Timing is everything: the role of seed banks in plant invasions

Name: Timing is everything: the role of seed banks in plant invasions
Researchers: Gioria Margherita (researcher)
Moravcová Lenka (member in research team)
Pyšek Petr (member in research team)
Skálová Hana (member in research team)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2015
Realization to: 2017
Summary: Invasive plants are known to exert substantial impacts on native communities. Soil seed banks, i.e. reserves of viable seeds in the soil or on its surface, could play an important role in determining the invasiveness of alien (non-native) species, the invasibility of native communities (their susceptibility to invasions by alien plants), and the overall impact of plant invasions. By building a global database of existing data on seed banks and comparing seed bank dynamics of alien and native congeners in common garden experiments, we will provide a robust assessment of the role of seed banks in promoting plant invasions. This will be achieved by testing whether (i) the seed banks that alien species form after invasion differ from seed banks in their native ranges or from (ii) seed banks of their native congeners. We will also (iii) examine whether the seed banks of invasive alien plants differ from non-invasive aliens, (iv) assess community invasibility based on the seed bank; and (v) explore the impact of invasion on the seed bank of resident communities.

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