Paper summary: Trait variability on the Canary Islands

Recently, our German MIREN team published a new paper called ‘the contrasting patterns of intra-specific trait variability in native and non-native plant species along an elevational gradient on Tenerife, Canary Islands’.

Previous MIREN research has shown plenty of evidence that introduced species are expanding towards higher elevations, and there are specific traits associated with being successful at each stage of mountain invasion (along and away from roads). To shed new light into the mechanisms behind biological invasions, we can also compare trait variability of non-native and native species populations occurring along elevational gradients. In the new MIREN paper out in AoB (Kühn et al. 2020), the German MIREN team asked whether being able to exhibit a wide range of values for morphological and biochemical traits might help introduced species to establish and thrive under the wide set of environmental conditions present along mount Teide, in Tenerife. Results show that there might be more to non-native species success than just being variable!