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Evelyn Konopik

Bio: Evelyn Konopik is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Germination. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 86 citations.
Topics: Germination

Papers
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01 Jan 2005
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors compared the fruit fates of C. orbiculatus and native American holly (Ilex opaca) and examined the influence of seed treatment and light intensity on seed germination and seed growth.
Abstract: Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.) is a non-indigenous, invasive woody vine in North America that proliferates in disturbed open sites. Unlike most invasive species, C. orbiculatus exhibits a ‘sit and wait’ strategy by establishing and persisting indefinitely in undisturbed, closed canopy forest and responding to canopy disturbance with rapid growth, often overtopping trees. We compared fruit fates of C. orbiculatus and native American holly (Ilex opaca). We also explored mechanisms for this ‘sit and wait’ invasion strategy by testing the effect of C. orbiculatus fruit crop density on removal rates and by examining the influence of seed treatment and light intensity on seed germination and seedling growth. More C. orbiculatus than I. opaca fruits became damaged, and damage occurred earlier. More fruit fell from C. orbiculatus than I. opaca, but removal rates by frugivores did not differ (76.0 ± 4.2% vs 87.5 ± 3.7%, respectively). Density (number of fruits in a patch) of C. orbiculatus did not influence removal rates. Scarification (bird-ingestion) of C. orbiculatus seed delayed germination but seeds germinated in similar proportion to manually defleshed seeds (sown either singly or all seeds from a fruit). Germination of seeds within intact fruits was inhibited and delayed compared to other treatments. Seed treatment did not affect seedling growth. The proportion of seeds germinating and time until germination was similar among five light intensity levels, ranging from full sun to closed-canopy. Seedlings in >70% photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) had more leaves, heavier shoots, and longer, heavier roots than seedlings at lower PAR levels. Results show that most (>75%) C. orbiculatus seeds are dispersed, seedlings can establish in dense shade, and plants grow rapidly when exposed to high light conditions. Control strategies for this highly invasive species should likely focus on minimizing seed dispersal by vertebrates.

90 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: These comparative studies provide insights into the more general question “Do alien invasive plants usually outperform co-occurring native species, and to what degree does the answer depend on growing conditions?”
Abstract: ▪ Abstract In the search to identify factors that make some plant species troublesome invaders, many studies have compared various measures of native and alien invasive plant performance. These comparative studies provide insights into the more general question “Do alien invasive plants usually outperform co-occurring native species, and to what degree does the answer depend on growing conditions?” Based on 79 independent native-invasive plant comparisons, the alien invaders were not statistically more likely to have higher growth rates, competitive ability, or fecundity. Rather, the relative performance of invaders and co-occurring natives often depended on growing conditions. In 94% of 55 comparisons involving more than one growing condition, the native's performance was equal or superior to that of the invader, at least for some key performance measures in some growing conditions. Most commonly, these conditions involved reduced resources (nutrients, light, water) and/or specific disturbance regimes. I...

1,271 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review reveals that in temperate and tropical regions around the world, at least 139 exotic plant species are known to have invaded deeply shaded forest understories that have not undergone substantial disturbance, and that anthropogenic processes can be expected to accelerate the rate of invasion.
Abstract: Invasion ecology has traditionally focused on exotic plant species with early successional life-history traits, adapted to colonize areas following disturbance. However, the ecological importance of these traits may be overstated, in part because most invasive plants originate from intentional introductions. Furthermore, this focus neglects the types of plants most likely to invade established communities, particularly forests – namely shade-tolerant, late-successional species. In invasion ecology, it is generally assumed that undisturbed forests are highly resistant to plant invasions. Our review reveals that this assumption is not justified: in temperate and tropical regions around the world, at least 139 exotic plant species are known to have invaded deeply shaded forest understories that have not undergone substantial disturbance. These exotics present a particular management challenge, as they often increase in abundance during succession. While forest invasions may develop comparatively slowly under natural disturbance regimes, anthropogenic processes, including the spread of exotic pests and pathogens, can be expected to accelerate the rate of invasion.

380 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: How plant fruit traits, avian traits, fruit handling techniques, gut passage time and effect, bird movements and social behaviour and dietary composition and landscape structure affect frugivory and seed dispersal in invasive plants is examined.
Abstract: The ecology of seed dispersal by vertebrates has been investigated extensively over recent decades, yet only limited research has been conducted on how suites of invasive plants and frugivorous birds interact. In this review, we examine how plant fruit traits (morphology, colour and display, nutritional quality, accessibility and phenology), avian traits (fruit handling techniques, gut passage time and effect, bird movements and social behaviour and dietary composition) and landscape structure (fruit neighbourhood, habitat loss and fragmentation and perch tree effects) affect frugivory and seed dispersal in invasive plants. This functional approach could be used to develop generic models of seed dispersal distributions for suites of invasive plant species and improve management efficiencies. Four broad research approaches are described that could direct management of bird-dispersed invasive plants at the landscape scale, by manipulating dispersal. First, research is needed to quantify the effect of biological control agents on dispersal, particularly how changes in fruit production and/or quality affect fruit choice by frugivores, dispersal distributions of seed and post-dispersal processes. Second, we explore how seed dispersal could be directed, such as by manipulating perch structures and/or vegetation density to attract frugivorous birds after they have been foraging on invasive plant fruits. Third, the major sources of seed spread could be identified and removed (i.e. targeting core or satellite infestations, particular habitats and creating barrier zones). Fourth, alternative food resources could be provided for frugivores, to replace fruits of invasive plants, and their use quantified.

232 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that habitat cascades are a general phenomenon that enhances species abundance and diversity in forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and seaweed beds and proposed that indirect positive effects on focal organisms will be strongest when the intermediate habitat former is larger and different in form and function from the basal habitat former.
Abstract: The importance of positive interactions is increasingly acknowledged in contemporary ecology. Most research has focused on direct positive effects of one species on another. However, there is recent evidence that indirect positive effects in the form of facilitation cascades can also structure species abundances and biodiversity. Here we conceptualize a specific type of facilitation cascade-the habitat cascade. The habitat cascade is defined as indirect positive effects on focal organisms mediated by successive facilitation in the form of biogenic formation or modification of habitat. Based on a literature review, we demonstrate that habitat cascades are a general phenomenon that enhances species abundance and diversity in forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and seaweed beds. Habitat cascades are characterized by a hierarchy of facilitative interactions in which a basal habitat former (typically a large primary producer, e.g., a tree) creates living space for an intermediate habitat former (e.g., an epiphyte) that in turn creates living space for the focal organisms (e.g., spiders, beetles, and mites). We then present new data on a habitat cascade common to soft-bottom estuaries in which a relatively small invertebrate provides basal habitat for larger intermediate seaweeds that, in turn, generate habitat for focal invertebrates and epiphytes. We propose that indirect positive effects on focal organisms will be strongest when the intermediate habitat former is larger and different in form and function from the basal habitat former. We also discuss how humans create, modify, and destroy habitat cascades via global habitat destruction, climatic change, over-harvesting, pollution, or transfer of invasive species. Finally, we outline future directions for research that will lead to a better understanding of habitat cascades.

223 citations