Are introduced plants in Australia experiencing enemy release?
When plant species move from their native range to a new/introduced range they are said to leave their enemies (herbivores) behind about half of the time, which could explain why they are able to thrive and take over landscapes. I am studying 24 species that have been introduced to Australia from Europe/UK to test whether they are actually experiencing enemy release in Australia and if so, what factors contribute to this (i.e. leaf chemistry, leaf physical toughness & invertebrate community). I will be collecting field data from May-December 2019, visiting 5 sites in Europe (Northampton, UK – Madrid, Spain – Montpellier, France – Salzburg, Austria – Tartu, Estonia) and Australia (Brisbane, QLD – Sydney, NSW – Bathurst, NSW – Melbourne, VIC – Hobart, TAS).
Supervisor: Professor Angela Moles