Alien Dandelions Displace a Native Related Species Through Interspecific Pollen Transfer

  • Takashi Matsumoto
  • Koh-ichi Takakura
  • Takayoshi Nishida
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Biological invasion by nonnative species has become a major environmental problem and a focus of ecological research. Despite the fact that competition for pollinators between native plant species has long been recognized as an important factor in reproductive success, competition for pollination service between native and exotic species has been neglected, particularly with regard to the mechanisms by which invasive alien species expel related native species. Few studies have elucidated detailed mechanisms of competition for pollination service between invasives and natives in the field. To understand how invasive alien species replace native relatives through competition for pollinators, I examined the following three relationships: the rate of seed development of native plants and the frequencies of alien neighbors, the frequency of alien pollen on native stigmas and the frequencies of alien neighbors, and the rate of seed development of native pollen and the frequency of alien pollen on native stigmas. Native (Taraxacum japonicum) and alien (Taraxacum officinale) dandelions were used for the study. The latter has rapidly displaced the former in Japanese suburban areas. The first and third parameters studied demonstrated strong negative relationships, whereas a positive correlation was observed for the second parameter. These results indicated that the fitness of native dandelions was reduced by the invasive alien through competition for pollination service in the field. It was strongly suggested that this competition contributed to the observed displacement of the native T. japonicum by the invasive T. officinale.


Native Species Seed Development Invasive Alien Species Pollination Service Triploid Hybrid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank S. Nishida for field assistance, and Mr. Y. Matsuki and A. Kawakita for kindly guiding molecular techniques. This study was ­financially supported by FUJI FILM Green Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Matsumoto
    • 1
  • Koh-ichi Takakura
    • 2
  • Takayoshi Nishida
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Human and Environmental SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Osaka City Institute of Public Health and Environmental SciencesOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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