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Data from: The effects of phylogenetic relatedness on invasion success and impact: deconstructing Darwin’s naturalization conundrum

posted on 23.11.2015, 02:30 by Shaopeng Li, Marc W. Cadotte, Scott J. Meiners, Zheng-shuang Hua, Hao-yue Shu, Jin-tian Li, Wen-sheng Shu

Darwin’s naturalization conundrum describes the paradox that the relatedness of exotic species to native residents could either promote or hinder their success through opposing mechanisms: niche pre-adaptation or competitive interactions. Previous studies focusing on single snapshots of invasion patterns have provided support to both sides of the conundrum. Here, by examining invasion dynamics of 480 plots over 40 years, we show that exotic species more closely related to native species were more likely to enter, establish and dominate the resident communities, and that native residents more closely related to these successful exotics were more likely to go locally extinct. Therefore, non-random displacement of natives during invasion could weaken or even reverse the negative effects of exotic-native phylogenetic distances on invasion success. The scenario that exotics more closely related to native residents are more successful, but tend to eliminate their closely related natives, may help to reconcile the 150-year-old conundrum.