About this Research Topic
With increasing human activity, numerous plant species have been transported out of their native range and introduced into new territories (i.e. becoming alien plants). Some of these alien plants have become naturalized (i.e., established self-sustaining populations), and some eventually become invasive (i.e., rapidly spread into multiple sites across a large area in the introduced range). Plant invasions can disrupt ecosystem functioning and services, resulting in substantial ecological losses and financial impacts. Plant invasions can be affected by changes in the environment and consequently, with ongoing global environmental change, there is increasing interest in understanding how the spread of invasive plants may change in the future.
In the past decade, a considerable number of studies have examined how plant invasions interact with a specific environmental change in the mean conditions, such as increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, increased temperatures, altered precipitation and enhanced N deposition. Although general patterns of plant invasion in response to specific global environmental factors have started to emerge, it is still difficult to establish how global environmental change affects plant invasions, due to the complexity of these changes. Additionally, global environmental change does not only include changes in the mean conditions, but also in the variability. Different environmental factors could shift simultaneously in nature and may affect plant invasions directly and indirectly. Consequently, more studies are needed to better understand the general patterns of species invasions under global change.
This Research Topic is devoted, but not limited, to recent scientific progress in the following areas:
1. Interactions between plant invasions and global environmental changes in the mean conditions or in the variability
2. Direct and indirect effects of global environmental changes on plant invasions
3. Effects of interactions of more than one global environmental change factor on invasive plants
4. Evolution of alien plants under global environmental changes
5. Mechanisms of the responses of invasive plants to global environmental changes
Keywords: Global changes, Alien plant, Ecological effects, Invasion patterns, Invasion mechanism
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.