Michelle Greve

Michelle Greve
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

PhD

About

88
Publications
24,055
Reads
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1,472
Citations
Citations since 2016
65 Research Items
1117 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (88)
Preprint
Full-text available
Dispersal influences many key aspects of plant ecology at both fine- and broad scales. However, dispersal events are challenging to quantify as they are difficult to observe and measure accurately, despite the importance of understanding species’ dispersal capacity. In this study, we quantified dispersal estimates for the dominant vascular flora of...
Article
Full-text available
Background Top-soil microbiomes make a vital contribution to the Earth’s ecology and harbor an extraordinarily high biodiversity. They are also key players in many ecosystem services, particularly in arid regions of the globe such as the African continent. While several recent studies have documented patterns in global soil microbial ecology, these...
Preprint
Patterns and drivers of succession provide insight into the mechanisms that govern community assembly and are indicators of community resilience and stability but are still poorly understood in microbial communities. We assessed whether the successional trends of woody vegetation are mirrored by foliar fungal endophyte communities of three tree spe...
Article
Extreme changes in temperature, rainfall and wind regimes have been correlated with plant species range expansion upslope on sub‐Antarctic islands. Ongoing climatic changes are expected to continue driving changes in species distributions globally, but niche specialisations may limit the capacity for range shifts. We hypothesised that non‐climatic...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is proceeding at an alarming rate with major ecological and genetic consequences for biodiversity, particularly in drylands. The response of species to climate change may differ between intraspecific genetic groups, with major implications for conservation. We used molecular data from 10 nuclear and two chloroplast genomes to...
Article
When an alien species establishes at a new location, it must spread to become an invader. The extent to which propagule pressure promotes the spread of invaders, especially at local scales, is often difficult to quantify because it requires a reliable measure of, and variation in, rate of spread, and of propagule pressure across similar areas. In t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soil life supports the functioning and biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. Springtails (Collembola) are among the most abundant soil animals regulating soil fertility and flow of energy through above- and belowground food webs. However, the global distribution of springtail diversity and density, and how these relate to energy fluxes remains un...
Article
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Trophic rewilding provides a nature-based solution for biological conservation; however, empirical studies demonstrating rewilding effects are limited. Megaherbivores moderate the type and quality of habitat available to other fauna. However, these effects may take time to develop. Further, fauna responses to megaherbivore rewilding will depend on...
Article
Full-text available
DNA sequence data have become a crucial tool in assessing the relationship between morphological variation and genetic and taxonomic groups, including in the Antarctic biota. Morphologically distinct populations of submersed aquatic vascular plants were observed on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, potentially representing the two species of such plants...
Article
Woody encroachment can lead to a switch from open savannas to dense woodlands or forests. This has implications for both the composition of ecological communities and the provision of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and grazing capacity. The patterns and underlying drivers responsible for woody encroachment are not fully understood. Her...
Article
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The flora of sub-Antarctic Marion Island forms part of the unique South Indian Ocean Biogeographic Province, and is under threat from climate change and invasive species. Current information on the flora is necessary to rapidly identify and manage future changes. We conducted a literature search on the taxonomy of indigenous vascular plant species...
Article
In savannas, ruminant herbivores can have divergent impacts on tree recruitment and subsequent woody cover. Whereas heavy grazing by cattle results in woody thickening, intensive grazing by wildlife instead tends to be associated with lower woody cover. To disentangle why woody cover is low in areas heavily grazed by wildlife, we investigated (a) w...
Article
Positive biotic interactions between plant species may strongly affect species and community‐level patterns, but the processes through which benefactor species alter the performance of interacting species (via, e.g. beneficial mechanisms like resource provisioning) are still inadequately understood. One poorly explored potential explanation is that...
Article
Full-text available
• Fire and frost represent two major hurdles for the persistence of trees in open grassy biomes and have both been proposed as drivers of grassland‐forest boundaries in Africa. • We assess the response of young tree seedlings, which represent a vulnerable stage in tree recruitment, to traumatic fire and frost disturbances. • In a greenhouse experim...
Article
In the search for ways to address sustainability challenges, there is growing interest in nature-based solutions. Among these are calls to plant a trillion trees globally, which have been met with mixed responses. In this Voices, we ask researchers about the potential role of trees in mitigating and adapting to global change, as well as doing so in...
Article
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Conservationists increasingly use unstructured observational data, such as citizen science records or ranger patrol observations, to guide decision making. These datasets are often large and relatively cheap to collect, and they have enormous potential. However, the resulting data are generally “messy,” and their use can incur considerable costs, s...
Chapter
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The sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands (PEIs) constitute South Africa’s most remote territory. Despite this, they have not been spared from biological invasions. Here, we review what is known about invasions to the PEIs for terrestrial taxa (vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes), freshwater taxa and marine taxa. Currently, Marion Island...
Poster
This poster looks at the underlying determinants resulting in the formation of bush clumps and whether species turnover across the clump successional gradient is associated with patterns of increased forest specialisation.
Article
Full-text available
Biotic interactions can shape species’ distributions through their impact on species’ realized niches, potentially constraining or expanding the range of conditions under which species occur. We examine whether fine‐scale plant–plant interactions scale up to shape broad‐scale species’ distributions, using Azorella selago, a widespread cushion plant...
Article
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Protected areas are intended to promote biodiversity representation and persistence; yet, whether they are effective in degraded landscapes where much of the original vegetation structure remains intact has received relatively little attention. We test whether avian assemblages in communal rangelands in savannas differ from savannas supporting a fu...
Article
Full-text available
The symbiotic interaction between soybean plants and rhizobacteria can be severely affected by drought, which results in a reduction in symbiotic nitrogen fixation and ultimately decreased yields. The aim of our research was to determine whether symbiotically efficient rhizobia that can better tolerate soil water deficits can improve nodule perform...
Article
Questions Invasive species establish either by possessing traits, or trait trade‐offs similar to native species, suggesting pre‐adaptation to local conditions; or by having a different suite of traits and trait trade‐offs, which allow them to occupy unfilled niches. The trait differences between invasives and non‐invasives can inform on which trait...
Article
Full-text available
Birds are thought to be important vectors underlying the disjunct distribution patterns of some terrestrial biota. Here, we investigate the role of birds in the colonisation by Ochetophila trinervis (Rhamnaceae), a vascular plant from the southern Andes, of sub-Antarctic Marion Island. The location of O. trinervis on the island far from human activ...
Conference Paper
Although bush encroachment is often associated with increasing density of a few indigenous woody species, the phenomenon also occurs through the formation of dense, expanding clumps of woody species, forming bush clumps. Although bush encroachment is of major conservation concern, the patterns and underlying processes responsible for the phenomenon...
Article
Aim A common approach for prioritizing conservation is to identify concentrations (hotspots) of biodiversity. Such hotspots have traditionally been designated on the basis of species‐level metrics (e.g., species richness, endemism and extinction vulnerability). These approaches do not consider phylogenetics explicitly, although phylogenetic relatio...
Article
Full-text available
Plant-microbe interactions mediate both the invasiveness of introduced plant species and the impacts that they have in invaded ecosystems. Although the phylogenetic composition of the rhizospheric microbiome of Acacia dealbata (an invasive Australian tree species) has been investigated, little is known about the functional potential of the constitu...
Article
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Motivation: The Tundra Trait Team (TTT) database includes field‐based measurements of key traits related to plant form and function at multiple sites across the tundra biome. This dataset can be used to address theoretical questions about plant strategy and trade‐offs, trait–environment relationships and environmental filtering, and trait variation...
Article
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Cushion plants are a key Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine growth form, with many cushion-forming species strongly affecting community structure in abiotically stressful environments. Despite their ecological importance, there is little information about what drives the distribution of species exhibiting this growth form. This study investigates the de...
Article
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Roughly 3% of the Earth’s land surface burns annually, representing a critical exchange of energy and matter between the land and atmosphere via combustion. Fires range from slow smouldering peat fires, to low-intensity surface fires, to intense crown fires, depending on vegetation structure, fuel moisture, prevailing climate, and weather condition...
Article
Biotic interactions influence species niches and may thus shape distributions. Nevertheless, species distribution modelling has traditionally relied exclusively on environmental factors to predict species distributions, while biotic interactions have only seldom been incorporated into models. This study tested the ability of incorporating biotic in...
Article
Full-text available
Invasiveness and the impacts of introduced plants are known to be mediated by plant-microbe interactions. Yet, the microbial communities associated with invasive plants are generally poorly understood. Here we report on the first comprehensive investigation of the bacterial and fungal communities inhabiting the rhizosphere and the surrounding bulk...
Article
Across several animal taxa, the evolution of sociality involves a suite of characteristics, a 'social syndrome', that includes cooperative breeding, reproductive skew, primary female biased sex-ratio, and the transition from outcrossing to inbreeding mating system, factors that are expected to reduce effective population size (Ne). This social synd...
Article
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Antarctica and the Southern Ocean form a critical natural laboratory where international scientific investigation can infer the fundamental drivers of the entire earth system and of the near-earth space environment. Advancing our understanding is critical to better comprehend the region’s role in global ocean-atmospheric circulation, ecosystem adap...
Article
Arboreal ants use a variety of plant structures as nesting sites, but may also nest in structures created by arboreal ecosystem engineers. We observed, for the first time, ants using empty cocoons of the economically important silk moth species, Gonometa postica, as shelter and nesting sites. Individual trees and individual cocoons were occupied pr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands (PEIs), South Africa's southernmost territories have high conservation value. Despite their isolation, several alien species have established and become invasive on the PEIs. Objectives: Here we review the invasion ecology of the PEIs. Methods: We summarise what is known about the introduction of...
Poster
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Project Background and Aims • Trees provide habitat and food for many bird species • Birds disperse the seeds of many tree species • How important are the two taxa for one another at different spatial scales? • How can we use this knowledge to predict the effects of global change on ecosystem health and functioning?
Article
Landscape transformation causes habitat loss and fragmentation, which poses the greatest threat to biodiversity globally. In a fragmented landscape the persistence of species is affected by the amount of habitat and the spatial attributes of individual habitat patches. As baseline biodiversity information is often unavailable to assess the effects...
Article
Full-text available
Forest loss and degradation globally has resulted in declines in multiple ecosystem services and reduced habitat for biodiversity. Forest landscape restoration offers an opportunity to mitigate these losses, conserve biodiversity, and improve human well-being. As part of the Bonn Challenge, a global effort to restore 350 million hectares of defores...
Article
The richness of invasive alien plant species tends to decrease with increasing elevation. This pattern may be due to alien plant species requiring traits allowing survival at high elevations (the Abiotic Limitation Hypothesis; ALH). In contrast, the more recent Directional Ecological Filtering Hypothesis (DEFH) suggests that only species with broad...
Article
Full-text available
One of the major challenges in ecosystem conservation is obtaining baseline data, particularly for regions that have been poorly inventoried, such as regions of the African continent. Here we use a database of African herbarium records and examples from the literature to show that, although herbarium records have traditionally been collected to bui...
Article
Full-text available
Group living carries a price: it inherently entails increased competition for resources and reproduction, and may also be associated with mating among relatives, which carries costs of inbreeding. Nonetheless, group living and sociality is found in many animals, and understanding the direct and indirect benefits of cooperation that override the inh...