Invasive and native plant species

Plants affect, and are affected by, their environment, and this interaction affects the functioning and balance of the ecosystem. A plant’s performance is often measured by its traits. Functional traits are defined as morphological, physiological, biochemical or phenological traits that impact the fitness of individual species via their effects on growth, reproduction and survival. These traits are properties relatable to productivity or adaptation to the environment.

Invasive plants are species that do not originally belong to the Danish nature, and which are harmful to the ecosystems they invade. Compared to native species, invasive species are often superior in many of their functional traits. However, it is not merely the properties of the invasive plant that are responsible for its vigor and competitiveness. It is also often its high phenotypic plasticity – its adaptability to environmental impacts.

In the project, you investigate the functional traits of invasive and native plant species, as well as their effects on the ecosystem, in the Danish nature. You investigate whether invasive species affect the environment differently than native species, and whether this is of importance in relation to climate change.

Contact supervisor: Franziska Eller (