Guanwen Wei


I'm interested in how ecological processes function in species coexistence under changing environmental conditions.
Specifically, I focused on the effects of spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity on the relationship between alien plants and native communities.


Research Project

"The coexistence of alien species and native community under environmental heterogeneity"

One of the major objectives in invasion ecology is to understand the mechanism underlying the species coexistence and invasion success of exotic species. The invasion paradox of the scale-dependent exotic-native richness relationship, of which negative relationships were more often found from small-scale experimental studies whereas positive relationships were found in large-scale observational and synthetical studies.

One possible hypothesis to explain the invasion paradox is the environmental heterogeneity hypothesis, which describes that environmental contexts are more heterogeneous at larger scale than smaller scale. Under increased resource heterogeneity, growth responses of plant species were found related to the naturalization status.

Nevertheless, experimental tests and synthesis of the hypothesis still need to be carried out to test the processes and mechanisms underlying the spatial scale-dependent native-exotic richness relationships and to figure out how the naturalization status could affect the invasion success under environmental heterogeneity.


Wei GW & van Kleunen M (2024) Growing on patch boundaries of heterogeneous soils promotes root growth but not the total biomass of naturalized alien and native plants. Pland and Soil, accepted.

Wei GW & van Kleunen M (2022) Soil heterogeneity tends to promote growth of naturalized aliens when competing with native plant communities. Journal of Ecology 110:1161-1173. (DOI:10.1111/1365-2745.13860)  


(Update: 10.10.2022)