Plant socialization in a new world: reconnecting with belowground and aboveground communities

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationOther


It is generally assumed that the introduction of plant species in a new habitat will lead to invasion. However, only a small minority of all introduced plant species will become invasive. I will discuss how the process of ‘socialization’ might explain these patterns. In their native range, plant species interact with belowground and aboveground multi-trophic communities. The net effect of all these interactions explains plant abundance patterns. When moving to a new range, either by human help or –indirectly- by global change-induced range expansion, plants will develop interactions with the local belowground and aboveground microbes, invertebrates and vertebrates. First, generalist interactions will develop, while over time more specialized interactions will develop. Studying the temporal dynamics of these interactions in relation to plant abundance provides novel insights into the process of ‘socialization’, and I will propose that this knowledge may be used to re-define what should be considered naturalization from an aboveground-belowground perspective. This knowledge may also be used to provide multi-dimensionality to nature restoration and conservation, such as is aimed at by the intended "Deltaplan for Biodiversity Restoration".
Period8 Nov 2018
Event titlePE&RC Day 2018
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, Netherlands