Event Title

Session 1A: Phenological Comparison of Native and Invasive Plant Types

Session Number

Session 1A: 2nd Presentation

Advisor(s)

Dr. Christine Rollinson, The Morton Arboretum

Location

Auditorium

Start Date

26-4-2018 9:40 AM

End Date

26-4-2018 10:25 AM

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Life Sciences | Plant Biology | Plant Sciences

Abstract

When non-native plants are introduced to new communities, they can quickly become invasive, threatening native species and damaging the ecosystem. Understanding how a plant becomes invasive helps us develop more effective ways to manage and prevent ecosystem invasion. Phenology, the study of life cycle events such as leafing and flowering dates, is one lens to examine invasive establishment through. A species’ phenological niche affects how much it must compete for resources such as sunlight, and previous studies have shown that phenological strategies help invasives establish themselves. We investigated how the plant type of an invasive species might affect its phenological strategy. From March 2017 to November 2017, weekly phenology observations were collected in a woodland plot at the Morton Arboretum. Results showed that invasive forbs have shorter growing seasons: on average, invasive garlic mustard displayed green leaves for two months less than native white avens. Invasive shrubs, however, kept their leaves for longer than their native counterparts. Both groups of invasives used adjusted phenology to minimize competition for resources, but their phenological strategies differ based on their functional needs. More Midwest phenology data is needed to test these trends on a regional level.

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Apr 26th, 9:40 AM Apr 26th, 10:25 AM

Session 1A: Phenological Comparison of Native and Invasive Plant Types

Auditorium

When non-native plants are introduced to new communities, they can quickly become invasive, threatening native species and damaging the ecosystem. Understanding how a plant becomes invasive helps us develop more effective ways to manage and prevent ecosystem invasion. Phenology, the study of life cycle events such as leafing and flowering dates, is one lens to examine invasive establishment through. A species’ phenological niche affects how much it must compete for resources such as sunlight, and previous studies have shown that phenological strategies help invasives establish themselves. We investigated how the plant type of an invasive species might affect its phenological strategy. From March 2017 to November 2017, weekly phenology observations were collected in a woodland plot at the Morton Arboretum. Results showed that invasive forbs have shorter growing seasons: on average, invasive garlic mustard displayed green leaves for two months less than native white avens. Invasive shrubs, however, kept their leaves for longer than their native counterparts. Both groups of invasives used adjusted phenology to minimize competition for resources, but their phenological strategies differ based on their functional needs. More Midwest phenology data is needed to test these trends on a regional level.