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International Journal of Botany
Year: 2005  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 5 - 11

Does the Growth Rate of Different Reproductive Modes of an Introduced Plant Cause Invasiveness?

Stephane Baret, Soudjata Radjassegarane, Thomas Le Bourgeois and Dominique Strasberg    

Abstract: Invasive species are often associated to specific life historical traits. However, no studies have quantitatively compared different propagation capacities within the same species. According to its various reproductive modes (seedling, sprout, terrestrial layering, cutting) and its wide colonization (from 0 to 1700 m a.s.l.), the Asian bramble Rubus alceifolius is an ideal model to study growth rate and thus better understand plant invasiveness. Growth of different reproductive modes in contrasting environmental sites during time was measured. Results showed that, whatever the study site, sexual maturity of seedling appeared longer (>2 years) than sexual maturity of new vegetative stems formed by sprouts and terrestrial layering (<1 year). A significant difference of growth rate was observed on dry coast at low elevation where R. alceifolius grows slowly and can`t be considered as invasive in this region. In all studied sites, cuttings didn`t grow. The process of the plant colonisation can be recount. After initial colonization by seedlings, vegetative growth favour monospecific stands formation and R. alceifolius maintenance during time. Growth comparisons were argued between native and introduced areas.

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