Biological Invasions

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 163–174 | Cite as

It takes two to tango: variable architectural strategies boost invasive success of Lantana camara L. (sensu lato) in contrasting light environments

  • Neha Goyal
  • Gyan Prakash SharmaEmail author
Original Paper


Lantana camara L. (sensu lato) primarily invades open, well-lit environments. However, the species is expanding its range in shaded habitats. To decipher the strategies behind the species’ invasive success in contrasting light environments, key performance-related architectural and functional traits of sun and shade-dwelling individuals were estimated. L. camara exhibited significant differences in performance-related traits at whole plant, branch, and leaf-level in response to light. DNA ploidy level of each sampled individual was also estimated to determine whether observed trait differences in response to light can be related to adaptive trait modulations or to the ploidal differences. L. camara individuals dwelling in sun and shade were of similar ploidy level. Consequently, the performance of L. camara in variable light is a function of structural and functional trait differences, but not an attribute of ploidy. Sun-dwelling L. camara exhibited alterations in architecture, affecting the reproductive output, which exert local/regional propagule pressure. However, shade-dwelling individuals exhibited architectural alterations affecting plant expanse which attributes local ingress, creating a local masking effect. Both the strategies boost performance and invasive success of L. camara in contrasting light environments. The present study gives an insight that physical removal of the plant in sun and shade would imply differential benefits in the local environment.


Compaction index Invasion Light heterogeneity Performance-related architectural trait (PRAT) Performance-related functional trait (PRFT) Ploidy 



We are grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers for constructive suggestions and linguistic corrections on the previous versions which have considerably improved the manuscript. Valuable inputs on management strategies gained during a personal discussion with Michael D. Day, Biosecurity Queensland, Australia are duly acknowledged. NG acknowledges Senior Research Fellowship support from University Grants Commission, India. NG thanks Ankita for her kind help during fieldwork. GPS acknowledges funding support from University of Delhi and Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, India. We are grateful to Prof. Anju Shrivastava, Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, India for the flow cytometry facility. We duly acknowledge Prof. Jaroslav Doležel for his kind support and invaluable suggestions regarding flow cytometry. As Prof. Jan Suda (deceased) wished, we honor him with the smile and a merry mind and thank him for his useful suggestions during the course of the study. Prateek Arora and Dr. Vinay Gupta, BD Biosciences are also thanked for the technical support.

Supplementary material

10530_2018_1813_MOESM1_ESM.docx (111 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 110 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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