Hana Skálová1, Jan Čuda1, Wen-Yong Guo1,2, Magdalena Lučanová1, Lenka Moravcová1, Laura A. Meyerson3 and Petr Pyšek1,4
1The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech
2Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Alle 1, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
3Department of Natural Resources Science, The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881 USA
4Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, CZ-128 44 Prague, Czech Republic
The cosmopolitan reed grass, Phragmites australis (Poaceae), has become a model species for studying plant invasions. In our study we used 89 genotypes from Australia, Europe, and North America (with two groups including native and invasive populations introduced from Europe), South Africa and Far East; the plants were grown for two vegetation seasons in an experimental garden in Průhonice near Prague, Czech Republic. Based on a wide range of measured traits, the populations clustered into two distinct groups: one that includes populations from Europe and Far East together with the North American invasive, and the second including the North American native populations with those from Australia and South Africa. Populations within the former group exhibited superior performance in the following traits: they were more vigorous in terms of higher shoot number per pot, greater belowground biomass, and longer rhizomes, had greater specific leaf area (SLA), higher N and P concentrations in tissues, and greater investment into generative reproduction. The results indicate that invasion by Australian and African populations in the Northern Hemisphere seems unlikely at present due to a weak environmental match and/or genetic differences. However, it is not possible to exclude the further invasion of genotypes of European or Far East origin into Southern Hemisphere or other temperate regions. In terms of traits, monoploid genome size was the only significant variable that, in our experiment, clearly separated the North American native genotypes from those of European origin. The mean Cx value (the amount of DNA in one chromosome set) for source European native populations was 0.490 0.007 (mean SD), for North American invasive 0.506 0.020, and for North American native 0.543 0.021. Relative to North American native populations, the North American invasive had a smaller genome that was associated with plant traits favoring invasiveness.
Pyšek P., Skálová H., Čuda J., Guo W.-Y., Suda J., Doležal J., Kauzál O., Lambertini C., Lučanová M., Mandáková T., Moravcová L., Pyšková K., Brix H. & Meyerson L. A. (2018): Small genome separates native and invasive populations in an ecologically important cosmopolitan grass. Ecology 99: 79–90 (doi: 10.1002/ecy.2068)
Pyšek P., Skálová H., Čuda J., Guo W.-Y., Doležal J., Kauzál O., Lambertini C., Pyšková K., Brix H. & Meyerson L. A. (2019): Physiology of a plant invasion: biomass production, growth and tissue chemistry of invasive and native Phragmites australis populations. Preslia 91: 51–75 (doi: 10.23855/preslia.2019.051)