Exotic and native plant coexistence in novel communities (2014–2017)
The development of novel communities has become an inevitable outcome of global change. Despite this, we have a poor understanding of the mechanisms driving their assembly. Here, experimental and modelling approaches will be used to identify how competition among native and exotic plant species change across key environmental gradients, leading to: 1) resilient native communities, 2) stable novel communities - mixes of native and exotic species or 3) degraded communities dominated by exotic species. The annual plant communities of Western Australia's York Gum woodlands will be used as a model system. Outcomes will improve management of WA wildflower communities and provide a framework for predicting novel community formation worldwide.