Invasive plants and animals show on average enhanced performance in the new distribution range, but not universally.

Biogeographic approach is crucial for understanding biological invasions and their impacts. A quantitative global comparison of the performance of invasive plants and animals in invaded regions with that in their native ranges showed that invasive individuals are on average bigger, more fecund and more abundant. However, for about a half of 26 plant and 27 animal species analysed the diferenences were not significant. Some species thus may become invasive by behaving in the same way as at home.



Fig. 1 Results of a metaanalysis comparing the performace of 53 species of invasive plants and animals in their introduced and native ranges. Positive numbers indicate enhanced performance in the introduced range. Results for pooled data are at the bottom of the figure below the dotted line (Parker et al. 2013).

Parker, J. D. – Torchin, M. E. – Hufbauer, R. A. – Lemoine, N. P. – Alba, C. – Blumenthal, D. M. – Bossdorf, O. – Byers, J. E. – Dunn, A. M. – Heckman, R. W. – Hejda, M.Jarošík, V. – Kanarek, A. R. –  Martin, L. B. – Perlina, S. E. – Pyšek, P. – Schierenbeck, K. – Schlöder, C. – van Klinken, R. – Vaughn, K. J. – Williams, W. – Wolfe, L. M.: Do invasive species perform better in their new ranges? Ecology. Roč. 94 (2013), s. 985–994.

Simberloff, D. – Martin, J.-L. – Genovesi, P. –  Maris, V. – Wardle, D. A. – Aronson, J. – Courchamp, F. – Galil, B. – García-Berthou, E. – Pascal, M. – Pyšek, P. – Sousa, R. – Tabacchi, E. – Vilà, M.: Impacts of biological invasions: what’s what and the way forward. ­Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Roč. 28 (2013), s. 58–66.

Hulme, P. E. – Pyšek, P.Jarošík, V.Pergl, J. – Schaffner, U. – Vilà, M.: Bias and error in current knowledge of plant invasions impacts. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Roč. 28 (2013), s. 212–218.

Kueffer, C. – Pyšek, P. – Richardson, D. M.: Integrative invasion science: model systems, multi-site studies, focused meta-analysis, and invasion syndromes. New Phytologist. Roč. 200 (2013), s. 615–633.

Jeschke, J. M. – Apaticko, L. G. – Haider, S. – Heger, T. – Lortie, C. J. – Pyšek, P. – Strayer, D. L.: Support for major hypotheses in invasion biology is uneven and declining. Neobiota. Roč. 14 (2012), s. 1–20.

Temporal dynamics in the impact of an invasive plant giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) on native communities.

Plant invaders pose a serious threat to native communities, but little is known about the temporal dynamics of their impact. Giant hogweed most reduced species richness at sites invaded for ca 30 years, but species diversity and composition, and some soil characteristics recovered at sites invaded for a longer period. Observed dynamics is likely to be due to the accumulation of specialized soil pathogens. Native pests can thus play an important role in the recovery of invaded communities.

(1) Dostál P. Müllerová J.Pyšek P.Pergl J.Klinerová T. 2013. The impact of an invasive plant changes over time. Ecology Letters 16: 1277–1284.

(2) Müllerová J.Pergl J.Pyšek P. 2013. Remote sensing as a tool for monitoring plant invasions: testing the effects of data resolution and image classification approach on the detection of a model plant species Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed). International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 25: 55–65.

(3) Jandová K. Klinerová, T. Müllerová J. Pyšek P. Pergl J. – Cajthaml T. – Dostál P. 2014. Long-term impact of Heracleum mantegazzianum invasion on soil chemical and biological characteristics. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 68: 270–278.

(4) Dostál P. – Allan E., Dawson W. – van Kleunen M. – Bartish I. – Fischer M. 2013. Enemy damage of exotic plant species is similar to that of natives and increases with productivity. Journal of Ecology 2013, 101, 388–399



Fig. 2 Hogweed cover (a) and species richness (b) plotted against the time since the sites (n = 24) were invaded by giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum. Time = 0 years indicates uninvaded sites (Dostál et al. 2013).

Ecological, reproductive and evolutionary consequences of genome duplication

Studies have provided evidence that polyploidization can shape several ecological and/or reproductive characteristics of plants. Diploids and polyploids were either ecologically segregated (Cape Oxalis) or differed in the niche width (North-European Galium). Heteroploid cross-compatibilities strongly depended on parental ploidy (Alpine Jacobaea). Surprisingly, polyploidization of an obligate mycotrophic plant (Gymnadenia) was associated with a shift in mycorrhizal symbionts.


Fig. 3 (a) Three majority cytotypes/taxa of fragrant orchids growing in sympatry. Despite their spatial proximity, roots of diploids and tetraploids were colonized by different mycorrhizal fungi. (b) Root section with intracellular mycorrhizal structures (arrows).

Kolář, F. – Lučanová, M. – Vít, P. – Urfus, T. – Chrtek, J. – Fér, T. – Ehrendorfer, F. – Suda, J.: Diversity and endemism in deglaciated areas: ploidy, relative genome size and niche differentiation in the Galium pusillum complex (Rubiaceae) in Northern and Central Europe. Annals of Botany. Roč. 111, č. 6 (2013), s. 1095-1108.

Krejčíková, J. – Sudová, R. – Oberlander, K. – Dreyer, L.L. – Suda, J.: The spatio-ecological segregation of different cytotypes of Oxalis obtusa (Oxalidaceae) in contact zones. South African Journal of Botany. Roč. 88 (2013), s. 62-68.

Sonnleitner, M. – Weis, B. – Flatscher, R. – Escobar García, P. – Suda, J. – Krejčíková, J. – Schneeweiss, G.M. – Winkler, M. – Schönswetter, P. – Hülber, K.: Parental ploidy strongly affects offspring fitness in heteroploid crosses among three cytotypes of autopolyploid Jacobaea carniolica (Asteraceae). PLoS ONE. Roč. 8, č. 11 (2013), e78959.

Těšitelová, T. – Jersáková, J. – Roy, M. – Kubátová, B. – Těšitel, J. – Urfus, T. – Trávníček, P. – Suda, J.: Ploidy-specific symbiotic interactions: divergence of mycorrhizal fungi between cytotypes of the Gymnadenia conopsea group (Orchidaceae). New Phytologist. Roč. 199, č. 4 (2013), s. 1022-1033.

New findings on the origin of intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) as revealed by the analysis of ribosomal gene families.

Intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) is an important species of Triticeae that represents an invaluable source of genetic material useful in wheat improvement. Analysis of ribosomal DNA families in this species revealed new aspects concerning the origin of intermediate wheatgrass, as well as the evolution of ribosomal gene families as such. Of fundamental importance, not only for wheat breeders, is the contribution of an Aegilops species to the origin of intermediate wheatgrass.



Fig. 4 (A) Genome of intermediate wheatgrass consists of three distinct subgenomes, likely donated by Pseudoroegneria, Dasypyrum and Aegilops species. (B) Despite having similar architecture at the genome level, when 45S and 5S loci resided within all three subgenomes, both gene families have undergone different patterns of evolution at molecular level.

Mahelka V., Kopecký D., Baum B. R. (2013): Contrasting patterns of evolution of 45S and 5S rDNA families uncover new aspects in the genome constitution of the agronomically important grass Thinopyrum intermedium (Triticeae). Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 2065–2086.

Ecology of mountain and arctic ecosystems

After deglaciation, the substrates in arctic and alpine regions are colonized by microbial communities and vascular plants, whose establishment is to large extent driven by plant traits, often those belowground. In Svalbard and dry Himalayas, most pioneer plants posses main tap root that protect them against solifluction, while rhizomatous plants are rare. Cushion plants, unlike expectation, do not facilitate colonization of other plants in dry Himalayas.



Fig. 5 Monitoring of vegetation changes using the frequency plots in eastern Karakoram, 5300 m elevation.

Klimešová, J.Doležal, J. – Št’astná, P. 2013. Growth of the alpine herb Rumex alpinus over two decades: effect of climate fluctuations and local conditions. Plant Ecology 214: 1071–1084

Dvorský, M. Doležal, J.Kopecký, M.Chlumská, Z.Janatková, K.de Bello, F.Řeháková, K. 2013. Testing the Stress-Gradient Hypothesis at the Roof of the World: Effects of the Cushion Plant Thylacospermum caespitosum on Species Assemblages. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53514.

Janatková, K. Řeháková, K.Doležal, J. – Šimek, M. – Chlumská, Z.Dvorský, M.Kopecký, M. 2013. Community structure of soil phototrophs along environmental gradients in arid Himalaya. Environmental Microbiology, 9: 2505–2516.

Klimešová, J. – Doležal, J. – Prach, K. – Košnar J. (2012). Clonal growth forms in Arctic plants and their habitat preferences: a study from Petuniabukta, Spitsbergen. Polish polar Research 33: 421–442.

Doležal, J. – Yakubov, V. – Hara, T 2013. Plant diversity changes and succession along resource availability and disturbance gradients in Kamchatka. Plant Ecology 214: 477–488.