Two-Way but Asymmetrical Reproductive Interference between an Invasive Veronica Species and a Native Congener


Recent studies have suggested that reproductive interference, a deleterious interspecific interaction in the mating process, plays an important role in biological invasions. In the system of plant species, however, the border with the pollen limitation has often been vague in past studies. This study, using field and laboratory experiments and field observations, examined the reproductive success of an endangered native herbaceous plant, Veronica polita lilacina, in the context of the reproductive interference by the alien congener, V. persica. The auto-pollination experiment confirmed that both species can usually produce seeds even without external conspecific pollens. Results of the artificial pollination experiment demonstrated that pollination with the heterospecific pollens significantly decreases the number of seeds in the native species, but not in the alien species. A transplant experiment revealed that the coexistence with the alien species reduced the fruiting success of the native species. Field observations have shown the interaction between two species in the native patch with only one intruding alien species. They demonstrated that native individuals placed closer to the alien individual suffered a greater decrease in fruiting success and the seed production and that the alien intruder produced no seed. These results demonstrate that species that could reproduce via the auto-pollination suffered the reproductive interference and that the native species also exert the resistive reproductive interference slightly. These interactions can explain the displacement pattern of the native species by the alien congener in Japan.

Share and Cite:

K. Takakura, "Two-Way but Asymmetrical Reproductive Interference between an Invasive Veronica Species and a Native Congener," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 535-542. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.43069.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] J. T. A. Dick, R. W. Elwood and D. E. Irvine, “Displacement of the Native Irish Freshwater Amphipod Gammarus duebeni by the Introduced G. pulex,” Irish Naturalists’ Journal, Vol. 23, No. 8, 1990, pp. 313-316.
[2] J. H. Hobbs, E. A. Hughes and B. H. Eichold II, “Replacement of Aedes aegypti by Aedes albopictus in Mobile, Alabama,” Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1991, pp. 488-489.
[3] A. M. Hill and D. M. Lodge, “Replacement of Resident Crayfishes by an Exotic Crayfish: The Roles of Competition and Predation,” Ecological Applications, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1999, pp. 678-690. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(1999)009[0678:RORCBA]2.0.CO;2
[4] P. E. Weihe and R. K. Neely, “The Effects of Shading on Competition between Purple Loosestrife and Broad- Leaved Cattail,” Aquatic Botany, Vol. 59, No. 1-2, 1997, pp. 127-138. doi:10.1016/S0304-3770(97)00023-5
[5] D. Chmura and E. Sierka, “The Invasibility of Deciduous Forest Communities after Disturbance: A Case Study of Carex brizoides and Impatiens parvi?ora invasion,” Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 242, No. 2-3, 2007, pp. 487- 495.
[6] M. Hejda, P. Py?ek and V. Jaro?ík, “Impact of Invasive Plants on the Species Richness, Diversity and Composition of Invaded Communities,” Journal of Ecology, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2009, pp. 393-403. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01480.x
[7] A. D’Amore, E. Kirby and V. Hemingway, “Reproductive Interference by an Invasive Species: An Evolutionary Trap?” Herpetological Conservation and Biology, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2009, pp. 325-330.
[8] K. I. Takakura, T. Nishida, T. Matsumoto and S. Nishida, “Alien Dandelion Reduces the Seed Set of a Native Congener through Frequency-Dependent and One-Sided Effects,” Biological Invasions, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2009, pp. 973- 981. doi:10.1007/s10530-008-9309-z
[9] K. I. Takakura and S. Fujii, “Reproductive Interference and Salinity Tolerance Differentiate Habitat Use between Two Alien Cockleburs: Xanthium occidentale and X. italicum (Compositae),” Plant Ecology, Vol. 206, No. 2, 2010, pp. 309-319. doi:10.1007/s11258-009-9644-x
[10] M. B. S. Char, “Pollen Allelopathy,” Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 64, No. 9, 1977, pp. 489-490. doi:10.1007/BF00446271
[11] S. D. Murphy and L. W. Aarssen, “Reduced Seed Set in Elytrigia repens Caused by Allelopathic Pollen from Phleum pratense,” Canadian Journal of Botany, Vol. 73, No. 9, 1995, pp. 1417-1422. doi:10.1139/b95-154
[12] T. Matsumoto, K. I. Takakura and T. Nishida, “Alien Pollen Grains Interfere with the Reproductive Success of Native Congener,” Biological Invasions, Vol. 12, No. 6, 2010, pp. 1617-1626. doi:10.1007/s10530-009-9574-5
[13] E. Kuno, “Competitive Exclusion through Reproductive Interference,” Research on Population Ecology, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1992, pp. 275-284. doi:10.1007/BF02514797
[14] T. Ben-David, U. Gerson and S. Morin, “Asymmetric Reproductive Interference between Two Closely Related Spider Mites: Tetranychus urticae and T. turkestani (Acari: Tetranychidae),” Experimental Applied Acarology, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2009, pp. 213-227. doi:10.1007/s10493-008-9228-9
[15] D. W. Crowder, M. I. Sitvarin and Y. Carrière, “Plasticity in Mating Behaviour Drives Asymmetric Reproductive Interference in Whiteflies,” Animal Behaviour, Vol. 79, No. 3, 2010, pp. 579-587. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.11.025
[16] S. Noriyuki, N. Osawa and T. Nishida, “Asymmetric Reproductive Interference between Specialist and Generalist Predatory Ladybirds,” Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 81, No. 5, 2012, pp. 1077-1085. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.01984.x
[17] R. B. Runquist and M. L. Stanton, “Asymmetric and Frequency-Dependent Pollinator-Mediated Interactions May Influence Competitive Displacement in Two Vernal Pool Plants,” Ecology Letters, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013, pp. 183- 190. doi:10.1111/ele.12026
[18] I. Kandori, T. Hirao, S. Matsunaga and T. Kurosaki, “An Invasive Dandelion Unilaterally Reduces the Reproduction of a Native Congener through Competition for Pollination,” Oecologia, Vol. 159, No. 3, 2009, pp. 559-569. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1250-4
[19] T. Makino, “Researches on Wild Plants,” Sanbunsha, Tokyo, 1907.
[20] T. Makino, “Makino’s Illustrated Flora of Japan,” Hokuryukan, Tokyo, 1940.
[21] R. Miura, R. Doi and M. Yoshino, “Distribution and Myrmecochory of Veronica polita subsp. lilacina Observed in the Area around Kyoto University,” Journal of Weed Science and Technology, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2003, pp. 140-143. doi:10.3719/weed.48.140
[22] T. Makino, “Danshi-Henyo Sono-Kyu (An Essay of Plants 9),” Journal of Japanese Botany, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1919, pp. 61-66.
[23] Environment Agency of Japan, “Threatened Wildlife of Japan: Red Data Book,” 2nd Edition, Wildlife Research Center, Tokyo, 2000.
[24] S. G. Shetler and S. K. Wiser, “First Flowering Dates for Spring-Blooming Plants of the Washington DC, Area for the Years 1970 to 1983,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 100, No. 4, pp. 993-1017.
[25] K. Yamazaki, “Scrophulariaceae,” In: Y. Satake, T. Ooi, S. Kitamura, T. Watari and T. Tominari, Eds., Wild Flowers of Japan III, Heibonsha, Tokyo, 1981, pp. 97-121.
[26] B. M. Bolker, M. E. Brooks, C. J. Clark, S. W. Geange, J. R. Poulsen, M. H. Stevens and J. S. White, “Generalized Linear Mixedmodels: A Practical Guide for Ecology and Evolution,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2009, pp. 127-135. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.10.008
[27] R Core Team, “R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing,” R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, 2012.
[28] N. Shigesada and K. Kawasaki, “Biological Invasions: Theory and Practice,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997.
[29] S. I. Higgins and D. M. Richardson, “Predicting Plant Migration Rates in a Changing World: The Role of Long-Distance Dispersal,” The American Naturalist, Vol. 153, No. 5, 1990, pp. 464-475. doi:10.1086/303193
[30] A. J. Richards, “The Origin of Taraxacum Agamospecies,” Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 66, No. 3, 1973, pp. 189-211. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1973.tb02169.x
[31] E. M. Heine, “Observations on the Pollination of New Zealand Flowering Plants,” Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Vol. 67, No. 2, 1937, pp. 133-148.
[32] D. J. Goyder, “Pollination Ecology of Five Species in a Limestone Community,” Wasonia, Vol. 14, No. 4, 1983, pp. 397-405.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.