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How Do Invasive Plant Species Dominate Native Species?
A common, but rarely tested assumption to why invasive plant species dominate native species is that that these plants are more abundant in introduced versus native communities, because they are behaving in special way. If this true and introduced species are behaving in a special way it means biosecurity screening procedures need to speculate on how species will behave once introduced, a very difficult task to get right.

A global collaboration called the Nutrient Network tested this 'abundance assumption' for 26 herbaceous species at 39 sites on four continents in a recent publication in the journal Ecology Letters. The lead author of 36, Jennifer Firn from the Queensland University of Technology and CSIRO, Australia found that the 'abundance assumption' did not hold for the majority of species with 20 of the 26 species examined having either a similar or lower abundance at introduced versus native sites.

 
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Native Aquatic Plant: Water Smartweed - Often confused with some of Wisconsin’s more common pondweeds, Water Smartweed is distinct with its beautiful pink flowers. Water Smartweed is an ancient hybrid of a terrestrial plant and an aquatic plant. With both sets of DNA, it can grow on either land or in the water.


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