Nonnative species are a threat to biodiversity as their numbers are increasing in protected areas globally, impacting many ecological processes such as hydrological cycles, fire regimes, and competition. These species possess traits that ease their progression into alpine habitats, which could be a threat to rare and endemic plants in these areas. A prime example of this is in the Gaspésie National Park (Québec) where many nonnative species, such as Poa annua, are progressing in elevation, establishing in alpine habitats inhabited by rare and endemic species. In the case of this study, the impacts of elevation on parental plants and date of collection on seed germinability was determined for mature seeds of P. annua on three mountains in the Gaspésie National Park. Elevation as well as the date of collection did not influence germination of seeds of P. annua, and total germination remained very high (>80%) at high elevations. Therefore, because seed germination is not affected by maternal plant elevation, we assume that the abundance of P. annua may increase in disturbed alpine areas, and management strategies should be developed to counter or mitigate the effects of these invasions.
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Vol. 39 • No. 3