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What it takes to invade grassland ecosystems: traits, introduction history and filtering processes

Abstract : Whether the success of alien species can be explained by their functional or phylogenetic characteristics remains unresolved because of data limitations, scale issues and weak quantifications of success. Using permanent grasslands across France (50 000 vegetation plots, 2000 species, 130 aliens) and building on the Rabinowitz's classification to quantify spread, we showed that phylogenetic and functional similarities to natives were the most important correlates of invasion success compared to intrinsic functional characteristics and introduction history. Results contrasted between spatial scales and components of invasion success. Widespread and common aliens were similar to co‐occurring natives at coarse scales (indicating environmental filtering), but dissimilar at finer scales (indicating local competition). In contrast, regionally widespread but locally rare aliens showed patterns of competitive exclusion already at coarse scale. Quantifying trait differences between aliens and natives and distinguishing the components of invasion success improved our ability to understand and potentially predict alien spread at multiple scales
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Marta Carboni, Tamara Münkemüller, Sebastien Lavergne, Philippe Choler, Benjamin Borgy, et al.. What it takes to invade grassland ecosystems: traits, introduction history and filtering processes. Ecology Letters, Wiley, 2016, 19 (3), pp.219 - 229. ⟨10.1111/ele.12556⟩. ⟨hal-01811228⟩



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