Plant species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands

Seabloom, Eric W., Borer, Elizabeth T., Buckley, Yvonne M., Cleland, Elsa E., Davies, Kendi F., Firn, Jennifer, Harpole, W. Stanley, Hautier, Yann, Lind, Eric M., MacDougall, Andrew S., Orrock, John L., Prober, Suzanne M., Adler, Peter B., Anderson, T. Michael, Bakker, Jonathan D., Biederman, Lori A., Blumenthal, Dana M., Brown, Cynthia S., Brudvig, Lars A., Cadotte, Marc, Chu, Chengjin, Cottingham, Kathryn L., Crawley, Michael J., Damschen, Ellen I., Dantonio, Carla M., DeCrappeo, Nicole M., Du, Guozhen, Fay, Philip A., Frater, Paul, Gruner, Daniel S., Hagenah, Nicole, Hector, Andy, Hillebrand, Helmut, Hofmockel, Kirsten S., Humphries, Hope C., Jin, Virginia L., Kay, Adam, Kirkman, Kevin P., Klein, Julia A., Knops, Johannes M. H., La Pierre, Kimberly J., Ladwig, Laura, Lambrinos, John G., Li, Qi, Li, Wei, Marushia, Robin, McCulley, Rebecca L., Melbourne, Brett A., Mitchell, Charles E., Moore, Joslin L., Morgan, John, Mortensen, Brent, O'Halloran, Lydia R., Pyke, David A., Risch, Anita C., Sankaran, Mahesh, Schuetz, Martin, Simonsen, Anna, Smith, Melinda D., Stevens, Carly J., Sullivan, Lauren, Wolkovich, Elizabeth, Wragg, Peter D., Wright, Justin, & Yang, Louie (2015) Plant species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature Communications, 6(7710).

View at publisher (open access)


Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species’ biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands.

Impact and interest:

15 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
12 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

12 since deposited on 20 Jul 2015
5 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 85887
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8710
ISSN: 2041-1723
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Deposited On: 20 Jul 2015 22:54
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015 01:21

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page