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Susceptibility of non-native invasive plants to novel pathogen attack -- do plant traits matter?
  • Catherine Fahey,
  • Akihiro Koyama,
  • Pedro Madeira Antunes
Catherine Fahey
Algoma University
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Akihiro Koyama
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Pedro Madeira Antunes
Algoma University
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1. Invasive plants are considered major threats to biodiversity globally; however, our understanding of the long-term dynamics of invasion remains limited. 2. Over time, invasive plants can accumulate pathogens capable of causing population declines because invaders have a greater chance of encountering such pathogens as they spread and native pathogens adapt to use invasive plants as a resource over time. However, reports typically focus on individual species and ecologists lack a synthesis approach capable of predicting pathogen susceptibility in plant invaders. 3. Pathogen resistance and tolerance are tightly coupled to plant traits, which we suggest can provide a framework for understanding and predicting novel pathogen accumulation. 4. We reviewed the literature to synthesize plant traits associated with pathogen susceptibility and to determine the prevalence of novel pathogen accumulation on invasive plants. We then used these data and applied a multivariate model to associate plant traits with pathogen effects to predict pathogen susceptibility of invasive plants. Finally, we provide directions for future research. 5. Considering the emergence of trait-based approaches, comprehensive databases, and new data on individual invasions, advances in our understanding of invasive plant-pathogen interactions can lead to breakthroughs both at fundamental and management decision-making levels.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

11 Aug 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
12 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
12 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
17 Aug 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned