Invasion ecology

Biological invasions occur when species spread rapidly outside of their native range. Our work seeks to understand what makes some introduced species invasive, when other introduced species fail to invade.

Above, the invasive plant, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) suppresses native Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) performance in Colin Cope's research.

Funded by the Ohio Invasive Plants Council

Jennifer Murphy's research with Rebecca Drenovsky at John Carroll University demonstrated that fixed trait differences in Roses, rather than phenotypic plasticity, is associated with invasiveness (Murphy et al. 2016). By comparing 14 species of Rosa across a phylogeny, Jen was able to take shared evolutionary history into account.

Our meta-analyses are exploring species traits and pollination ecology for invasive species (Knight et al. 2018). Collaborators here: Joanne Bennett, Tiffany Knight, Janette Steets, Tia-Lynn Ashman, and Jean Burns (L-R).

Cope, Colin G. and Jean H. Burns. 2019. Effects of native deer on invasive earthworms depend on earthworm functional feeding group and correlate with earthworm body size. Forest Ecology and Management. 435: 180-186.

Burns, Jean H., Jennifer E. Murphy, and Yu-Long Zheng 4. 2019. Tests of alternative evolutionary models are needed to enhance our understanding of biological invasions. New Phytologist. 222(2): 701-707.

Knight, T. M. T-L. Ashman, J. M. Bennett, J. H. Burns, S. Passonneau, J. A. Steets. 2018. Reflections on, and visions for, the changing field of Pollination Ecology. Ecology Letters. 21(8): 1282-1295. doi: 10.1111/ele.13094

Yu-Long Zheng, Jean H. Burns, Zhi-yong Liao, Yang-ping Li, Jie Yang, Ya-jun Chen, Jiao-lin Zhang, Yu-guo Zheng. 2018. Species composition, functional and phylogenetic distances correlate with success of invasive Chromolaena odorata in an experimental test. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/ele.13090

Murphy, Jennifer E., Jean H. Burns, Marie Fougère-Danezan, Rebecca E. Drenovsky. 2016. Functional traits values, not trait plasticity, drive the invasiveness of Rosa spp. in response to light availability. American Journal of Botany. 103(12): 2058-2069. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1600235

'Editor's Choice'

Burns, Jean H. 2014. To what degree are invaders drivers or passengers of phylogenetic community structure? Journal of Vegetation Science. 25(6): 1311–1312. pdf

Burns, Jean H., Eleanor A. Pardini, Michele R. Schutzenhofer, Y. Anny Chung, Katie J. Seidler, and Tiffany M. Knight. 2013. Greater fecundity contributes to the population growth of invasive plants in comparison with their noninvasive relatives. Ecology. 94(5): 995–1004. doi: 10.1890/12-1310.1 pdf

Burns, Jean H., Tia-Lynn Ashman, Janette A. Steets, Alexandra Harmon-Threat, and Tiffany M. Knight. 2011. A phylogenetically controlled analysis of the roles of reproductive traits in plant invasions. Oecologia. 166(4): 1009–1017. pdf

Harmon-Threatt, Alexandra N., Jean H. Burns, Lyudmila A. Shemyakina, and Tiffany M. Knight. 2009. Breeding system and pollination ecology of introduced plants compared to their native relatives. American Journal of Botany. 96: 1544–1550. pdf

Ramula, Satu, Tiffany M. Knight, Jean H. Burns, and Yvonne M. Buckley. 2008. General guidelines for invasive plant management based on comparative demography of invasive and native plant populations. Journal of Applied Ecology. 45: 1124–1133. pdf

Burns, Jean H. 2008. Demographic performance predicts invasiveness of species in the Commelinaceae under high nutrient conditions. Ecological Applications. 18(2): 335–346. pdf

Burns, Jean H., Stacey L. Halpern, and Alice A. Winn. 2007 .A test for a cost of opportunism in invasive species in the Commelinaceae. Biological Invasions. 9: 213–225. pdf

Burns, Jean H. 2006. Relatedness and environment affect traits associated with invasive and noninvasive introduced Commelinaceae. Ecological Applications.16(4): 1367–1376. pdf

Burns, Jean H. and Alice A. Winn. 2006. Are invasive species more plastic? A comparison of plastic responses to competition by invasive and noninvasive congeners in the Commelinaceae. Biological Invasions. 8:797–807. pdf

Burns, Jean H. 2004. A comparison of invasive and non-invasive dayflowers (Commelinaceae) across experimental nutrient and water gradients. Diversity and Distributions. 10: 387–397. pdf

Miller, Thomas E., Jamie M. Kneitel, and Jean H. Burns. 2002. Effect of community structure on invasion success and rate. Ecology. 83: 898–905. pdf