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Introduction History Influences Aboveground Biomass Allocation in Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)

  • Kelley D. Erickson (a1), Paul D. Pratt (a2), Min B. Rayamajhi (a3) and Carol C. Horvitz (a1)


Multiple introductions of an exotic species can facilitate invasion success by allowing for a wider range of expressed trait values in the adventive range. Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian peppertree) is an invasive shrub that was introduced into Florida in two separate introductions and has subsequently hybridized, resulting in three distinct lineages (eastern, western, and hybrid). To determine whether allocation of aboveground biomass differed by introduction history, we destructively sampled 257 stems from each of six populations with differing introduction histories. The proportion of aboveground biomass allocated to fruit, wood, and leaves differed among the three populations. To determine whether the relationship between stem size and several dependent variables that measure plant performance (total dry weight, wood dry weight, number of fruits, fruit dry weight, leaf dry weight, and number of leaves) differed quantitatively by introduction history, we performed analyses of covariance. Slopes of these relationships (dependent variable vs. stem size) varied by lineage. Hybrid populations had the steepest slopes for one set of dependent variables (total dry weight, wood dry weight, and leaf dry weight), while western populations had the steepest slopes for a different set of dependent variables (number of fruits, fruit dry weight, and number of leaves). The parameterized regression equations for each dependent variable and lineage were used to nondestructively estimate different kinds of production by individuals that are part of long-term longitudinal studies to understand the demographic consequences of these different biomass allocation strategies for the performance of S. terebinthifolius individuals across the invaded range in Florida.


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Associate Editor for this paper: Jacob N. Barney, Virginia Tech.



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Introduction History Influences Aboveground Biomass Allocation in Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)

  • Kelley D. Erickson (a1), Paul D. Pratt (a2), Min B. Rayamajhi (a3) and Carol C. Horvitz (a1)


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