the localities are situated between 50°51′17″ N and 50°54′27″ N and 14°24′7″ E and 14°25′48″ E. Within each locality, three study sites were established, which were situated in three different habitat types, with the habitat type being defined by the position along the slope as follows: (i) upper positions usually including also rock edges; (ii) middle positions; and (iii) lower positions represented by lower slopes and ravine bottoms (Fig. 1, Fig. 2). We studied population dynamics in these three types of habitat because the position along the slope has been shown to have a major effect on vegetation in the area [42]. The slope aspect would also be expected to be ecologically important in many other areas. However, in the study area, where there are deep gorges, the aspect is highly variable. The relief and local supply of water, microelements, and solar radiation are therefore more important for shaping environmental conditions in this region [42].

Bottom Line: In agreement with previous studies on the population dynamics of long-lived perennials, our results show that the survival of the largest trees exhibits the highest elasticity in all of the studied habitats.The results indicate that P. strobus exhibits different growth strategies in different habitats that result in similar population growth rates.In all of the investigated habitats, the population growth rates are above 1, indicating that the population of the species is still increasing and has the ability to spread and occupy a wide range of habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Průhonice, Czech Republic. zuzmun@natur.cuni.cz

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite the increasing number of studies attempting to model population growth in various organisms, we still know relatively little about the population dynamics of long-lived species that reproduce only in the later stages of their life cycle, such as trees. Predictions of the dynamics of these species are, however, urgently needed for planning management actions when species are either endangered or invasive. In long-lived species, a single management intervention may have consequences for several decades, and detailed knowledge of long-term performance can therefore elucidate possible outcomes during the management planning phase.

Methodology and principal findings: We studied the population dynamics of an invasive tree species, Pinus strobus, in three habitat types represented by their position along the elevation gradient occupied by the species. In agreement with previous studies on the population dynamics of long-lived perennials, our results show that the survival of the largest trees exhibits the highest elasticity in all of the studied habitats. In contrast, life table response experiments (LTRE) analysis showed that different stages contribute the most to population growth rates in different habitats, with generative reproduction being more important in lower slopes and valley bottoms and survival being more important on rock tops and upper slopes.

Conclusions: The results indicate that P. strobus exhibits different growth strategies in different habitats that result in similar population growth rates. We propose that this plasticity in growth strategies is a key factor in the invasion success of the white pine. In all of the investigated habitats, the population growth rates are above 1, indicating that the population of the species is still increasing and has the ability to spread and occupy a wide range of habitats.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus