Studies on plant growth and trait variation along environmental gradients can provide important information for identifying drivers of plant invasions and for deriving management strategies. We used seeds of the annual plant invader Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed) collected from an agricultural site in Northern Italy (226 m. a.s.l; Mean Annual Air Temperature: 12.9◦ C; precipitations: 930 mm) to determine variation in growth trajectories and plant traits when grown along a 1000-m altitudinal gradient in Northern Italy, and under different temperature conditions in the growth chamber (from 14/18◦ C to 26/30◦ C, night/day), using a non-liner modeling approach. Under field conditions, traits related to plant height (maximum height, stem height, number of internodes) followed a three-parameter logistic curve. In contrast, leaf traits (lateral spread, number of leaves, leaf length and width) followed non-monotonic double-Richards curves that captured the decline patterns evident in the data. Plants grew faster, reaching a higher maximum plant height, and produced more biomass when grown at intermediate elevations. Under laboratory conditions, plants exhibited the same general growth trajectory of field conditions. However, leaf width did not show the recession after the maximum value shown by plants grown in the field, although the growth trajectories of some individuals, particularly those grown at 18◦ C, showed a decline at late times. In addition, the plants grown at lower temperatures exhibited the highest value of biomass and preserved reproductive performances (e.g., amount of male inflorescence, pollen weight). From our findings, common ragweed exhibits a high phenotypic plasticity of vegetative and reproductive traits in response to different altitudes and temperature conditions. Under climate warming, this plasticity may facilitate the shift of the species towards higher elevation, but also the in situ resistance and (pre)adaptation of populations currently abundant at low elevations in the invasive European range. Such results may be also relevant for projecting the species management such as the impact by possible biocontrol agents.

Gentili, R., Ambrosini, R., Augustinus, B., Caronni, S., Cardarelli, E., Montagnani, C., et al. (2021). High phenotypic plasticity in a prominent plant invader along altitudinal and temperature gradients. PLANTS, 10(10) [10.3390/plants10102144].

High phenotypic plasticity in a prominent plant invader along altitudinal and temperature gradients

Gentili R.
;
Ambrosini R.;Caronni S.;Montagnani C.;Citterio S.
2021

Abstract

Studies on plant growth and trait variation along environmental gradients can provide important information for identifying drivers of plant invasions and for deriving management strategies. We used seeds of the annual plant invader Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed) collected from an agricultural site in Northern Italy (226 m. a.s.l; Mean Annual Air Temperature: 12.9◦ C; precipitations: 930 mm) to determine variation in growth trajectories and plant traits when grown along a 1000-m altitudinal gradient in Northern Italy, and under different temperature conditions in the growth chamber (from 14/18◦ C to 26/30◦ C, night/day), using a non-liner modeling approach. Under field conditions, traits related to plant height (maximum height, stem height, number of internodes) followed a three-parameter logistic curve. In contrast, leaf traits (lateral spread, number of leaves, leaf length and width) followed non-monotonic double-Richards curves that captured the decline patterns evident in the data. Plants grew faster, reaching a higher maximum plant height, and produced more biomass when grown at intermediate elevations. Under laboratory conditions, plants exhibited the same general growth trajectory of field conditions. However, leaf width did not show the recession after the maximum value shown by plants grown in the field, although the growth trajectories of some individuals, particularly those grown at 18◦ C, showed a decline at late times. In addition, the plants grown at lower temperatures exhibited the highest value of biomass and preserved reproductive performances (e.g., amount of male inflorescence, pollen weight). From our findings, common ragweed exhibits a high phenotypic plasticity of vegetative and reproductive traits in response to different altitudes and temperature conditions. Under climate warming, this plasticity may facilitate the shift of the species towards higher elevation, but also the in situ resistance and (pre)adaptation of populations currently abundant at low elevations in the invasive European range. Such results may be also relevant for projecting the species management such as the impact by possible biocontrol agents.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Climate change; Elevation gradient; Growth curve; Invasive plant species; Invasive species management; Ophraella communa; Plant traits;
English
2021
10
10
2144
none
Gentili, R., Ambrosini, R., Augustinus, B., Caronni, S., Cardarelli, E., Montagnani, C., et al. (2021). High phenotypic plasticity in a prominent plant invader along altitudinal and temperature gradients. PLANTS, 10(10) [10.3390/plants10102144].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/336078
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