Table of Contents
ISRN Ecology
Volume 2013, Article ID 527052, 8 pages
Research Article

Distributional Patterns of Alien Plants in China: The Relative Importance of Phylogenetic History and Functional Attributes

Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4

Received 27 May 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editors: A. Chappelka and P. Rey

Copyright © 2013 Youhua Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Distribution patterns of alien species in nonnative ranges might be driven by a combination of various mechanisms, including phylogenetic history, competition for resource, environmental filtering, and so on. Both phylogenetic and functional limitations might work synergistically to determine the distribution of alien species. In this report, by utilizing the information of provincial distribution, functional attributes, and phylogeny for 95 alien species of China, the corresponding phylogenetic and functional community structures are evaluated. The results show that introduction pathway, life form, and flowering time of alien plants of China processed significant phylogenetic clustering patterns, while both the origin of distribution and reproduction mode of alien species showed phylogenetic overdispersion patterns, as revealed by NRI/NTI indices. The phylogenetic signal tests using Pagel’s statistic and Blomberg et al.’s statistic further verified the previous patterns, even though there are some inconsistencies. Through partial Mantel test, it is found that compositional patterns of alien plant community were mainly affected by phylogenetic limitation but not functional limitation. Conclusively, phylogeny plays a more important role in structuring provincial distribution of alien plants in China.