Science.gov

Sample records for alien invasive plants

  1. Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Dibyendu; Tiwary, Raghuvar; Barik, Saroj Kanta

    2015-01-01

    Identification of invasion hotspots that support multiple invasive alien species (IAS) is a pre-requisite for control and management of invasion. However, till recently it remained a methodological challenge to precisely determine such invasive hotspots. We identified the hotspots of alien species invasion in India through Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) using species occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The predicted area of invasion for selected species were classified into 4 categories based on number of model agreements for a region i.e. high, medium, low and very low. About 49% of the total geographical area of India was predicted to be prone to invasion at moderate to high levels of climatic suitability. The intersection of anthropogenic biomes and ecoregions with the regions of 'high' climatic suitability was classified as hotspot of alien plant invasion. Nineteen of 47 ecoregions of India, harboured such hotspots. Most ecologically sensitive regions of India, including the 'biodiversity hotspots' and coastal regions coincide with invasion hotspots, indicating their vulnerability to alien plant invasion. Besides demonstrating the usefulness of ENM and open source data for IAS management, the present study provides a knowledge base for guiding the formulation of an effective policy and management strategy for controlling the invasive alien species. PMID:26230513

  2. Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India

    PubMed Central

    Adhikari, Dibyendu; Tiwary, Raghuvar; Barik, Saroj Kanta

    2015-01-01

    Identification of invasion hotspots that support multiple invasive alien species (IAS) is a pre-requisite for control and management of invasion. However, till recently it remained a methodological challenge to precisely determine such invasive hotspots. We identified the hotspots of alien species invasion in India through Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) using species occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The predicted area of invasion for selected species were classified into 4 categories based on number of model agreements for a region i.e. high, medium, low and very low. About 49% of the total geographical area of India was predicted to be prone to invasion at moderate to high levels of climatic suitability. The intersection of anthropogenic biomes and ecoregions with the regions of 'high' climatic suitability was classified as hotspot of alien plant invasion. Nineteen of 47 ecoregions of India, harboured such hotspots. Most ecologically sensitive regions of India, including the 'biodiversity hotspots' and coastal regions coincide with invasion hotspots, indicating their vulnerability to alien plant invasion. Besides demonstrating the usefulness of ENM and open source data for IAS management, the present study provides a knowledge base for guiding the formulation of an effective policy and management strategy for controlling the invasive alien species. PMID:26230513

  3. Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Dibyendu; Tiwary, Raghuvar; Barik, Saroj Kanta

    2015-01-01

    Identification of invasion hotspots that support multiple invasive alien species (IAS) is a pre-requisite for control and management of invasion. However, till recently it remained a methodological challenge to precisely determine such invasive hotspots. We identified the hotspots of alien species invasion in India through Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) using species occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The predicted area of invasion for selected species were classified into 4 categories based on number of model agreements for a region i.e. high, medium, low and very low. About 49% of the total geographical area of India was predicted to be prone to invasion at moderate to high levels of climatic suitability. The intersection of anthropogenic biomes and ecoregions with the regions of 'high' climatic suitability was classified as hotspot of alien plant invasion. Nineteen of 47 ecoregions of India, harboured such hotspots. Most ecologically sensitive regions of India, including the 'biodiversity hotspots' and coastal regions coincide with invasion hotspots, indicating their vulnerability to alien plant invasion. Besides demonstrating the usefulness of ENM and open source data for IAS management, the present study provides a knowledge base for guiding the formulation of an effective policy and management strategy for controlling the invasive alien species.

  4. Applications of Remote Sensing to Alien Invasive Plant Studies

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Cho-ying; Asner, Gregory P.

    2009-01-01

    Biological invasions can affect ecosystems across a wide spectrum of bioclimatic conditions. Therefore, it is often important to systematically monitor the spread of species over a broad region. Remote sensing has been an important tool for large-scale ecological studies in the past three decades, but it was not commonly used to study alien invasive plants until the mid 1990s. We synthesize previous research efforts on remote sensing of invasive plants from spatial, temporal and spectral perspectives. We also highlight a recently developed state-of-the-art image fusion technique that integrates passive and active energies concurrently collected by an imaging spectrometer and a scanning-waveform light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system, respectively. This approach provides a means to detect the structure and functional properties of invasive plants of different canopy levels. Finally, we summarize regional studies of biological invasions using remote sensing, discuss the limitations of remote sensing approaches, and highlight current research needs and future directions. PMID:22408558

  5. Applications of remote sensing to alien invasive plant studies.

    PubMed

    Huang, Cho-Ying; Asner, Gregory P

    2009-01-01

    Biological invasions can affect ecosystems across a wide spectrum of bioclimatic conditions. Therefore, it is often important to systematically monitor the spread of species over a broad region. Remote sensing has been an important tool for large-scale ecological studies in the past three decades, but it was not commonly used to study alien invasive plants until the mid 1990s. We synthesize previous research efforts on remote sensing of invasive plants from spatial, temporal and spectral perspectives. We also highlight a recently developed state-of-the-art image fusion technique that integrates passive and active energies concurrently collected by an imaging spectrometer and a scanning-waveform light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system, respectively. This approach provides a means to detect the structure and functional properties of invasive plants of different canopy levels. Finally, we summarize regional studies of biological invasions using remote sensing, discuss the limitations of remote sensing approaches, and highlight current research needs and future directions. PMID:22408558

  6. Fire and grazing impacts on plant diversity and alien plant invasions in the southern Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Lubin, Daniel; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Patterns of native and alien plant diversity in response to disturbance were examined along an elevational gradient in blue oak savanna, chaparral, and coniferous forests. Total species richness, alien species richness, and alien cover declined with elevation, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2. We found no support for the hypothesis that community diversity inhibits alien invasion. At the 1-m2 point scale, where we would expect competitive interactions between the largely herbaceous flora to be most intense, alien species richness as well as alien cover increased with increasing native species richness in all communities. This suggests that aliens are limited not by the number of native competitors, but by resources that affect establishment of both natives and aliens.Blue oak savannas were heavily dominated by alien species and consistently had more alien than native species at the 1-m2 scale. All of these aliens are annuals, and it is widely thought that they have displaced native bunchgrasses. If true, this means that aliens have greatly increased species richness. Alternatively, there is a rich regional flora of native annual forbs that could have dominated these grasslands prior to displacement by alien grasses. On our sites, livestock grazing increased the number of alien species and alien cover only slightly over that of sites free of livestock grazing for more than a century, indicating some level of permanency to this invasion.In chaparral, both diversity and aliens increased markedly several years after fire. Invasive species are rare in undisturbed shrublands, and alien propagules fail to survive the natural crown fires in these ecosystems. Thus, aliens necessarily must colonize after fire and, as a consequence, time since fire is an important determinant of invasive presence. Blue oak savannas are an important propagule source for alien species because they maintain permanent populations of all alien species encountered in postfire chaparral, and because the

  7. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: Effects of vegetation type and anthropogenic disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.; Anderson, P.J.; Newton, W.

    2001-01-01

    The ability of alien plant species to invade a region depends not only on attributes of the plant, but on characteristics of the habitat being invaded. Here, we examine characteristics that may influence the success of alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, USA. The park consists of two geographically separate units with similar vegetation types and management history, which allowed us to examine the effects of native vegetation type, anthropogenic disturbance, and the separate park units on the invasion of native plant communities by alien plant species common to counties surrounding both park units. If matters of chance related to availability of propagules and transient establishment opportunities determine the success of invasion, park unit and anthropogenic disturbance should better explain the variation in alien plant frequency. If invasibility is more strongly related to biotic or physical characteristics of the native plant communities, models of alien plant occurrence should include vegetation type as an explanatory variable. We examined >1300 transects across all vegetation types in both units of the park. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the fully parameterized model, including the interaction among vegetation type, disturbance, and park unit, best described the distribution of both total number of alien plants per transect and frequency of alien plants on transects where they occurred. Although all vegetation types were invaded by alien plants, mesic communities had both greater numbers and higher frequencies of alien plants than did drier communities. A strong element of stochasticity, reflected in differences in frequencies of individual species between the two park units, suggests that prediction of risk of invasion will always involve uncertainty. In addition, despite well-documented associations between anthropogenic disturbance and alien plant invasion, five of

  8. Separating habitat invasibility by alien plants from the actual level of invasion.

    PubMed

    Chytrý, Milan; Jarosik, Vojtech; Pysek, Petr; Hájek, Ondrej; Knollová, Ilona; Tichý, Lubomír; Danihelka, Jií

    2008-06-01

    Habitats vary considerably in the level of invasion (number or proportion of alien plant species they contain), which depends on local habitat properties, propagule pressure, and climate. To determine the invasibility (susceptibility to invasions) of different habitats, it is necessary to factor out the effects of any confounding variables such as propagule pressure and climate on the level of invasion. We used 20 468 vegetation plots from 32 habitats in the Czech Republic to compare the invasibility of different habitats. Using regression trees, the proportion of alien plants, including archaeophytes (prehistoric to medieval invaders) and neophytes (recent invaders), was related to variables representing habitat properties, propagule pressure, and climate. The propagule pressure was expressed as the proportion of surrounding urban and industrial or agricultural land, human population density, distance from a river, and history of human colonization in the region. Urban and industrial land use had a positive effect on the proportion of both archaeophytes and neophytes. Agricultural land use, higher population density, and longer history of human impact positively affected the proportion of archaeophytes. Disturbed human-made habitats with herbaceous vegetation were most invaded by both groups of aliens. Neophytes were also relatively common in disturbed woody vegetation, such as broad-leaved plantations, forest clearings, and riverine scrub. These habitats also had the highest proportion of aliens after removing the effect of propagule pressure and climate, indicating that they are not only the most invaded, but also most invasible. These habitats experience recurrent disturbances and are rich, at least temporarily, in available nutrients, which supports the hypothesis that fluctuating resources are the major cause of habitat invasibility. The least invaded habitats were mires and alpine-subalpine grasslands and scrub. After removing the effect of propagule

  9. Are boreal ecosystems susceptible to alien plant invasion? Evidence from protected areas.

    PubMed

    Rose, Michael; Hermanutz, Luise

    2004-05-01

    Although biological invasion by alien species is a major contributor to loss of indigenous biological diversity, few studies have examined the susceptibility of the boreal biome to invasion. Based on studies of other ecosystems, we hypothesized that alien plants will be restricted to disturbed areas near human activity and will not be found in natural areas of boreal ecosystems in Gros Morne National Park (Canada), a protected area experiencing a wide range of disturbance regimes. The distribution of alien plants in the region was evaluated using surveys, and study sites were established in naturally and anthropogenically disturbed habitats that had been invaded. Within study sites, randomization tests evaluated the importance of disturbance to alien plant invasion by examining changes in environmental conditions and species abundance within various disturbance regimes, while the importance of site characteristics limiting the distribution of alien plants were examined using Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Consistent with studies in a variety of biomes, areas of high disturbance and human activity had the greatest abundance of resources and the highest percentage of alien species. However, contrary to our hypothesis, natural areas of boreal ecosystems were found susceptible to alien plant invasion. Vegetation types vulnerable to invasion include forests, riparian areas, fens, and alpine meadows. Natural disturbance occurring in these vegetation types caused increases in bare ground and/or light availability facilitating alien plant invasion. Although high soil pH was associated with alien plants in these areas, disturbance was not found to cause changes in soil pH, suggesting susceptibility to invasion is pre-determined by bedrock geology or other factors influencing soil pH. Moose (Alces alces), a non-native herbivore, acts as the primary conduit for alien plant invasion in GMNP by dispersing propagules and creating or prolonging disturbance by trampling and

  10. Ecological Risk Assessment with MCDM of Some Invasive Alien Plants in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Guowen; Chen, Weiguang; Lin, Meizhen; Zheng, Yanling; Guo, Peiguo; Zheng, Yisheng

    Alien plant invasion is an urgent global issue that threatens the sustainable development of the ecosystem health. The study of its ecological risk assessment (ERA) could help us to prevent and reduce the invasion risk more effectively. Based on the theory of ERA and methods of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM), and through the analyses of the characteristics and processes of alien plant invasion, this paper discusses the methodologies of ERA of alien plant invasion. The assessment procedure consisted of risk source analysis, receptor analysis, exposure and hazard assessment, integral assessment, and countermeasure of risk management. The indicator system of risk source assessment as well as the indices and formulas applied to measure the ecological loss and risk were established, and the method for comprehensively assessing the ecological risk of alien plant invasion was worked out. The result of ecological risk analysis to 9 representative invasive alien plants in China shows that the ecological risk of Erigeron annuus, Ageratum conyzoides, Alternanthera philoxeroides and Mikania midrantha is high (grade1-2), that of Oxalis corymbosa and Wedelia chinensis comes next (grade3), while Mirabilis jalapa, Pilea microphylla and Calendula officinalis of the last (grade 4). Risk strategies are put forward on this basis.

  11. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    Heleno, Ruben H.; Olesen, Jens M.; Nogales, Manuel; Vargas, Pablo; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Alien plants are a growing threat to the Galápagos unique biota. We evaluated the impact of alien plants on eight seed dispersal networks from two islands of the archipelago. Nearly 10 000 intact seeds from 58 species were recovered from the droppings of 18 bird and reptile dispersers. The most dispersed invaders were Lantana camara, Rubus niveus and Psidium guajava, the latter two likely benefiting from an asynchronous fruit production with most native plants, which facilitate their consumption and spread. Lava lizards dispersed the seeds of 27 species, being the most important dispersers, followed by small ground finch, two mockingbirds, the giant tortoise and two insectivorous birds. Most animals dispersed alien seeds, but these formed a relatively small proportion of the interactions. Nevertheless, the integration of aliens was higher in the island that has been invaded for longest, suggesting a time-lag between alien plant introductions and their impacts on seed dispersal networks. Alien plants become more specialized with advancing invasion, favouring more simplified plant and disperser communities. However, only habitat type significantly affected the overall network structure. Alien plants were dispersed via two pathways: dry-fruited plants were preferentially dispersed by finches, while fleshy fruited species were mostly dispersed by other birds and reptiles. PMID:23173203

  12. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Heleno, Ruben H; Olesen, Jens M; Nogales, Manuel; Vargas, Pablo; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Alien plants are a growing threat to the Galápagos unique biota. We evaluated the impact of alien plants on eight seed dispersal networks from two islands of the archipelago. Nearly 10 000 intact seeds from 58 species were recovered from the droppings of 18 bird and reptile dispersers. The most dispersed invaders were Lantana camara, Rubus niveus and Psidium guajava, the latter two likely benefiting from an asynchronous fruit production with most native plants, which facilitate their consumption and spread. Lava lizards dispersed the seeds of 27 species, being the most important dispersers, followed by small ground finch, two mockingbirds, the giant tortoise and two insectivorous birds. Most animals dispersed alien seeds, but these formed a relatively small proportion of the interactions. Nevertheless, the integration of aliens was higher in the island that has been invaded for longest, suggesting a time-lag between alien plant introductions and their impacts on seed dispersal networks. Alien plants become more specialized with advancing invasion, favouring more simplified plant and disperser communities. However, only habitat type significantly affected the overall network structure. Alien plants were dispersed via two pathways: dry-fruited plants were preferentially dispersed by finches, while fleshy fruited species were mostly dispersed by other birds and reptiles.

  13. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework.

    PubMed

    Downey, Paul O; Richardson, David M

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat-in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the 'extinction trajectory', global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either 'in the wild' (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1-3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader threat. PMID

  14. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework

    PubMed Central

    Downey, Paul O.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat—in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the ‘extinction trajectory’, global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either ‘in the wild’ (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1–3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader

  15. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework.

    PubMed

    Downey, Paul O; Richardson, David M

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat-in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the 'extinction trajectory', global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either 'in the wild' (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1-3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader threat.

  16. Ornamental plants as invasive aliens: problems and solutions in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Richardson, David M; Wilson, John R U

    2008-01-01

    The most widespread invasive alien plant species in South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) were either introduced unintentionally along rivers and roads, or intentionally for use as ornamentals. We examine the spatial distribution of ornamental alien plants in KNP, look at the link between human population size, history, and species richness, and show how the distribution of particular species reflects the likely history of ornamental plantings. Results are used to assess whether past management actions have been appropriately directed. Two hundred and fifty-eight alien species have been recorded in the 36 tourist camps and staff villages. The number of staff housed in villages explains much of the diversity of cultivated alien plant species. Older camps also tend to have more ornamental alien plant species. However, the lack of a strong link between camp age and number of cultivated species suggests that ornamental plants have been widely spread around the KNP by humans. We also show that increased camp activity (either size or age) has led to more ornamental species, while, with the notable exception of Skukuza, camp activity has had a much smaller effect on the number of noncultivated species. Noncultivated species tend to be naturally dispersed, as opposed to directly spread by humans between camps. Past management prioritized certain species on the basis of their potential to invade KNP and on the prevailing national legislation. These species were removed manually and follow-up control was carried out. Once the priority species were deemed to be under control, less invasive species were targeted. All alien species were removed from vacated houses, regardless of the potential invasiveness of the species.

  17. Ornamental Plants as Invasive Aliens: Problems and Solutions in Kruger National Park, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.

    2008-01-01

    The most widespread invasive alien plant species in South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP) were either introduced unintentionally along rivers and roads, or intentionally for use as ornamentals. We examine the spatial distribution of ornamental alien plants in KNP, look at the link between human population size, history, and species richness, and show how the distribution of particular species reflects the likely history of ornamental plantings. Results are used to assess whether past management actions have been appropriately directed. Two hundred and fifty-eight alien species have been recorded in the 36 tourist camps and staff villages. The number of staff housed in villages explains much of the diversity of cultivated alien plant species. Older camps also tend to have more ornamental alien plant species. However, the lack of a strong link between camp age and number of cultivated species suggests that ornamental plants have been widely spread around the KNP by humans. We also show that increased camp activity (either size or age) has led to more ornamental species, while, with the notable exception of Skukuza, camp activity has had a much smaller effect on the number of noncultivated species. Noncultivated species tend to be naturally dispersed, as opposed to directly spread by humans between camps. Past management prioritized certain species on the basis of their potential to invade KNP and on the prevailing national legislation. These species were removed manually and follow-up control was carried out. Once the priority species were deemed to be under control, less invasive species were targeted. All alien species were removed from vacated houses, regardless of the potential invasiveness of the species.

  18. Putative linkages between below- and aboveground mutualisms during alien plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Traveset, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of the fundamental role of below–aboveground links in controlling ecosystem processes is mostly based on studies done with soil herbivores or mutualists and aboveground herbivores. Much less is known about the links between belowground and aboveground mutualisms, which have been studied separately for decades. It has not been until recently that these mutualisms—mycorrhizas and legume–rhizobia on one hand, and pollinators and seed dispersers on the other hand—have been found to influence each other, with potential ecological and evolutionary consequences. Here we review the mechanisms that may link these two-level mutualisms, mostly reported for native plant species, and make predictions about their relevance during alien plant invasions. We propose that alien plants establishing effective mutualisms with belowground microbes might improve their reproductive success through positive interactions between those mutualists and pollinators and seed dispersers. On the other hand, changes in the abundance and diversity of soil mutualists induced by invasion can also interfere with below–aboveground links for native plant species. We conclude that further research on this topic is needed in the field of invasion ecology as it can provide interesting clues on synergistic interactions and invasional meltdowns during alien plant invasions. PMID:26034049

  19. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  20. Habitat invasibility and dominance by alien annual plants in the western Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    1999-01-01

    Patterns of habitat invasibility and alien dominance, respectively measured as species richness and biomass of alien annual plants, were evaluated in association with four habitat factors at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTNA) in the western Mojave Desert, USA. Habitat factors varied in levels of disturbance outside (high) and inside (low) the DTNA, and in levels of soil nutrients in washlet (high) and hummock (low) topographic positions, in Larrea-north (high), Larrea-south (medium), and interspace (low) microhabitats near creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata), and during 1995 when rainfall was 207% (high) and 1994 when rainfall was 52% (low) of the long-term average. Dominant alien plants included the annual grasses Bromus rubens, Bromus trinii, and Schismus spp., and the forb Erodium cicutarium. Species richness and dominance of alien annual plants were slightly higher where disturbance was high, and much higher where soil nutrients were high. B. rubens and B. trinii were most dominant in washlets and in the Larrea-north microhabitats during both years. These two species evolved in mesic ecosystems, and appeared to be particularly limited by soil nutrients at this site. Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were also most dominant in washlets, but their dominance varied between interspaces in 1994 and the Larrea-south microhabitat in 1995. Monitoring to detect the invasion of new annual plants should focus on regions of high rainfall and nitrogen deposition and on washes and beneath-canopy microhabitats. The ecological range of each alien species should be evaluated separately, because their evolutionary origins may greatly affect their patterns of invasion and dominance in the Mojave Desert.

  1. Invasive alien plants in Croatia as a threat to biodiversity of South-Eastern Europe: distributional patterns and range size.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Toni; Mitić, Božena; Milašinović, Boris; Jelaska, Sven D

    2013-02-01

    During the analysis of alien and invasive flora of Europe, as a threat to biodiversity, data for Croatia were missing. The aim of our research was to analyse distributional patterns and range size of all invasive alien plants (64) for the state area (57,000 km(2)). They were detected on 49% of the state territory, averaging five taxa per 35 km(2). The greatest number of invasive plants (>30 per grid cell) was recorded in the major urban centres, increasing in the south-east direction and reflecting positive correlation with temperature and negative with altitude. The most endangered areas are in the Mediterranean region, especially on islands. The number of invasive plants increased with habitat diversity and almost 75% of all sites with invasive plants are located within a few habitats with direct anthropogenic influence. The results should provide a reliable regional and global basis for strategic planning regarding invasive alien plants management.

  2. Planting intensity, residence time, and species traits determine invasion success of alien woody species.

    PubMed

    Pysek, Petr; Krivánek, Martin; Jarosík, Vojtech

    2009-10-01

    We studied the relative importance of residence time, propagule pressure, and species traits in three stages of invasion of alien woody plants cultivated for about 150 years in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. The probability of escape from cultivation, naturalization, and invasion was assessed using classification trees. We compared 109 escaped-not-escaped congeneric pairs, 44 naturalized-not-naturalized, and 17 invasive-not-invasive congeneric pairs. We used the following predictors of the above probabilities: date of introduction to the target region as a measure of residence time; intensity of planting in the target area as a proxy for propagule pressure; the area of origin; and 21 species-specific biological and ecological traits. The misclassification rates of the naturalization and invasion model were low, at 19.3% and 11.8%, respectively, indicating that the variables used included the major determinants of these processes. The probability of escape increased with residence time in the Czech Republic, whereas the probability of naturalization increased with the residence time in Europe. This indicates that some species were already adapted to local conditions when introduced to the Czech Republic. Apart from residence time, the probability of escape depends on planting intensity (propagule pressure), and that of naturalization on the area of origin and fruit size; it is lower for species from Asia and those with small fruits. The probability of invasion is determined by a long residence time and the ability to tolerate low temperatures. These results indicate that a simple suite of factors determines, with a high probability, the invasion success of alien woody plants, and that the relative role of biological traits and other factors is stage dependent. High levels of propagule pressure as a result of planting lead to woody species eventually escaping from cultivation, regardless of biological traits. However, the biological traits play a role in later

  3. Sentinel Trees as a Tool to Forecast Invasions of Alien Plant Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Vettraino, AnnaMaria; Roques, Alain; Yart, Annie; Fan, Jian-ting; Sun, Jiang-hua; Vannini, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Recent disease outbreaks caused by alien invasive pathogens into European forests posed a serious threat to forest sustainability with relevant environmental and economic effects. Many of the alien tree pathogens recently introduced into Europe were not previously included on any quarantine lists, thus they were not subject to phytosanitary inspections. The identification and description of alien fungi potentially pathogenic to native European flora before their introduction in Europe, is a paramount need in order to limit the risk of invasion and the impact to forest ecosystems. To determine the potential invasive fungi, a sentinel trees plot was established in Fuyang, China, using healthy seedlings of European tree species including Quercus petreae, Q. suber, and Q. ilex. The fungal assemblage associated with symptomatic specimens was studied using the tag-encoded 454 pyrosequencing of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS 1). Taxa with probable Asiatic origin were identified and included plant pathogenic genera. These results indicate that sentinel plants may be a strategic tool to improve the prevention of bioinvasions. PMID:25826684

  4. Alien invasive birds.

    PubMed

    Brochier, B; Vangeluwe, D; van den Berg, T

    2010-08-01

    A bird species is regarded as alien invasive if it has been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, becomes capable of establishing a breeding population without further intervention by humans, spreads and becomes a pest affecting the environment, the local biodiversity, the economy and/or society, including human health. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have been included on the list of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species', a subset of the Global Invasive Species Database. The 'Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe' project has selected Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) as among 100 of the worst invasive species in Europe. For each of these alien bird species, the geographic range (native and introduced range), the introduction pathway, the general impacts and the management methods are presented. PMID:20919578

  5. Invasion trajectory of alien trees: the role of introduction pathway and planting history.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, Jason E; Hui, Cang; Richardson, David M; Robertson, Mark P; Webber, Bruce L; Wilson, John R U

    2014-05-01

    Global change is driving a massive rearrangement of the world's biota. Trajectories of distributional shifts are shaped by species traits, the recipient environment and driving forces with many of the driving forces directly due to human activities. The relative importance of each in determining the distributions of introduced species is poorly understood. We consider 11 Australian Acacia species introduced to South Africa for different reasons (commercial forestry, dune stabilization and ornamentation) to determine how features of the introduction pathway have shaped their invasion history. Projections from species distribution models (SDMs) were developed to assess how the reason for introduction influences the similarity between climatic envelopes in native and alien ranges. A lattice model for an idealized invasion was developed to assess the relative contribution of intrinsic traits and introduction dynamics on the abundance and extent over the course of simulated invasions. SDMs show that alien populations of ornamental species in South Africa occupy substantially different climate space from their native ranges, whereas species introduced for forestry occupy a similar climate space in native and introduced ranges. This may partly explain the slow spread rates observed for some alien ornamental plants. Such mismatches are likely to become less pronounced with the current drive towards 'eco gardens' resulting in more introductions of ornamental species with a close climate match between native and newly introduced regions. The results from the lattice model showed that the conditions associated with the introduction pathway (especially introduction pressure) dominate early invasion dynamics. The placement of introduction foci in urban areas limited the extent and abundance of invasive populations. Features of introduction events appear to initially mask the influence of intrinsic species traits on invasions and help to explain the relative success of species

  6. The Impact of the Invasive Alien Plant, Impatiens glandulifera, on Pollen Transfer Networks.

    PubMed

    Emer, Carine; Vaughan, Ian P; Hiscock, Simon; Memmott, Jane

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a threat to the maintenance of ecological processes, including pollination. Plant-flower visitor networks are traditionally used as a surrogated for pollination at the community level, despite they do not represent the pollination process, which takes place at the stigma of plants where pollen grains are deposited. Here we investigated whether the invasion of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae) affects pollen transfer at the community level. We asked whether more alien pollen is deposited on the stigmas of plants on invaded sites, whether deposition is affected by stigma type (dry, semidry and wet) and whether the invasion of I. glandulifera changes the structure of the resulting pollen transfer networks. We sampled stigmas of plants on 10 sites invaded by I. glandulifera (hereafter, balsam) and 10 non-invaded control sites. All 20 networks had interactions with balsam pollen, although significantly more balsam pollen was found on plants with dry stigmas in invaded areas. Balsam pollen deposition was restricted to a small subset of plant species, which is surprising because pollinators are known to carry high loads of balsam pollen. Balsam invasion did not affect the loading of native pollen, nor did it affect pollen transfer network properties; networks were modular and poorly nested, both of which are likely to be related to the specificity of pollen transfer interactions. Our results indicate that pollination networks become more specialized when moving from the flower visitation to the level of pollen transfer networks. Therefore, caution is needed when inferring pollination from patterns of insect visitation or insect pollen loads as the relationship between these and pollen deposition is not straightforward.

  7. The Impact of the Invasive Alien Plant, Impatiens glandulifera, on Pollen Transfer Networks

    PubMed Central

    Emer, Carine; Vaughan, Ian P.; Hiscock, Simon; Memmott, Jane

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a threat to the maintenance of ecological processes, including pollination. Plant-flower visitor networks are traditionally used as a surrogated for pollination at the community level, despite they do not represent the pollination process, which takes place at the stigma of plants where pollen grains are deposited. Here we investigated whether the invasion of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae) affects pollen transfer at the community level. We asked whether more alien pollen is deposited on the stigmas of plants on invaded sites, whether deposition is affected by stigma type (dry, semidry and wet) and whether the invasion of I. glandulifera changes the structure of the resulting pollen transfer networks. We sampled stigmas of plants on 10 sites invaded by I. glandulifera (hereafter, balsam) and 10 non-invaded control sites. All 20 networks had interactions with balsam pollen, although significantly more balsam pollen was found on plants with dry stigmas in invaded areas. Balsam pollen deposition was restricted to a small subset of plant species, which is surprising because pollinators are known to carry high loads of balsam pollen. Balsam invasion did not affect the loading of native pollen, nor did it affect pollen transfer network properties; networks were modular and poorly nested, both of which are likely to be related to the specificity of pollen transfer interactions. Our results indicate that pollination networks become more specialized when moving from the flower visitation to the level of pollen transfer networks. Therefore, caution is needed when inferring pollination from patterns of insect visitation or insect pollen loads as the relationship between these and pollen deposition is not straightforward. PMID:26633170

  8. Release from belowground enemies and shifts in root traits as interrelated drivers of alien plant invasion success: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of the interrelated mechanisms driving plant invasions, such as the interplay between enemy release and resource-acquisition traits, is biased by an aboveground perspective. To address this bias, I hypothesize that plant release from belowground enemies (especially fungal pathogens) will give invasive plant species a fitness advantage in the alien range, via shifts in root traits (e.g., increased specific root length and branching intensity) that increase resource uptake and competitive ability compared to native species in the alien range, and compared to plants of the invader in its native range. Such root-trait changes could be ecological or evolutionary in nature. I explain how shifts in root traits could occur as a consequence of enemy release and contribute to invasion success of alien plants, and how they could be interrelated with other potential belowground drivers of invasion success (allelopathy, mutualist enhancement). Finally, I outline the approaches that could be taken to test whether belowground enemy release results in increased competitive ability and nutrient uptake by invasive alien plants, via changes in root traits in the alien range. PMID:26668717

  9. Release from belowground enemies and shifts in root traits as interrelated drivers of alien plant invasion success: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of the interrelated mechanisms driving plant invasions, such as the interplay between enemy release and resource-acquisition traits, is biased by an aboveground perspective. To address this bias, I hypothesize that plant release from belowground enemies (especially fungal pathogens) will give invasive plant species a fitness advantage in the alien range, via shifts in root traits (e.g., increased specific root length and branching intensity) that increase resource uptake and competitive ability compared to native species in the alien range, and compared to plants of the invader in its native range. Such root-trait changes could be ecological or evolutionary in nature. I explain how shifts in root traits could occur as a consequence of enemy release and contribute to invasion success of alien plants, and how they could be interrelated with other potential belowground drivers of invasion success (allelopathy, mutualist enhancement). Finally, I outline the approaches that could be taken to test whether belowground enemy release results in increased competitive ability and nutrient uptake by invasive alien plants, via changes in root traits in the alien range.

  10. Characteristics of successful alien plants.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, M; Dawson, W; Maurel, N

    2015-05-01

    Herbert Baker arguably initiated the search for species characteristics determining alien plant invasion success, with his formulation of the 'ideal weed'. Today, a profusion of studies has tested a myriad of traits for their importance in explaining success of alien plants, but the multiple, not always appropriate, approaches used have led to some confusion and criticism. We argue that a greater understanding of the characteristics explaining alien plant success requires a refined approach that respects the multistage, multiscale nature of the invasion process. We present a schema of questions we can ask regarding the success of alien species, with the answering of one question in the schema being conditional on the answer of preceding questions (thus acknowledging the nested nature of invasion stages). For each question, we identify traits and attributes of species we believe are likely to be most important in explaining species success, and we make predictions as to how we expect successful aliens to differ from natives and from unsuccessful aliens in their characteristics. We organize the findings of empirical studies according to the questions in our schema that they have addressed, to assess the extent to which they support our predictions. We believe that research on plant traits of alien species has already told us a lot about why some alien species become successful after introduction. However, if we ask the right questions at the appropriate scale and use appropriate comparators, research on traits may tell us whether they are really important or not, and if so under which conditions.

  11. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  12. Alien Plants Introduced by Different Pathways Differ in Invasion Success: Unintentional Introductions as a Threat to Natural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pergl, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding the dimensions of pathways of introduction of alien plants is important for regulating species invasions, but how particular pathways differ in terms of post-invasion success of species they deliver has never been rigorously tested. We asked whether invasion status, distribution and habitat range of 1,007 alien plant species introduced after 1500 A.D. to the Czech Republic differ among four basic pathways of introduction recognized for plants. Principal Findings Pathways introducing alien species deliberately as commodities (direct release into the wild; escape from cultivation) result in easier naturalization and invasion than pathways of unintentional introduction (contaminant of a commodity; stowaway arriving without association with it). The proportion of naturalized and invasive species among all introductions delivered by a particular pathway decreases with a decreasing level of direct assistance from humans associated with that pathway, from release and escape to contaminant and stowaway. However, those species that are introduced via unintentional pathways and become invasive are as widely distributed as deliberately introduced species, and those introduced as contaminants invade an even wider range of seminatural habitats. Conclusions Pathways associated with deliberate species introductions with commodities and pathways whereby species are unintentionally introduced are contrasting modes of introductions in terms of invasion success. However, various measures of the outcome of the invasion process, in terms of species' invasion success, need to be considered to accurately evaluate the role of and threat imposed by individual pathways. By employing various measures we show that invasions by unintentionally introduced plant species need to be considered by management as seriously as those introduced by horticulture, because they invade a wide range of seminatural habitats, hence representing even a greater threat to natural areas

  13. Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minden, V.; Jacobi, J.D.; Porembski, S.; Boehmer, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m. a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770mm yr-1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum-domimted herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using nonparametric H-tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. ?? 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

  14. [Effects of nitrogen and carbon addition and arbuscular mycorrhiza on alien invasive plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia].

    PubMed

    Huang, Dong; Sang, Wei-guo; Zhu, Li; Song, Ying-ying; Wang, Jin-ping

    2010-12-01

    A greenhouse control experiment was conducted to explore the effects of nitrogen and carbon addition and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) on the growth of alien invasive plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed). Nitrogen addition had no significant effects on the morphological indices, biomass and its allocation, and absolute growth rate of A. artemisiifolia, but increased the nitrogen content in the aboveground and underground parts of the plant significantly. Carbon addition increased the content of soil available nitrogen. In this case, the biomass allocation in root system for nutrient (nitrogen) absorption promoted, resulting in a remarkable decrease of branch number, total leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf mass ratio. As a result, the total biomass decreased significantly. The symbiosis of A. artemisiifolia and AM fungi had great influence on the common ragweed's soil nitrogen acclimation, which enhanced its resource-capture by the increase of SLA, and this effect was more significant when the soil nitrogen content was low. AM fungi played an important role in the growth of A. artemisiifolia in low-nitrogen environment.

  15. Some perspectives on the risks and benefits of biological control of invasive alien plants in the management of natural ecosystems.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, B W; Moran, V C; Hoffmann, J H

    2013-09-01

    Globally, invasions by alien plants are rapidly increasing in extent and severity, leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation. Weed biological control offers opportunities to arrest or even reverse these trends and, although it is not always effective or appropriate as a management strategy, this practice has an excellent record of safety and many notable successes over two centuries. In recent years, growing concerns about the potential for unintended, non-target damage by biological control agents, and fears about other unpredictable effects on ecosystems, have created an increasingly demanding risk-averse regulatory environment. This development may be counter-productive because it tends to overemphasize potential problems and ignores or underestimates the benefits of weed biological control; it offers no viable alternatives; and it overlooks the inherent risks of a decision not to use biological control. The restoration of badly degraded ecosystems to a former pristine condition is not a realistic objective, but the protection of un-invaded or partial restoration of invaded ecosystems can be achieved safely, at low cost and sustainably through the informed and responsible application of biological control. This practice should therefore be given due consideration when management of invasive alien plants is being planned. This discussion paper provides a perspective on the risks and benefits of classical weed biological control, and it is aimed at assisting environmental managers in their deliberations on whether or not to use this strategy in preference, or as a supplement to other alien invasive plant control practices.

  16. Some Perspectives on the Risks and Benefits of Biological Control of Invasive Alien Plants in the Management of Natural Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, B. W.; Moran, V. C.; Hoffmann, J. H.

    2013-09-01

    Globally, invasions by alien plants are rapidly increasing in extent and severity, leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation. Weed biological control offers opportunities to arrest or even reverse these trends and, although it is not always effective or appropriate as a management strategy, this practice has an excellent record of safety and many notable successes over two centuries. In recent years, growing concerns about the potential for unintended, non-target damage by biological control agents, and fears about other unpredictable effects on ecosystems, have created an increasingly demanding risk-averse regulatory environment. This development may be counter-productive because it tends to overemphasize potential problems and ignores or underestimates the benefits of weed biological control; it offers no viable alternatives; and it overlooks the inherent risks of a decision not to use biological control. The restoration of badly degraded ecosystems to a former pristine condition is not a realistic objective, but the protection of un-invaded or partial restoration of invaded ecosystems can be achieved safely, at low cost and sustainably through the informed and responsible application of biological control. This practice should therefore be given due consideration when management of invasive alien plants is being planned. This discussion paper provides a perspective on the risks and benefits of classical weed biological control, and it is aimed at assisting environmental managers in their deliberations on whether or not to use this strategy in preference, or as a supplement to other alien invasive plant control practices.

  17. Impacts of alien invasive plants on soil nutrients are correlated with initial site conditions in NW Europe.

    PubMed

    Dassonville, Nicolas; Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Vanparys, Valérie; Hayez, Mathieu; Gruber, Wolf; Meerts, Pierre

    2008-08-01

    Alien invasive plants are capable of modifying ecosystem function. However, it is difficult to make generalisations because impacts often appear to be species- and site-specific. In this study, we examined the impacts of seven highly invasive plant species in NW Europe (Fallopia japonica, Heracleum mantegazzianum, Impatiens glandulifera, Prunus serotina, Rosa rugosa, Senecio inaequidens, Solidago gigantea) on nutrient pools in the topsoil and the standing biomass. We tested if the impacts follow predictable patterns, across species and sites or, alternatively, if they are entirely idiosyncratic. To that end, we compared invaded and adjacent uninvaded plots in a total of 36 sites with widely divergent soil chemistry and vegetation composition. For all species, invaded plots had increased aboveground biomass and nutrient stocks in standing biomass compared to uninvaded vegetation. This suggests that enhanced nutrient uptake may be a key trait of highly invasive plant species. The magnitude and direction of the impact on topsoil chemical properties were strongly site-specific. A striking finding is that the direction of change in soil properties followed a predictable pattern. Thus, strong positive impacts (higher topsoil nutrient concentrations in invaded plots compared to uninvaded ones) were most often found in sites with initially low nutrient concentrations in the topsoil, while negative impacts were generally found under the opposite conditions. This pattern was significant for potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and nitrogen. The particular site-specific pattern in the impacts that we observed provides the first evidence that alien invasive species may contribute to a homogenisation of soil conditions in invaded landscapes. PMID:18491146

  18. Torrefaction of invasive alien plants: Influence of heating rate and other conversion parameters on mass yield and higher heating value.

    PubMed

    Mundike, Jhonnah; Collard, François-Xavier; Görgens, Johann F

    2016-06-01

    With the aim of controlling their proliferation, two invasive alien plants, Lantana camara (LC) and Mimosa pigra (MP), both widespread in Africa, were considered for torrefaction for renewable energy applications. Using thermogravimetric analysis, the influence of heating rate (HR: 2.18-19.82°Cmin(-1)) together with variable temperature and hold time on char yield and HHV (in a bomb calorimeter) were determined. Statistically significant effects of HR on HHV with optima at 10.5°Cmin(-1) for LC and 20°Cmin(-1) for MP were obtained. Increases of HHV up to 0.8MJkg(-1) or energy yield greater than 10%, together with a 3-fold reduction in torrefaction conversion time could be achieved by optimisation of HR. Analysis of the torrefaction volatiles by TG-MS showed that not only hemicelluloses, but also lignin conversion, could influence the optimum HR value. PMID:26954309

  19. Torrefaction of invasive alien plants: Influence of heating rate and other conversion parameters on mass yield and higher heating value.

    PubMed

    Mundike, Jhonnah; Collard, François-Xavier; Görgens, Johann F

    2016-06-01

    With the aim of controlling their proliferation, two invasive alien plants, Lantana camara (LC) and Mimosa pigra (MP), both widespread in Africa, were considered for torrefaction for renewable energy applications. Using thermogravimetric analysis, the influence of heating rate (HR: 2.18-19.82°Cmin(-1)) together with variable temperature and hold time on char yield and HHV (in a bomb calorimeter) were determined. Statistically significant effects of HR on HHV with optima at 10.5°Cmin(-1) for LC and 20°Cmin(-1) for MP were obtained. Increases of HHV up to 0.8MJkg(-1) or energy yield greater than 10%, together with a 3-fold reduction in torrefaction conversion time could be achieved by optimisation of HR. Analysis of the torrefaction volatiles by TG-MS showed that not only hemicelluloses, but also lignin conversion, could influence the optimum HR value.

  20. The role of habitat factors in successful invasion of alien plant Acer negundo in riparian zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikorski, Piotr; Sikorska, Daria

    2016-04-01

    Ash-leaved maple (Acer negundo) is one of the most invasive species occurring in riparian zones. The invasion is especially effective in disturbed areas, as the plant favours anthropogenic sites. The plant was also observed to be able to penetrate into sandy bars, also those separated from the land, inaccessible to people. It's removal is time-consuming and laborious, often involves damage done to sensitive vegetation and the results are doubtful, as the plant quickly regenerates. The invasion patterns and establishment of ash-leaved maple in natural ecosystems are poorly investigated. The aim of this study was to test how habitat factors such as: light availability, soil characteristics and competition contribute to ash-leaved maple effective colonization of natural sand bars free from anthropogenic pressure. In 2014 sand bars located in Vistula River Valley in Warsaw were inventoried and classified basing on their development stage as 1 - initial, 2 - unstable, 3 - stable. Apart from the occurrence of the invasive ash-leaved maple the plants competing with it were recognized and the percentage of the shoots of shrubs and herbaceous plants was estimated. PAR was measured at ground level and 1 meter above ground, the thickness of organic layer formed on the top of the sand was also measured as the indicator of sand bar development stage. The maple's survival in extremely difficult conditions resembles the strategy of willows and poplars naturally occurring in the riparian zones, which are well adapted to this environment. The success of invasion strongly depends on the plants establishment during sand bars initial stage of development. The seedlings growth correlates with the age of the sand bar (r1=0,41, r2=0,42 i r3=0,57). The colonization lasts for 4-6 years and the individuals start to cluster in bigger parches. After that period the maple turns into the phase of competition for space. Habitat factors such as shading (r2=0,41 i r3=0,51) and organic layer

  1. Evidence for shifts to faster growth strategies in the new ranges of invasive alien plants

    PubMed Central

    Leishman, Michelle R; Cooke, Julia; Richardson, David M; Newman, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Summary Understanding the processes underlying the transition from introduction to naturalization and spread is an important goal of invasion ecology. Release from pests and pathogens in association with capacity for rapid growth is thought to confer an advantage for species in novel regions. We assessed leaf herbivory and leaf-level traits associated with growth strategy in the native and exotic ranges of 13 invasive plant species from 256 populations. Species were native to either the Western Cape region of South Africa, south-western Australia or south-eastern Australia and had been introduced to at least one of the other regions or to New Zealand. We tested for evidence of herbivore release and shifts in leaf traits between native and exotic ranges of the 13 species. Across all species, leaf herbivory, specific leaf area and leaf area were significantly different between native and exotic ranges while there were no significant differences across the 13 species found for leaf mass, assimilation rate, dark respiration or foliar nitrogen. Analysis at the species- and region-level showed that eight out of 13 species had reduced leaf herbivory in at least one exotic region compared to its native range. Six out of 13 species had significantly larger specific leaf area (SLA) in at least one exotic range region and five of those six species experienced reduced leaf herbivory. Increases in SLA were underpinned by increases in leaf area rather than reductions in leaf mass. No species showed differences in the direction of trait shifts from the native range between different exotic regions. This suggests that the driver of selection on these traits in the exotic range is consistent across regions and hence is most likely to be associated with factors linked with introduction to a novel environment, such as release from leaf herbivory, rather than with particular environmental conditions. Synthesis. These results provide evidence that introduction of a plant species into a

  2. Neighbour Origin and Ploidy Level Drive Impact of an Alien Invasive Plant Species in a Competitive Environment

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the potential mechanisms driving the spread and naturalization of alien plant species has increased over the past decades, but specific knowledge on the factors contributing to their increased impact in the introduced range is still urgently needed. The native European plant Centaurea stoebe occurs as two cytotypes with different life histories (monocarpic diploids, allo-polycarpic tetraploids). However, only tetraploids have been found in its introduced range in North America, where C. stoebe has become a most prominent plant invader. Here, we focus on the ploidy level of C. stoebe and origin of neighbouring community in explaining the high impact during the invasion of new sites in the introduced range. We conducted a mesocosm experiment under open-field conditions with the diploid (EU2x) and tetraploid (EU4x) cytotype of Centaurea stoebe from its native European (EU) range, and with the invasive tetraploid (NA4x) cytotype from the introduced North American (NA) range in competition with EU (old) or NA (new) neighbouring plant communities. In the presence of competition, the biomass of EU neighbouring community was reduced to a comparable level by all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe. In contrast, the biomass of the NA neighbouring community was reduced beyond when competing with tetraploid, but not with diploid C. stoebe. The fact that the biomass of all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe was correlated with the biomass of the EU neighbouring community, but not with that of the NA neighbouring community suggests that different mechanisms underlie the competitive interactions between C. stoebe and its old vs. new neighbouring communities, such as competition for the same limiting resources at home vs competition through novel allelo-chemicals or differential resource uptake strategies in the introduced range. We therefore caution to simply use the ecosystem impact assessed at home to predict impact in the introduced range. PMID:27203687

  3. Neighbour Origin and Ploidy Level Drive Impact of an Alien Invasive Plant Species in a Competitive Environment.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the potential mechanisms driving the spread and naturalization of alien plant species has increased over the past decades, but specific knowledge on the factors contributing to their increased impact in the introduced range is still urgently needed. The native European plant Centaurea stoebe occurs as two cytotypes with different life histories (monocarpic diploids, allo-polycarpic tetraploids). However, only tetraploids have been found in its introduced range in North America, where C. stoebe has become a most prominent plant invader. Here, we focus on the ploidy level of C. stoebe and origin of neighbouring community in explaining the high impact during the invasion of new sites in the introduced range. We conducted a mesocosm experiment under open-field conditions with the diploid (EU2x) and tetraploid (EU4x) cytotype of Centaurea stoebe from its native European (EU) range, and with the invasive tetraploid (NA4x) cytotype from the introduced North American (NA) range in competition with EU (old) or NA (new) neighbouring plant communities. In the presence of competition, the biomass of EU neighbouring community was reduced to a comparable level by all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe. In contrast, the biomass of the NA neighbouring community was reduced beyond when competing with tetraploid, but not with diploid C. stoebe. The fact that the biomass of all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe was correlated with the biomass of the EU neighbouring community, but not with that of the NA neighbouring community suggests that different mechanisms underlie the competitive interactions between C. stoebe and its old vs. new neighbouring communities, such as competition for the same limiting resources at home vs competition through novel allelo-chemicals or differential resource uptake strategies in the introduced range. We therefore caution to simply use the ecosystem impact assessed at home to predict impact in the introduced range. PMID:27203687

  4. Neighbour Origin and Ploidy Level Drive Impact of an Alien Invasive Plant Species in a Competitive Environment.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the potential mechanisms driving the spread and naturalization of alien plant species has increased over the past decades, but specific knowledge on the factors contributing to their increased impact in the introduced range is still urgently needed. The native European plant Centaurea stoebe occurs as two cytotypes with different life histories (monocarpic diploids, allo-polycarpic tetraploids). However, only tetraploids have been found in its introduced range in North America, where C. stoebe has become a most prominent plant invader. Here, we focus on the ploidy level of C. stoebe and origin of neighbouring community in explaining the high impact during the invasion of new sites in the introduced range. We conducted a mesocosm experiment under open-field conditions with the diploid (EU2x) and tetraploid (EU4x) cytotype of Centaurea stoebe from its native European (EU) range, and with the invasive tetraploid (NA4x) cytotype from the introduced North American (NA) range in competition with EU (old) or NA (new) neighbouring plant communities. In the presence of competition, the biomass of EU neighbouring community was reduced to a comparable level by all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe. In contrast, the biomass of the NA neighbouring community was reduced beyond when competing with tetraploid, but not with diploid C. stoebe. The fact that the biomass of all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe was correlated with the biomass of the EU neighbouring community, but not with that of the NA neighbouring community suggests that different mechanisms underlie the competitive interactions between C. stoebe and its old vs. new neighbouring communities, such as competition for the same limiting resources at home vs competition through novel allelo-chemicals or differential resource uptake strategies in the introduced range. We therefore caution to simply use the ecosystem impact assessed at home to predict impact in the introduced range.

  5. The prioritisation of invasive alien plant control projects using a multi-criteria decision model informed by stakeholder input and spatial data.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, G G; Le Maitre, D C; O'Farrell, P J; van Wilgen, B W

    2012-07-30

    Invasions by alien plants are a significant threat to the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide. The South African Working for Water program was established to address this problem. It needs to formulate objective and transparent priorities for clearing in the face of multiple and sometimes conflicting demands. This study used the analytic hierarchy process (a multi-criteria decision support technique) to develop and rank criteria for prioritising alien plant control operations in the Western Cape, South Africa. Stakeholder workshops were held to identify a goal and criteria and to conduct pair-wise comparisons to weight the criteria with respect to invasive alien plant control. The combination of stakeholder input (to develop decision models) with data-driven model solutions enabled us to include many alternatives (water catchments), that would otherwise not have been feasible. The most important criteria included the capacity to maintain gains made through control operations, the potential to enhance water resources and conserve biodiversity, and threats from priority invasive alien plant species. We selected spatial datasets and used them to generate weights that could be used to objectively compare alternatives with respect to agreed criteria. The analysis showed that there are many high priority catchments which are not receiving any funding and low priority catchments which are receiving substantial allocations. Clearly, there is a need for realigning priorities, including directing sufficient funds to the highest priority catchments to provide effective control. This approach provided a tractable, consensus-based solution that can be used to direct clearing operations.

  6. Will climate change drive alien invasive plants into areas of high protection value? An improved model-based regional assessment to prioritise the management of invasions.

    PubMed

    Vicente, J R; Fernandes, R F; Randin, C F; Broennimann, O; Gonçalves, J; Marcos, B; Pôças, I; Alves, P; Guisan, A; Honrado, J P

    2013-12-15

    Species distribution models (SDMs) studies suggest that, without control measures, the distribution of many alien invasive plant species (AIS) will increase under climate and land-use changes. Due to limited resources and large areas colonised by invaders, management and monitoring resources must be prioritised. Choices depend on the conservation value of the invaded areas and can be guided by SDM predictions. Here, we use a hierarchical SDM framework, complemented by connectivity analysis of AIS distributions, to evaluate current and future conflicts between AIS and high conservation value areas. We illustrate the framework with three Australian wattle (Acacia) species and patterns of conservation value in Northern Portugal. Results show that protected areas will likely suffer higher pressure from all three Acacia species under future climatic conditions. Due to this higher predicted conflict in protected areas, management might be prioritised for Acacia dealbata and Acacia melanoxylon. Connectivity of AIS suitable areas inside protected areas is currently lower than across the full study area, but this would change under future environmental conditions. Coupled SDM and connectivity analysis can support resource prioritisation for anticipation and monitoring of AIS impacts. However, further tests of this framework over a wide range of regions and organisms are still required before wide application. PMID:24161807

  7. Will climate change drive alien invasive plants into areas of high protection value? An improved model-based regional assessment to prioritise the management of invasions.

    PubMed

    Vicente, J R; Fernandes, R F; Randin, C F; Broennimann, O; Gonçalves, J; Marcos, B; Pôças, I; Alves, P; Guisan, A; Honrado, J P

    2013-12-15

    Species distribution models (SDMs) studies suggest that, without control measures, the distribution of many alien invasive plant species (AIS) will increase under climate and land-use changes. Due to limited resources and large areas colonised by invaders, management and monitoring resources must be prioritised. Choices depend on the conservation value of the invaded areas and can be guided by SDM predictions. Here, we use a hierarchical SDM framework, complemented by connectivity analysis of AIS distributions, to evaluate current and future conflicts between AIS and high conservation value areas. We illustrate the framework with three Australian wattle (Acacia) species and patterns of conservation value in Northern Portugal. Results show that protected areas will likely suffer higher pressure from all three Acacia species under future climatic conditions. Due to this higher predicted conflict in protected areas, management might be prioritised for Acacia dealbata and Acacia melanoxylon. Connectivity of AIS suitable areas inside protected areas is currently lower than across the full study area, but this would change under future environmental conditions. Coupled SDM and connectivity analysis can support resource prioritisation for anticipation and monitoring of AIS impacts. However, further tests of this framework over a wide range of regions and organisms are still required before wide application.

  8. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  9. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  10. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach.

  11. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  12. Indirect effects of habitat disturbance on invasion: nutritious litter from a grazing resistant plant favors alien over native Collembola.

    PubMed

    Leinaas, Hans Petter; Bengtsson, Jan; Janion-Scheepers, Charlene; Chown, Steven L

    2015-08-01

    Biological invasions are major threats to biodiversity, with impacts that may be compounded by other forms of environmental change. Observations of high density of the invasive springtail (Collembola), Hypogastrura manubrialis in heavily grazed renosterveld vegetation in the Western Cape, South Africa, raised the question of whether the invasion was favored by changes in plant litter quality associated with habitat disturbance in this vegetation type. To examine the likely mechanisms underlying the high abundance of H. manubrialis, cages with three types of naturally occurring litter with different nutrient content were placed out in the area and collected after different periods of time. Hypogastrura manubrialis was mainly found in the nutrient-rich litter of the yellowbush (Galenia africana), which responds positively to disturbance in the form of overgrazing. This suggests that invasion may have been facilitated by a positive interaction with this grazing resistant plant. By contrast, indigenous Collembola were least abundant in yellowbush litter. Negative correlations between high abundance of H. manubrialis and the abundance and diversity of other species suggest that competitive interactions might underlie low abundance of these other species at the patch level. Group behavior enables H. manubrialis to utilize efficiently this ephemeral, high quality resource, and might improve its competitive ability. The results suggest that interactions among environmental change drivers may lead to unforeseen invasion effects. H. manubrialis is not likely to be very successful in un-grazed renosterveld, but in combination with grazing, favoring the nutrient-rich yellowbush, it may become highly invasive. Field manipulations are required to fully verify these conclusions. PMID:26380678

  13. Indirect effects of habitat disturbance on invasion: nutritious litter from a grazing resistant plant favors alien over native Collembola

    PubMed Central

    Leinaas, Hans Petter; Bengtsson, Jan; Janion-Scheepers, Charlene; Chown, Steven L

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are major threats to biodiversity, with impacts that may be compounded by other forms of environmental change. Observations of high density of the invasive springtail (Collembola), Hypogastrura manubrialis in heavily grazed renosterveld vegetation in the Western Cape, South Africa, raised the question of whether the invasion was favored by changes in plant litter quality associated with habitat disturbance in this vegetation type. To examine the likely mechanisms underlying the high abundance of H. manubrialis, cages with three types of naturally occurring litter with different nutrient content were placed out in the area and collected after different periods of time. Hypogastrura manubrialis was mainly found in the nutrient-rich litter of the yellowbush (Galenia africana), which responds positively to disturbance in the form of overgrazing. This suggests that invasion may have been facilitated by a positive interaction with this grazing resistant plant. By contrast, indigenous Collembola were least abundant in yellowbush litter. Negative correlations between high abundance of H. manubrialis and the abundance and diversity of other species suggest that competitive interactions might underlie low abundance of these other species at the patch level. Group behavior enables H. manubrialis to utilize efficiently this ephemeral, high quality resource, and might improve its competitive ability. The results suggest that interactions among environmental change drivers may lead to unforeseen invasion effects. H. manubrialis is not likely to be very successful in un-grazed renosterveld, but in combination with grazing, favoring the nutrient-rich yellowbush, it may become highly invasive. Field manipulations are required to fully verify these conclusions. PMID:26380678

  14. Effect of the Internet Commerce on Dispersal Modes of Invasive Alien Species

    PubMed Central

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Moroń, Dawid; Sutherland, William J.; Kuszewska, Karolina; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2014-01-01

    The spread of invasive alien plants has considerable environmental and economic consequences, and is one of the most challenging ecological problems. The spread of invasive alien plant species depends largely on long-distance dispersal, which is typically linked with human activity. The increasing domination of the internet will have impacts upon almost all components of our lives, including potential consequences for the spread of invasive species. To determine whether the rise of Internet commerce has any consequences for the spread of invasive alien plant species, we studied the sale of thirteen of some of the most harmful Europe invasive alien plant species sold as decorative plants from twenty-eight large, well known gardening shops in Poland that sold both via the Internet and through traditional customer sales. We also analyzed temporal changes in the number of invasive plants sold in the largest Polish internet auction portal. When sold through the Internet invasive alien plant species were transported considerably longer distances than for traditional sales. For internet sales, seeds of invasive alien plant species were transported further than were live plants saplings; this was not the case for traditional sales. Also, with e-commerce the shape of distance distribution were flattened with low skewness comparing with traditional sale where the distributions were peaked and right-skewed. Thus, e-commerce created novel modes of long-distance dispersal, while traditional sale resembled more natural dispersal modes. Moreover, analysis of sale in the biggest Polish internet auction portal showed that the number of alien specimens sold via the internet has increased markedly over recent years. Therefore internet commerce is likely to increase the rate at which ecological communities become homogenized and increase spread of invasive species by increasing the rate of long distance dispersal. PMID:24932498

  15. Effect of the internet commerce on dispersal modes of invasive alien species.

    PubMed

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M H; Moroń, Dawid; Sutherland, William J; Kuszewska, Karolina; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2014-01-01

    The spread of invasive alien plants has considerable environmental and economic consequences, and is one of the most challenging ecological problems. The spread of invasive alien plant species depends largely on long-distance dispersal, which is typically linked with human activity. The increasing domination of the internet will have impacts upon almost all components of our lives, including potential consequences for the spread of invasive species. To determine whether the rise of Internet commerce has any consequences for the spread of invasive alien plant species, we studied the sale of thirteen of some of the most harmful Europe invasive alien plant species sold as decorative plants from twenty-eight large, well known gardening shops in Poland that sold both via the Internet and through traditional customer sales. We also analyzed temporal changes in the number of invasive plants sold in the largest Polish internet auction portal. When sold through the Internet invasive alien plant species were transported considerably longer distances than for traditional sales. For internet sales, seeds of invasive alien plant species were transported further than were live plants saplings; this was not the case for traditional sales. Also, with e-commerce the shape of distance distribution were flattened with low skewness comparing with traditional sale where the distributions were peaked and right-skewed. Thus, e-commerce created novel modes of long-distance dispersal, while traditional sale resembled more natural dispersal modes. Moreover, analysis of sale in the biggest Polish internet auction portal showed that the number of alien specimens sold via the internet has increased markedly over recent years. Therefore internet commerce is likely to increase the rate at which ecological communities become homogenized and increase spread of invasive species by increasing the rate of long distance dispersal. PMID:24932498

  16. Effect of the internet commerce on dispersal modes of invasive alien species.

    PubMed

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M H; Moroń, Dawid; Sutherland, William J; Kuszewska, Karolina; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2014-01-01

    The spread of invasive alien plants has considerable environmental and economic consequences, and is one of the most challenging ecological problems. The spread of invasive alien plant species depends largely on long-distance dispersal, which is typically linked with human activity. The increasing domination of the internet will have impacts upon almost all components of our lives, including potential consequences for the spread of invasive species. To determine whether the rise of Internet commerce has any consequences for the spread of invasive alien plant species, we studied the sale of thirteen of some of the most harmful Europe invasive alien plant species sold as decorative plants from twenty-eight large, well known gardening shops in Poland that sold both via the Internet and through traditional customer sales. We also analyzed temporal changes in the number of invasive plants sold in the largest Polish internet auction portal. When sold through the Internet invasive alien plant species were transported considerably longer distances than for traditional sales. For internet sales, seeds of invasive alien plant species were transported further than were live plants saplings; this was not the case for traditional sales. Also, with e-commerce the shape of distance distribution were flattened with low skewness comparing with traditional sale where the distributions were peaked and right-skewed. Thus, e-commerce created novel modes of long-distance dispersal, while traditional sale resembled more natural dispersal modes. Moreover, analysis of sale in the biggest Polish internet auction portal showed that the number of alien specimens sold via the internet has increased markedly over recent years. Therefore internet commerce is likely to increase the rate at which ecological communities become homogenized and increase spread of invasive species by increasing the rate of long distance dispersal.

  17. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species) and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring. PMID:26882479

  18. Uncertainty in invasive alien species listing.

    PubMed

    McGeoch, Melodie A; Spear, Dian; Kleynhans, Elizabeth J; Marais, Elrike

    2012-04-01

    Lists of invasive alien species (IAS) are essential for preventing, controlling, and reporting on the state of biological invasions. However, these lists suffer from a range of errors, with serious consequences for their use in science, policy, and management. Here we (1) collated and classified errors in IAS listing using a taxonomy of uncertainty; and (2) estimated the size of these errors using data from a completed listing exercise, with the purpose of better understanding, communicating, and dealing with them. Ten errors were identified. Most result from a lack of knowledge or measurement error (epistemic uncertainty), although two were a result of context dependence and vagueness (linguistic uncertainty). Estimates of the size of the effects of these errors were substantial in a number of cases and unknown in others. Most errors, and those with the largest estimated effect, result in underestimates of IAS numbers. However, there are a number of errors where the size and direction of the effect remains poorly understood. The effect of differences in opinion between specialists is potentially large, particularly for data-poor taxa and regions, and does not have a clearly directional or consistent effect on the size and composition of IAS lists. Five tactics emerged as important for reducing uncertainty in IAS lists, and while uncertainty will never be removed entirely, these approaches will significantly improve the transparency, repeatability, and comparability of IAS lists. Understanding the errors and uncertainties that occur during the process of listing invasive species, as well as the potential size and nature of their effects on IAS lists, is key to improving the value of these lists for governments, management agencies, and conservationists. Such understanding is increasingly important given positive trends in biological invasion and the associated risks to biodiversity and biosecurity.

  19. Uncertainty in invasive alien species listing.

    PubMed

    McGeoch, Melodie A; Spear, Dian; Kleynhans, Elizabeth J; Marais, Elrike

    2012-04-01

    Lists of invasive alien species (IAS) are essential for preventing, controlling, and reporting on the state of biological invasions. However, these lists suffer from a range of errors, with serious consequences for their use in science, policy, and management. Here we (1) collated and classified errors in IAS listing using a taxonomy of uncertainty; and (2) estimated the size of these errors using data from a completed listing exercise, with the purpose of better understanding, communicating, and dealing with them. Ten errors were identified. Most result from a lack of knowledge or measurement error (epistemic uncertainty), although two were a result of context dependence and vagueness (linguistic uncertainty). Estimates of the size of the effects of these errors were substantial in a number of cases and unknown in others. Most errors, and those with the largest estimated effect, result in underestimates of IAS numbers. However, there are a number of errors where the size and direction of the effect remains poorly understood. The effect of differences in opinion between specialists is potentially large, particularly for data-poor taxa and regions, and does not have a clearly directional or consistent effect on the size and composition of IAS lists. Five tactics emerged as important for reducing uncertainty in IAS lists, and while uncertainty will never be removed entirely, these approaches will significantly improve the transparency, repeatability, and comparability of IAS lists. Understanding the errors and uncertainties that occur during the process of listing invasive species, as well as the potential size and nature of their effects on IAS lists, is key to improving the value of these lists for governments, management agencies, and conservationists. Such understanding is increasingly important given positive trends in biological invasion and the associated risks to biodiversity and biosecurity. PMID:22645824

  20. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    PubMed

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management.

  1. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting

    PubMed Central

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management. PMID:24197409

  2. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    PubMed

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management. PMID:24197409

  3. Recreational trails as corridors for alien plants in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, Floye H.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Alien plant species often use areas of heavy human activity for habitat and dispersal. Roads and utility corridors have been shown to harbor more alien species than the surrounding vegetation and are therefore believed to contribute to alien plant persistence and spread. Recreational trails represent another corridor that could harbor alien species and aid their spread. Effective management of invasive species requires understanding how alien plants are distributed at trailheads and trails and how their dispersal may be influenced by native vegetation. Our overall goal was to investigate the distribution of alien plants at trailheads and trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. At trailheads, we found that although the number of alien species was less than the number of native species, alien plant cover ( x̄=50%) did not differ from native plant cover, and we observed a large number of alien seedlings in the soil seed bank, suggesting that alien plants are a large component of trailhead communities and will continue to be so in the future. Along trails, we found higher alien species richness and cover on trail (as opposed to 4 m from the trail) in 3 out of 4 vegetation types, and we observed higher alien richness and cover in meadows than in other vegetation types. Plant communities at both trailheads and trails, as well as seed banks at trailheads, contain substantial diversity and abundance of alien plants. These results suggest that recreational trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado may function as corridors that facilitate the spread of alien species into wildlands. Our results suggest that control of alien plants should begin at trailheads where there are large numbers of aliens and that control efforts on trails should be prioritized by vegetation type.

  4. Invasive species information networks: Collaboration at multiple scales for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, A.; Jarnevich, C.; Madsen, J.; Westbrooks, R.; Fournier, C.; Mehrhoff, L.; Browne, M.; Graham, J.; Sellers, E.

    2009-01-01

    Accurate analysis of present distributions and effective modeling of future distributions of invasive alien species (IAS) are both highly dependent on the availability and accessibility of occurrence data and natural history information about the species. Invasive alien species monitoring and detection networks (such as the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth) generate occurrence data at local and regional levels within the United States, which are shared through the US National Institute of Invasive Species Science. The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network's Invasives Information Network (I3N), facilitates cooperation on sharing invasive species occurrence data throughout the Western Hemisphere. The I3N and other national and regional networks expose their data globally via the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN). International and interdisciplinary cooperation on data sharing strengthens cooperation on strategies and responses to invasions. However, limitations to effective collaboration among invasive species networks leading to successful early detection and rapid response to invasive species include: lack of interoperability; data accessibility; funding; and technical expertise. This paper proposes various solutions to these obstacles at different geographic levels and briefly describes success stories from the invasive species information networks mentioned above. Using biological informatics to facilitate global information sharing is especially critical in invasive species science, as research has shown that one of the best indicators of the invasiveness of a species is whether it has been invasive elsewhere. Data must also be shared across disciplines because natural history information (e.g. diet, predators, habitat requirements, etc.) about a species in its native range is vital for effective prevention, detection, and rapid response to an invasion. Finally, it has been our

  5. Recent cases of invasive alien mites and ticks in Japan: why is a regulatory framework needed?

    PubMed

    Goka, Koichi; Okabe, Kimiko; Takano, Ai

    2013-02-01

    Japan's economy depends on the importation of natural resources, and as a result, Japan is subjected to a high risk of biological invasion. Although Japan has quarantine systems to protect ecosystems, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and human health against alien species, economic globalization has resulted in an ever-increasing risk of invasion. Mite invasion is no exception. Alien species that impact natural ecosystems are regulated in Japan by the Invasive Alien Species Act. However, the law focuses only on visibly recognizable species, so that species too small to see, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and mites, are beyond the scope of this law. The Plant Protection Law has limited the introduction of alien pests, including mites, that are harmful to agricultural crops. Recently, the liberalization of global trade policies have increased pressure to loosen regulations on various pests, including spider mites. Infectious diseases and their causative species are quarantined under the Rabies Prevention Law, the Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control Law, and the Human Infectious Diseases Control Law, but these laws do not cover wildlife diseases. The most serious problem is that wild reptiles, which can be carriers of ticks and tick-borne diseases, can be freely introduced to Japan. These loopholes in Japan's regulatory system have resulted in mite and tick invasions, which affect not only wildlife communities and human society but also endemism and biological diversity of natural mite populations.

  6. Invasion and Management of Agricultural Alien Insects in China.

    PubMed

    Wan, Fang-Hao; Yang, Nian-Wan

    2016-01-01

    China is the world's fourth-largest country in terms of landmass. Its highly diverse biogeography presents opportunities for many invasive alien insects. However, physical and climate barriers sometimes prevent locally occurring species from spreading. China has 560 confirmed invasive alien species; 125 are insect pests, and 92 of these damage the agricultural ecosystem. The estimated annual economic loss due to alien invasive species is more than $18.9 billion. The most harmful invasive insects exhibit some common characteristics, such as high reproduction, competitive dominance, and high tolerance, and benefit from mutualist facilitation interactions. Regional cropping system structure adjustments have resulted in mono-agricultural ecosystems in cotton and other staple crops, providing opportunities for monophagous insect pests. Furthermore, human dietary shifts to fruits and vegetables and smallholder-based farming systems result in highly diverse agricultural ecosystems, which provide resource opportunities for polyphagous insects. Multiple cropping and widespread use of greenhouses provide continuous food and winter habitats for insect pests, greatly extending their geographic range. The current management system consists of early-warning, monitoring, eradication, and spread blocking technologies. This review provides valuable new synthetic information on integrated management practices based mainly on biological control for a number of invasive species. We encourage farmers and extension workers to be more involved in training and further research for novel protection methods that takes into consideration end users' needs.

  7. Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities.

    PubMed

    Early, Regan; Bradley, Bethany A; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Lawler, Joshua J; Olden, Julian D; Blumenthal, Dana M; Gonzalez, Patrick; Grosholz, Edwin D; Ibañez, Ines; Miller, Luke P; Sorte, Cascade J B; Tatem, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalization facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of twenty-first century globalization and environmental change, and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing economies and biodiversity hotspots. The dominant invasion vectors differ between high-income countries (imports, particularly of plants and pets) and low-income countries (air travel). Uniting data on the causes of introduction and establishment can improve early-warning and eradication schemes. Most countries have limited capacity to act against invasions. In particular, we reveal a clear need for proactive invasion strategies in areas with high poverty levels, high biodiversity and low historical levels of invasion. PMID:27549569

  8. Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities

    PubMed Central

    Early, Regan; Bradley, Bethany A.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Olden, Julian D.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Gonzalez, Patrick; Grosholz, Edwin D.; Ibañez, Ines; Miller, Luke P.; Sorte, Cascade J. B.; Tatem, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalization facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of twenty-first century globalization and environmental change, and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing economies and biodiversity hotspots. The dominant invasion vectors differ between high-income countries (imports, particularly of plants and pets) and low-income countries (air travel). Uniting data on the causes of introduction and establishment can improve early-warning and eradication schemes. Most countries have limited capacity to act against invasions. In particular, we reveal a clear need for proactive invasion strategies in areas with high poverty levels, high biodiversity and low historical levels of invasion. PMID:27549569

  9. Index of Alien Impact: A method for evaluating potential ecological impact of alien plant species

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien plant species are stressors to ecosystems and indicators of reduced ecosystem integrity. The magnitude of the stress reflects not only the quantity of aliens present, but also the quality of their interactions with native ecosystems. We develop an Index of Alien Impact (IAI...

  10. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa J

    2012-08-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  11. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Brennan, Teresa J.

    2012-01-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  12. How Do Alien Plants Fit in the Space-Phylogeny Matrix?

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

  13. Alien plant dynamics following fire in mediterranean-climate California shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Baer-Keeley, M.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2005-01-01

    Over 75 species of alien plants were recorded during the first five years after fire in southern California shrublands, most of which were European annuals. Both cover and richness of aliens varied between years and plant association. Alien cover was lowest in the first postfire year in all plant associations and remained low during succession in chaparral but increased in sage scrub. Alien cover and richness were significantly correlated with year (time since disturbance) and with precipitation in both coastal and interior sage scrub associations. Hypothesized factors determining alien dominance were tested with structural equation modeling. Models that included nitrogen deposition and distance from the coast were not significant, but with those variables removed we obtained a significant model that gave an R2 = 0.60 for the response variable of fifth year alien dominance. Factors directly affecting alien dominance were (1) woody canopy closure and (2) alien seed banks. Significant indirect effects were (3) fire intensity, (4) fire history, (5) prefire stand structure, (6) aridity, and (7) community type. According to this model the most critical factor influencing aliens is the rapid return of the shrub and subshrub canopy. Thus, in these communities a single functional type (woody plants) appears to the most critical element controlling alien invasion and persistence. Fire history is an important indirect factor because it affects both prefire stand structure and postfire alien seed banks. Despite being fire-prone ecosystems, these shrublands are not adapted to fire per se, but rather to a particular fire regime. Alterations in the fire regime produce a very different selective environment, and high fire frequency changes the selective regime to favor aliens. This study does not support the widely held belief that prescription burning is a viable management practice for controlling alien species on semiarid landscapes. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of

  14. An Assessment of Stakeholder Perceptions and Management of Noxious Alien Plants in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu, Jara; Vilà, Montserrat; Hulme, Philip E.

    2009-06-01

    Despite biological invasions being a worldwide phenomenon causing significant ecological, economic, and human welfare impacts, there is limited understanding regarding how environmental managers perceive the problem and subsequently manage alien species. Spanish environmental managers were surveyed using questionnaires to (1) analyze the extent to which they perceive plant invasions as a problem; (2) identify the status, occurrence, and impacts of noxious alien plant species; (3) assess current effort and expenditure targeting alien plant management; and, finally, (4) identify the criteria they use to set priorities for management. In comparison to other environmental concerns, plant invasions are perceived as only moderately problematic and mechanical control is the most valued and frequently used strategy to cope with plant invasions in Spain. Based on 70 questionnaires received, 193 species are considered noxious, 109 of which have been the subject of management activities. More than 90% of species are found in at least one protected area. According to respondents, the most frequently managed species are the most widespread across administrative regions and the ones perceived as causing the highest impacts. The perception of impact seems to be independent of their invasion status, since only half of the species identified as noxious are believed to be invasive in Spain, while 43% of species thought to only be casual aliens are causing a high impact. Records of management costs are poor and the few data indicate that the total actual expenditure amounted to 50,492,437 € in the last decade. The majority of respondents stated that management measures are insufficient to control alien plants due to limited economic resources, lack of public awareness and support, and an absence of coordination among different public administrations. Managers also expressed their concern about the fact that much scientific research is concerned with the ecology of alien plants

  15. Essential elements of online information networks on invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, A.; Sellers, E.; Grosse, A.; Xie, Y.

    2006-01-01

    In order to be effective, information must be placed in the proper context and organized in a manner that is logical and (preferably) standardized. Recently, invasive alien species (IAS) scientists have begun to create online networks to share their information concerning IAS prevention and control. At a special networking session at the Beijing International Symposium on Biological Invasions, an online Eastern Asia-North American IAS Information Network (EA-NA Network) was proposed. To prepare for the development of this network, and to provide models for other regional collaborations, we compare four examples of global, regional, and national online IAS information networks: the Global Invasive Species Information Network, the Invasives Information Network of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network, the Chinese Species Information System, and the Invasive Species Information Node of the US National Biological Information Infrastructure. We conclude that IAS networks require a common goal, dedicated leaders, effective communication, and broad endorsement, in order to obtain sustainable, long-term funding and long-term stability. They need to start small, use the experience of other networks, partner with others, and showcase benefits. Global integration and synergy among invasive species networks will succeed with contributions from both the top-down and the bottom-up. ?? 2006 Springer.

  16. The role of the World Trade Organization and the 'three sisters' (the World Organisation for Animal Health, the International Plant Protection Convention and the Codex Alimentarius Commission) in the control of invasive alien species and the preservation of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Kahn, S; Pelgrim, W

    2010-08-01

    The missions of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) include the design of surveillance and control methods for infectious transboundary animal diseases (including zoonoses), the provision of guarantees concerning animal health and animal production food safety, and the setting of standards for, and promotion of, animal welfare. The OIE role in setting standards for the sanitary safety of international trade in animals and animal products is formally recognised in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). While the primary focus of the OIE is on animal diseases and zoonoses, the OIE has also been working within the WTO framework to examine possible contributions the organisation can make to achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, particularly to preventing the global spread of invasive alien species (IAS). However, at the present time, setting standards for invasive species (other than those connected to the cause and distribution of diseases listed by the OIE) is outside the OIE mandate. Any future expansion of the OIE mandate would need to be decided by its Members and resources (expertise and financial contributions) for an extended standard-setting work programme secured. The other international standard-setting organisations referenced by the SPS Agreement are the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). The IPPC mandate and work programme address IAS and the protection of biodiversity. The CAC is not involved in this field. PMID:20919590

  17. The role of the World Trade Organization and the 'three sisters' (the World Organisation for Animal Health, the International Plant Protection Convention and the Codex Alimentarius Commission) in the control of invasive alien species and the preservation of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Kahn, S; Pelgrim, W

    2010-08-01

    The missions of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) include the design of surveillance and control methods for infectious transboundary animal diseases (including zoonoses), the provision of guarantees concerning animal health and animal production food safety, and the setting of standards for, and promotion of, animal welfare. The OIE role in setting standards for the sanitary safety of international trade in animals and animal products is formally recognised in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). While the primary focus of the OIE is on animal diseases and zoonoses, the OIE has also been working within the WTO framework to examine possible contributions the organisation can make to achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, particularly to preventing the global spread of invasive alien species (IAS). However, at the present time, setting standards for invasive species (other than those connected to the cause and distribution of diseases listed by the OIE) is outside the OIE mandate. Any future expansion of the OIE mandate would need to be decided by its Members and resources (expertise and financial contributions) for an extended standard-setting work programme secured. The other international standard-setting organisations referenced by the SPS Agreement are the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). The IPPC mandate and work programme address IAS and the protection of biodiversity. The CAC is not involved in this field.

  18. Determining the Hydrological Benefits of Clearing Invasive Alien Vegetation on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowell, M. S.; Le Maitre, D. C.; Esler, K. J.; Kalwij, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) threaten biodiversity and ecosystem processes due to their ability to outcompete native vegetation for resources such as water, nutrients, light and space. IAPs utilize water differently for different hydrogeological conditions. The aim of this study was to explore the water use by invasive vegetation for three different hydrogeological scenarios using remote sensing and the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL). The application of remote sensing techniques to map and monitor IAPs is relatively new in South Africa. Not only will the findings of this study contribute to more effective clearing strategies for the Working for Water programme, but will also provide conservation planners and managers with a cost and time effective technique for mapping invasive vegetation and updating land use maps in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

  19. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study.

  20. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study. PMID:22998613

  1. Jack-of-all-trades: phenotypic plasticity facilitates the invasion of an alien slug species.

    PubMed

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-11-22

    Invasive alien species might benefit from phenotypic plasticity by being able to (i) maintain fitness in stressful environments ('robust'), (ii) increase fitness in favourable environments ('opportunistic'), or (iii) combine both abilities ('robust and opportunistic'). Here, we applied this framework, for the first time, to an animal, the invasive slug, Arion lusitanicus, and tested (i) whether it has a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity compared with a congeneric native slug, Arion fuscus, and (ii) whether it is robust, opportunistic or both. During one year, we exposed specimens of both species to a range of temperatures along an altitudinal gradient (700-2400 m a.s.l.) and to high and low food levels, and we compared the responsiveness of two fitness traits: survival and egg production. During summer, the invasive species had a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity, and at high temperatures and low food levels, it survived better and produced more eggs than A. fuscus, representing the robust phenotype. During winter, A. lusitanicus displayed a less adaptive phenotype than A. fuscus. We show that the framework developed for plants is also very useful for a better mechanistic understanding of animal invasions. Warmer summers and milder winters might lead to an expansion of this invasive species to higher altitudes and enhance its spread in the lowlands, supporting the concern that global climate change will increase biological invasions.

  2. An Extensive Alien Plant Inventory from the Inhabited Areas of Galapagos

    PubMed Central

    Guézou, Anne; Trueman, Mandy; Buddenhagen, Christopher Evan; Chamorro, Susana; Guerrero, Ana Mireya; Pozo, Paola; Atkinson, Rachel

    2010-01-01

    Background Plant invasions are causing habitat degradation in Galapagos. Problems are concentrated on the four inhabited islands. Plants introduced to rural areas in the humid highlands and urban areas on the arid coast act as foci for invasion of the surrounding Galapagos National Park. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we present results of the most comprehensive inventory to date of alien vascular plants in the inhabited areas of Galapagos. The survey was conducted between 2002 and 2007, in 6031 properties (97% of the total) on Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands. In total 754 alien vascular plant taxa were recorded, representing 468 genera in 123 families. Dicotyledons represented 554 taxa, monocotyledons 183, there were 7 gymnosperms and 10 pteridophytes. Almost half (363) of the taxa were herbaceous. The most represented families were Fabaceae (sensu lato), Asteraceae and Poaceae. The three most recorded species in the humid rural areas were Psidium guajava, Passiflora edulis and Bryophyllum pinnatum, and in the dry urban areas, Aloe vera, Portulaca oleracea and Carica papaya. In total, 264 (35%) taxa were recorded as naturalized. The most common use for taxa was ornamental (52%). Conclusions/Significance This extensive survey has increased the known alien vascular flora of Galapagos by 257 species, giving a ratio of alien to native taxa of 1.57∶1. It provides a crucial baseline for plant invasion management in the archipelago and contributes data for meta analyses of invasion processes worldwide. A repeat of the survey in the future would act as an effective early detection tool to help avoid further invasion of the Galapagos National Park. PMID:20421999

  3. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew L.

    2003-01-01

    1. Deserts are one of the least invaded ecosystems by plants, possibly due to naturally low levels of soil nitrogen. Increased levels of soil nitrogen caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition may increase the dominance of invasive alien plants and decrease the diversity of plant communities in desert regions, as it has in other ecosystems. Deserts should be particularly susceptible to even small increases in soil nitrogen levels because the ratio of increased nitrogen to plant biomass is higher compared with most other ecosystems.2. The hypothesis that increased soil nitrogen will lead to increased dominance by alien plants and decreased plant species diversity was tested in field experiments using nitrogen additions at three sites in the in the Mojave Desert of western North America.3. Responses of alien and native annual plants to soil nitrogen additions were measured in terms of density, biomass and species richness. Effects of nitrogen additions were evaluated during 2 years of contrasting rainfall and annual plant productivity. The rate of nitrogen addition was similar to published rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in urban areas adjacent to the Mojave Desert (3·2 g N m−2 year−1). The dominant alien species included the grasses Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus) and the forb Erodium cicutarium.4. Soil nitrogen addition increased the density and biomass of alien annual plants during both years, but decreased density, biomass and species richness of native species only during the year of highest annual plant productivity. The negative response of natives may have been due to increased competitive stress for soil water and other nutrients caused by the increased productivity of aliens.5. The effects of nitrogen additions were significant at both ends of a natural nutrient gradient, beneath creosote bush Larrea tridentata canopies and in the interspaces between them, although responses varied among

  4. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    1. Deserts are one of the least invaded ecosystems by plants, possibly due to naturally low levels of soil nitrogen. Increased levels of soil nitrogen caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition may increase the dominance of invasive alien plants and decrease the diversity of plant communities in desert regions, as it has in other ecosystems. Deserts should be particularly susceptible to even small increases in soil nitrogen levels because the ratio of increased nitrogen to plant biomass is higher compared with most other ecosystems. 2. The hypothesis that increased soil nitrogen will lead to increased dominance by alien plants and decreased plant species diversity was tested in field experiments using nitrogen additions at three sites in the in the Mojave Desert of western North America. 3. Responses of alien and native annual plants to soil nitrogen additions were measured in terms of density, biomass and species richness. Effects of nitrogen additions were evaluated during 2 years of contrasting rainfall and annual plant productivity. The rate of nitrogen addition was similar to published rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in urban areas adjacent to the Mojave Desert (3.2 g N m-2 year-1). The dominant alien species included the grasses Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus) and the forb Erodium cicutarium. 4. Soil nitrogen addition increased the density and biomass of alien annual plants during both years, but decreased density, biomass and species richness of native species only during the year of highest annual plant productivity. The negative response of natives may have been due to increased competitive stress for soil water and other nutrients caused by the increased productivity of aliens. 5. The effects of nitrogen additions were significant at both ends of a natural nutrient gradient, beneath creosote bush Larrea tridentata canopies and in the interspaces between them, although responses varied among individual

  5. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  6. Impact of an Alien Invasive Shrub on Ecology of Native and Alien Invasive Mosquito Species (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Gardner, Allison M; Bara, Jeffrey J

    2015-10-01

    We examined how leaf litter of alien invasive honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii Rupr.) either alone or in combination with leaf litter of one of two native tree species, sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), affects the ecology of Culex restuans Theobald, Ochlerotatus triseriatus Say, and Ochlerotatus japonicus Theobald. Experimental mesocosms containing single species litter or a mixture of honeysuckle and one of two native tree species litter were established at South Farms and Trelease Woods study sites in Urbana, IL, and examined for their effect on 1) oviposition site selection by the three mosquito species, and 2) adult production and body size of Oc. triseriatus and Oc. japonicus. There were no significant effects of study site and leaf treatment on Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus oviposition preference and adult production. In contrast, significantly more Cx. restuans eggs rafts were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Significantly larger adult females of Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Combining honeysuckle litter with native tree species litter had additive effects on Cx. restuans oviposition preference and Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus body size, with the exception of honeysuckle and northern red oak litter combination, which had antagonistic effects on Oc. triseriatus body size. We conclude that input of honeysuckle litter into container aquatic habitats may alter the life history traits of vector mosquito species.

  7. Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hentley, William T; Vanbergen, Adam J; Beckerman, Andrew P; Brien, Melanie N; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-07-01

    Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP). Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species. We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis. Using a population dynamics model parameterized with these experimental data, we predicted how intraguild predation, accommodating interspecific behavioural interactions, might impact the abundance of the native and invasive alien species over time. When competing for the same aphid resource, the feeding rate of A. bipunctata significantly increased compared to the feeding in isolation, while the feeding rate of H. axyridis significantly decreased. This suggests that despite significant declines in the UK, A. bipunctata is a superior competitor to the intraguild predator H. axyridis. In contrast, the behaviour of non-declining C. septempunctata was unaltered by the presence of H. axyridis. Our experimental data show the differential behavioural plasticity of competing native and invasive alien predators, but do not explain A. bipunctata declines observed in the UK. Using behavioural plasticity as a parameter in a population dynamic model for A. bipunctata and H. axyridis, coexistence is predicted between the native and invasive alien following an initial period of decline in the native species. We

  8. Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hentley, William T; Vanbergen, Adam J; Beckerman, Andrew P; Brien, Melanie N; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-07-01

    Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP). Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species. We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis. Using a population dynamics model parameterized with these experimental data, we predicted how intraguild predation, accommodating interspecific behavioural interactions, might impact the abundance of the native and invasive alien species over time. When competing for the same aphid resource, the feeding rate of A. bipunctata significantly increased compared to the feeding in isolation, while the feeding rate of H. axyridis significantly decreased. This suggests that despite significant declines in the UK, A. bipunctata is a superior competitor to the intraguild predator H. axyridis. In contrast, the behaviour of non-declining C. septempunctata was unaltered by the presence of H. axyridis. Our experimental data show the differential behavioural plasticity of competing native and invasive alien predators, but do not explain A. bipunctata declines observed in the UK. Using behavioural plasticity as a parameter in a population dynamic model for A. bipunctata and H. axyridis, coexistence is predicted between the native and invasive alien following an initial period of decline in the native species. We

  9. Fire management impacts on invasive plants in the western United States.

    PubMed

    Keeley, Jon E

    2006-04-01

    Fire management practices affect alien plant invasions in diverse ways. I considered the impact of six fire management practices on alien invasions: fire suppression, forest fuel reduction, prescription burning in crown-fire ecosystems, fuel breaks, targeting of noxious aliens, and postfire rehabilitation. Most western United States forests have had fire successfully excluded for unnaturally long periods of time, and this appears to have favored the exclusion of alien plant species. Forest fuel reduction programs have the potential for greatly enhancing forest vulnerability to alien invasions. In part this is due to the focus on reestablishing pre-Euro-American fire regimes on a landscape that differs from pre-Euro-American landscapes in the abundance of aggressive non-native species. We may be forced to choose between restoring "natural"fire regimes or altering fire regimes to favor communities of native species. Intensive grazing in many western forests may exacerbate the alien problem after fire and temporally decoupling grazing and fire restoration may reduce the alien threat. Many shrubland ecosystems such as the Intermountain West sagebrush steppe or California chaparral have a natural, high-intensity crown fire regime that is less amenable to forest restoration tactics. Historical use of prescribed fire for type conversion of shrublands to more useful grazing lands has played some role in the massive annual grass invasion that threatens these shrublands. Fuel breaks pose a special invasive plant risk because they promote alien invasion along corridors into wildland areas. Use of prescription burning to eliminate noxious aliens has had questionable success, particularly when applied to disturbance-dependent annuals, and success is most likely when coupled with ecosystem restoration that alters the competitive balance between aliens and natives. Artificial seeding of alien species as a form of postfire stabilization appears to cause more problems than it

  10. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    PubMed

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  11. Curvilinear Effects of Invasive Plants on Plant Diversity: Plant Community Invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants. PMID:25426856

  12. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    PubMed

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants. PMID:25426856

  13. Alien interference: disruption of infochemical networks by invasive insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Harvey, Jeff; van Dam, Nicole M; Cristescu, Simona M; Schiestl, Florian P; Cozzolino, Salvatore; Anderson, Peter; Larsson, Mattias C; Kindlmann, Pavel; Danner, Holger; Turlings, Ted C J

    2014-08-01

    Insect herbivores trigger various biochemical changes in plants, and as a consequence, affect other organisms that are associated with these plants. Such plant-mediated indirect effects often involve herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that can be used as cues for foraging herbivores and their natural enemies, and are also known to affect pollinator attraction. In tightly co-evolved systems, the different trophic levels are expected to display adaptive response to changes in HIPVs caused by native herbivores. But what if a new herbivore invades such a system? Current literature suggests that exotic herbivores have the potential to affect HIPV production, and that plant responses to novel herbivores are likely to depend on phylogenetic relatedness between the invader and the native species. Here we review the different ways exotic herbivores can disrupt chemically mediated interactions between plants and the key users of HIPVs: herbivores, pollinators, and members of the third (i.e. predators and parasitoids) and fourth (i.e. hyperparasitoids) trophic levels. Current theory on insect invasions needs to consider that disruptive effects of invaders on infochemical networks can have a short-term impact on the population dynamics of native insects and plants, as well as exerting potentially negative consequences for the functioning of native ecosystems.

  14. Physico-chemical variables determining the invasion risk of freshwater habitats by alien mollusks and crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Früh, Denise; Stoll, Stefan; Haase, Peter

    2012-11-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the invasion risk of freshwater habitats and determine the environmental variables that are most favorable for the establishment of alien amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves. A total of 981 sites located in streams and rivers in Germany. Therefore we analyzed presence-absence data of alien and indigenous amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves from 981 sites located in small to large rivers in Germany with regard to eight environmental variables: chloride, ammonium, nitrate, oxygen, orthophosphate, distance to the next navigable waterway, and maximum and minimum temperature. Degraded sites close to navigable waters were exposed to an increased invasion risk by all major groups of alien species. Moreover, invaded sites by all four groups of alien species were similar, whereas the sites where indigenous members of the four groups occurred were more variable. Increased temperature and chloride concentration as well as decreased oxygen concentration were identified as major factors for the invasibility of a site. Species-specific analyses showed that chloride was among the three most predictive environmental variables determining species assemblage in all four taxonomic groups. Also distance to the next navigable waterways was similarly important. Additionally, the minimum temperature was among the most important variables for amphipods, isopods, and bivalves. The bias in the occurrence patterns of alien species toward similarly degraded habitats suggests that the members of all four major groups of freshwater alien species are a non-random, more tolerant set of species. Their common tolerance to salinity, high temperature, and oxygen depletion may reflect that most alien species were spread in ballast water tanks, where strong selective pressures, particularly temperature fluctuations, oxygen depletion, and increased salinity may create a bottleneck for successful invasion. Knowledge on the major factors that influence

  15. Physico-chemical variables determining the invasion risk of freshwater habitats by alien mollusks and crustaceans

    PubMed Central

    Früh, Denise; Stoll, Stefan; Haase, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the invasion risk of freshwater habitats and determine the environmental variables that are most favorable for the establishment of alien amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves. A total of 981 sites located in streams and rivers in Germany. Therefore we analyzed presence–absence data of alien and indigenous amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves from 981 sites located in small to large rivers in Germany with regard to eight environmental variables: chloride, ammonium, nitrate, oxygen, orthophosphate, distance to the next navigable waterway, and maximum and minimum temperature. Degraded sites close to navigable waters were exposed to an increased invasion risk by all major groups of alien species. Moreover, invaded sites by all four groups of alien species were similar, whereas the sites where indigenous members of the four groups occurred were more variable. Increased temperature and chloride concentration as well as decreased oxygen concentration were identified as major factors for the invasibility of a site. Species-specific analyses showed that chloride was among the three most predictive environmental variables determining species assemblage in all four taxonomic groups. Also distance to the next navigable waterways was similarly important. Additionally, the minimum temperature was among the most important variables for amphipods, isopods, and bivalves. The bias in the occurrence patterns of alien species toward similarly degraded habitats suggests that the members of all four major groups of freshwater alien species are a non-random, more tolerant set of species. Their common tolerance to salinity, high temperature, and oxygen depletion may reflect that most alien species were spread in ballast water tanks, where strong selective pressures, particularly temperature fluctuations, oxygen depletion, and increased salinity may create a bottleneck for successful invasion. Knowledge on the major factors that

  16. Physico-chemical variables determining the invasion risk of freshwater habitats by alien mollusks and crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Früh, Denise; Stoll, Stefan; Haase, Peter

    2012-11-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the invasion risk of freshwater habitats and determine the environmental variables that are most favorable for the establishment of alien amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves. A total of 981 sites located in streams and rivers in Germany. Therefore we analyzed presence-absence data of alien and indigenous amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves from 981 sites located in small to large rivers in Germany with regard to eight environmental variables: chloride, ammonium, nitrate, oxygen, orthophosphate, distance to the next navigable waterway, and maximum and minimum temperature. Degraded sites close to navigable waters were exposed to an increased invasion risk by all major groups of alien species. Moreover, invaded sites by all four groups of alien species were similar, whereas the sites where indigenous members of the four groups occurred were more variable. Increased temperature and chloride concentration as well as decreased oxygen concentration were identified as major factors for the invasibility of a site. Species-specific analyses showed that chloride was among the three most predictive environmental variables determining species assemblage in all four taxonomic groups. Also distance to the next navigable waterways was similarly important. Additionally, the minimum temperature was among the most important variables for amphipods, isopods, and bivalves. The bias in the occurrence patterns of alien species toward similarly degraded habitats suggests that the members of all four major groups of freshwater alien species are a non-random, more tolerant set of species. Their common tolerance to salinity, high temperature, and oxygen depletion may reflect that most alien species were spread in ballast water tanks, where strong selective pressures, particularly temperature fluctuations, oxygen depletion, and increased salinity may create a bottleneck for successful invasion. Knowledge on the major factors that influence

  17. Impact of an Alien Invasive Shrub on Ecology of Native and Alien Invasive Mosquito Species (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Gardner, Allison M; Bara, Jeffrey J

    2015-10-01

    We examined how leaf litter of alien invasive honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii Rupr.) either alone or in combination with leaf litter of one of two native tree species, sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), affects the ecology of Culex restuans Theobald, Ochlerotatus triseriatus Say, and Ochlerotatus japonicus Theobald. Experimental mesocosms containing single species litter or a mixture of honeysuckle and one of two native tree species litter were established at South Farms and Trelease Woods study sites in Urbana, IL, and examined for their effect on 1) oviposition site selection by the three mosquito species, and 2) adult production and body size of Oc. triseriatus and Oc. japonicus. There were no significant effects of study site and leaf treatment on Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus oviposition preference and adult production. In contrast, significantly more Cx. restuans eggs rafts were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Significantly larger adult females of Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Combining honeysuckle litter with native tree species litter had additive effects on Cx. restuans oviposition preference and Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus body size, with the exception of honeysuckle and northern red oak litter combination, which had antagonistic effects on Oc. triseriatus body size. We conclude that input of honeysuckle litter into container aquatic habitats may alter the life history traits of vector mosquito species. PMID:26314023

  18. Scale and plant invasions: A theory of biotic acceptance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Jarnevich, C.; Chong, G.W.; Evangelista, P.H.

    2006-01-01

    We examined the relationship between native and alien plant species richness, cover, and estimated biomass at multiple spatial scales. The large dataset included 70511-m2 subplots, 1443 10-m2 subplots, and 727100-m2 subplots, nested in 727 1000-m2 plots in 37 natural vegetation types in seven states in the central United States. We found that native and alien species richness (averaged across the vegetation types) increased significantly with plot area. Furthermore, the relationship between native and alien species richness became increasingly positive and significant from the plant neighbourhood scale (1-m2) to the 10-m2, 100-m2, and the 1000-m2 scale where over 80% of the vegetation types had positive slopes between native and alien species richness. Both native and alien plant species may be responding to increased resource availability and/or habitat heterogeneity with increased area. We found significant positive relationships between the coefficient of variation of native cover in 1-m2 subplots in a vegetation type (i.e. a measure of habitat heterogeneity), and both the relative cover and relative biomass of alien plant species. At the 1000-m2 scale, we did find weak negative relationships between native species richness and the cover, biomass, and relative cover of alien plant species. However, we found very strong positive relationships between alien species richness and the cover, relative cover, and relative biomass of alien species at regional scales. These results, along with many other field studies in natural ecosystems, show that the dominant genera pattern in invasion ecology at multiple spatial scales is one of "biotic acceptance" where natural ecosystems tend to accommodate the establishment and coexistence of introduced species despite the presence and abundance of native species.

  19. Survey of roadside alien plants in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and adjacent residential areas 2001-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bio, Keali'i F.; Pratt, Linda W.; Jacobi, James D.

    2012-01-01

    The sides of all paved roads of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) were surveyed on foot in 2001 to 2005, and the roadside presence of 240 target invasive and potentially invasive alien plant species was recorded in mile-long increments. Buffer zones 5–10 miles (8–16 km) long along Highway 11 on either side of the Kīlauea and Kahuku Units of the park, as well as Wright Road that passed by the disjunct `Ōla`a Tract Unit, were included in the survey. Highway 11 is the primary road through the park and a major island thoroughfare. Three residential subdivisions adjacent to the park were similarly surveyed in 0.5–1 mile (0.8–1.6 km) intervals in 2003, and data were analyzed separately. Two roads to the east and northeast were also surveyed, but data from these disjunct areas were analyzed separately from park roads. In total, 174 of the target alien species were observed along HAVO roads and buffers, exclusive of residential areas, and the mean number of target aliens per mile surveyed was 20.6. Highway 11 and its buffer zones had the highest mean number of target alien plants per mile (26.7) of all park roads, and the Mauna Loa Strip Road had the lowest mean (11.7). Segments of Highway 11 adjacent to HAVO and Wright Road next to `Ōla`a Tract had mean numbers of target alien per mile (24–47) higher than those of any internal road. Alien plant frequencies were summarized for each road in HAVO. Fifteen new records of vascular plants for HAVO were observed and collected along park roads. An additional 28 alien plant species not known from HAVO were observed along the buffer segments of Highway 11 adjacent to the park. Within the adjacent residential subdivisions, 65 target alien plant species were sighted along roadsides. At least 15 potentially invasive species not currently found within HAVO were observed along residential roads, and several other species found there have been previously eliminated from the park or controlled to remnant populations

  20. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    PubMed

    Lampinen, Jussi; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Huhta, Ari-Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

  1. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    PubMed

    Lampinen, Jussi; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Huhta, Ari-Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas. PMID:26565700

  2. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland

    PubMed Central

    Lampinen, Jussi; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Huhta, Ari-Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas. PMID:26565700

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDEX OF ALIEN SPECIES INVASIVENESS: AN AID TO ASSESSING RIPARIAN VEGETATION CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many riparian areas are invaded by alien plant species that negatively affect native species composition, community dynamics and ecosystem properties. We sampled vegetation along reaches of 31 low order streams in eastern Oregon, and characterized species assemblages at patch an...

  4. Living with the enemy: parasites and pathogens of the invasive alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien predator in many countries across the world. The rapid establishment and spread of this species is of concern because of the threat it poses to biodiversity as a generalist predator. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the success of this species ...

  5. Missing the Boat on Invasive Alien Species: A Review of Post-Secondary Curricula in Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Andrea L.; Bazely, Dawn R.; Yan, Norman D.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) cause major environmental and economic damage worldwide, and also threaten human food security and health. The impacts of IAS are expected to rise with continued globalization, land use modification, and climate change. Developing effective strategies to deal with IAS requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary…

  6. Status of biological control projects on terrestrial invasive alien weeds in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In cooperation with foreign scientists, we are currently developing new classical biological control agents for five species of invasive alien terrestrial weeds. Cape-Ivy. A gall-forming fly, Parafreutreta regalis, and a stem-boring moth, Digitivalva delaireae, have been favorably reviewed by TAG...

  7. Resource competition in plant invasions: emerging patterns and research needs.

    PubMed

    Gioria, Margherita; Osborne, Bruce A

    2014-01-01

    Invasions by alien plants provide a unique opportunity to examine competitive interactions among plants. While resource competition has long been regarded as a major mechanism responsible for successful invasions, given a well-known capacity for many invaders to become dominant and reduce plant diversity in the invaded communities, few studies have measured resource competition directly or have assessed its importance relative to that of other mechanisms, at different stages of an invasion process. Here, we review evidence comparing the competitive ability of invasive species vs. that of co-occurring native plants, along a range of environmental gradients, showing that many invasive species have a superior competitive ability over native species, although invasive congeners are not necessarily competitively superior over native congeners, nor are alien dominants are better competitors than native dominants. We discuss how the outcomes of competition depend on a number of factors, such as the heterogeneous distribution of resources, the stage of the invasion process, as well as phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary adaptation, which may result in increased or decreased competitive ability in both invasive and native species. Competitive advantages of invasive species over natives are often transient and only important at the early stages of an invasion process. It remains unclear how important resource competition is relative to other mechanisms (competition avoidance via phenological differences, niche differentiation in space associated with phylogenetic distance, recruitment and dispersal limitation, indirect competition, and allelopathy). Finally, we identify the conceptual and methodological issues characterizing competition studies in plant invasions, and we discuss future research needs, including examination of resource competition dynamics and the impact of global environmental change on competitive interactions between invasive and native species.

  8. Resource competition in plant invasions: emerging patterns and research needs

    PubMed Central

    Gioria, Margherita; Osborne, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Invasions by alien plants provide a unique opportunity to examine competitive interactions among plants. While resource competition has long been regarded as a major mechanism responsible for successful invasions, given a well-known capacity for many invaders to become dominant and reduce plant diversity in the invaded communities, few studies have measured resource competition directly or have assessed its importance relative to that of other mechanisms, at different stages of an invasion process. Here, we review evidence comparing the competitive ability of invasive species vs. that of co-occurring native plants, along a range of environmental gradients, showing that many invasive species have a superior competitive ability over native species, although invasive congeners are not necessarily competitively superior over native congeners, nor are alien dominants are better competitors than native dominants. We discuss how the outcomes of competition depend on a number of factors, such as the heterogeneous distribution of resources, the stage of the invasion process, as well as phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary adaptation, which may result in increased or decreased competitive ability in both invasive and native species. Competitive advantages of invasive species over natives are often transient and only important at the early stages of an invasion process. It remains unclear how important resource competition is relative to other mechanisms (competition avoidance via phenological differences, niche differentiation in space associated with phylogenetic distance, recruitment and dispersal limitation, indirect competition, and allelopathy). Finally, we identify the conceptual and methodological issues characterizing competition studies in plant invasions, and we discuss future research needs, including examination of resource competition dynamics and the impact of global environmental change on competitive interactions between invasive and native species. PMID

  9. Effects of livestock watering sites on alien and native plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Matchett, J.R.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Increased livestock densities near artificial watering sites create disturbance gradients called piospheres. We studied responses of alien and native annual plants and native perennial plants within 9 piospheres in the Mojave Desert of North America. Absolute and proportional cover of alien annual plants increased with proximity to watering sites, whereas cover and species richness of native annual plants decreased. Not all alien species responded the same, as the alien forb Erodium cicutarium and the alien grass Schismus spp. increased with proximity to watering sites, and the alien annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens decreased. Perennial plant cover and species richness also declined with proximity to watering sites, as did the structural diversity of perennial plant cover classes. Significant effects were focused within 200 m of the watering sites, suggesting that control efforts for alien annual plants and restoration efforts for native plants should optimally be focused within this central part of the piosphere gradient.

  10. Experimental study to control the upstream migration of invasive alien fish species by submerged weir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakuma, Masami; Kunimatsu, Fumihiro; Tsuchiya, Taku; Kawamura, Makiko; Fujita, Hiroshi

    Largemouth bass and Bluegill, major invasive alien fish species in Japan, have been extending their habitat ranges over not only Lake Biwa and the lagoons but also surrounding waters connected to them through small rivers and canals. Their increasing number is bringing about the reduction in the number of native fish species. To prevent the spread of these alien species through small rivers and canals during breeding season of the native fish (crucian carp), this study experimentally examined the effect of a submerged weir on controlling upstream migration of the alien species and the native fish. As a result of the experiment, the ratio of the alien species migrating upstream decreased as the weir height rose, whereas the ratio did not show the same trend in the case of the native fish. The ratio of the alien species also decreased as the overflow velocity over the weir rose. On the other hand, the ratio of the native fish increased as the overflow velocity rose up to 1.0m/s and decreased thereafter. These results suggest that the submerged weir may control upstream migration of the alien species to surrounding waters through small rivers and canals without interfering with the reproductive migration of the native fish.

  11. Prioritizing invasive plant management strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants are seriously impacting rangelands by displacing desirable species. Management of these species is expensive and careful allocation of scarce dollars is necessary. Ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) has the potential to provide an improved decision-making process ...

  12. Ecophysiology of native and alien-invasive clams in an ocean warming context.

    PubMed

    Anacleto, Patrícia; Maulvault, Ana Luísa; Lopes, Vanessa M; Repolho, Tiago; Diniz, Mário; Nunes, Maria Leonor; Marques, António; Rosa, Rui

    2014-09-01

    Both climate change and biological invasions are among the most serious global environmental threats. Yet mechanisms underlying these eventual interactions remain unclear. The aim of this study was to undertake a comprehensive examination of the physiological and biochemical responses of native (Ruditapes decussatus) and alien-invasive (Ruditapes philippinarum) clams to environmental warming. We evaluated thermal tolerance limits (CTMax), routine metabolic rates (RMRs) and respective thermal sensitivity (Q10 values), critical oxygen partial pressure (Pcrit), heat shock response (HSP70/HSC70 levels), lipid peroxidation (MDA build-up) and antioxidant enzyme [glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD)] activities. Contrary to most studies that show that invasive species have a higher thermal tolerance than native congeners, here we revealed that the alien-invasive and native species had similar CTMax values. However, warming had a stronger effect on metabolism and oxidative status of the native R. decussatus, as indicated by the higher RMRs and HSP70/HSC70 and MDA levels, as well as GST, CAT and SOD activities. Moreover, we argue that the alien-invasive clams, instead of up-regulating energetically expensive cellular responses, have evolved a less demanding strategy to cope with short-term environmental (oxidative) stress-pervasive valve closure. Although efficient during stressful short-term periods to ensure isolation and guarantee longer survival, such adaptive behavioural strategy entails metabolic arrest (and the enhancement of anaerobic pathways), which to some extent will not be advantageous under the chronically warming conditions predicted in the future.

  13. Risk assessment of riparian plant invasions into protected areas.

    PubMed

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2007-04-01

    Protected areas are becoming increasingly isolated. River corridors represent crucial links to the surrounding landscape but are also major conduits for invasion of alien species. We developed a framework to assess the risk that alien plants in watersheds adjacent to a protected area will invade the protected area along rivers. The framework combines species- and landscape-level approaches and has five key components: (1) definition of the geographical area of interest, (2) delineation of the domain into ecologically meaningful zones, (3) identification of the appropriate landscape units, (4) categorization of alien species and mapping of their distribution and abundance, and (5) definition of management options. The framework guides the determination of species distribution and abundance through successive, easily followed steps, providing the means for the assessment of areas of concern. We applied the framework to Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa. We recorded 231 invasive alien plant species (of which 79 were major invaders) in the domain. The KNP is facing increasing pressure from alien species in the upper regions of the drainage areas of neighboring watersheds. On the basis of the climatic modeling, we showed that most major riparian invaders have the ability to spread across the KNP should they be transported down the rivers. With this information, KNP managers can identify areas for proactive intervention, monitoring, and resource allocation. Even for a very large protected area such as the KNP, sustainable management of biodiversity will depend heavily on the response of land managers upstream managing alien plants. We suggest that this framework is applicable to plants and other passively dispersed species that invade protected areas situated at the end of a drainage basin.

  14. Impacts of invading alien plant species on water flows at stand and catchment scales

    PubMed Central

    Le Maitre, D. C.; Gush, M. B.; Dzikiti, S.

    2015-01-01

    There have been many studies of the diverse impacts of invasions by alien plants but few have assessed impacts on water resources. We reviewed the information on the impacts of invasions on surface runoff and groundwater resources at stand to catchment scales and covering a full annual cycle. Most of the research is South African so the emphasis is on South Africa's major invaders with data from commercial forest plantations where relevant. Catchment studies worldwide have shown that changes in vegetation structure and the physiology of the dominant plant species result in changes in surface runoff and groundwater discharge, whether they involve native or alien plant species. Where there is little change in vegetation structure [e.g. leaf area (index), height, rooting depth and seasonality] the effects of invasions generally are small or undetectable. In South Africa, the most important woody invaders typically are taller and deeper rooted than the native species. The impacts of changes in evaporation (and thus runoff) in dryland settings are constrained by water availability to the plants and, thus, by rainfall. Where the dryland invaders are evergreen and the native vegetation (grass) is seasonal, the increases can reach 300–400 mm/year. Where the native vegetation is evergreen (shrublands) the increases are ∼200–300 mm/year. Where water availability is greater (riparian settings or shallow water tables), invading tree water-use can reach 1.5–2.0 times that of the same species in a dryland setting. So, riparian invasions have a much greater impact per unit area invaded than dryland invasions. The available data are scattered and incomplete, and there are many gaps and issues that must be addressed before a thorough understanding of the impacts at the site scale can be gained and used in extrapolating to watershed scales, and in converting changes in flows to water supply system yields. PMID:25935861

  15. Loss or gain? Invasive aliens and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Galil, B S

    2007-01-01

    More than 500 alien species were listed from the Mediterranean Sea. Though no extinction of a native species is known, sudden decline in abundance, and even local extirpations, concurrent with proliferation of aliens, had been recorded. Examination of the profound ecological impacts of some of the most conspicuous invasive alien species underscores their role, among multiple anthropogenic stressors, in altering the infralittoral communities. Local population losses and niche contraction of native species may not induce immediate extirpation, but they augur reduction of genetic diversity, loss of functions, processes, and habitat structure, increase the risk of decline and extinction, and lead to biotic homogenization. The relevant environmental policy and management framework is discussed. PMID:17222869

  16. Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Dellinger, Agnes S; Essl, Franz; Hojsgaard, Diego; Kirchheimer, Bernhard; Klatt, Simone; Dawson, Wayne; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Winter, Marten; Hörandl, Elvira; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-02-01

    Biological invasions can be associated with shifts of the species' climatic niches but the incidence of such shifts is under debate. The reproductive system might be a key factor controlling such shifts because it influences a species' evolutionary flexibility. However, the link between reproductive systems and niche dynamics in plant invasions has been little studied so far. We compiled global occurrence data sets of 13 congeneric sexual and apomictic species pairs, and used principal components analysis (PCA) and kernel smoothers to compare changes in climatic niche optima, breadths and unfilling/expansion between native and alien ranges. Niche change metrics were compared between sexual and apomictic species. All 26 species showed changes in niche optima and/or breadth and 14 species significantly expanded their climatic niches. However, we found no effect of the reproductive system on niche dynamics. Instead, species with narrower native niches showed higher rates of niche expansion in the alien ranges. Our results suggest that niche shifts are frequent in plant invasions but evolutionary potential may not be of major importance for such shifts. Niche dynamics rather appear to be driven by changes of the realized niche without adaptive change of the fundamental climatic niche. PMID:26508329

  17. Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Dellinger, Agnes S; Essl, Franz; Hojsgaard, Diego; Kirchheimer, Bernhard; Klatt, Simone; Dawson, Wayne; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Winter, Marten; Hörandl, Elvira; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-02-01

    Biological invasions can be associated with shifts of the species' climatic niches but the incidence of such shifts is under debate. The reproductive system might be a key factor controlling such shifts because it influences a species' evolutionary flexibility. However, the link between reproductive systems and niche dynamics in plant invasions has been little studied so far. We compiled global occurrence data sets of 13 congeneric sexual and apomictic species pairs, and used principal components analysis (PCA) and kernel smoothers to compare changes in climatic niche optima, breadths and unfilling/expansion between native and alien ranges. Niche change metrics were compared between sexual and apomictic species. All 26 species showed changes in niche optima and/or breadth and 14 species significantly expanded their climatic niches. However, we found no effect of the reproductive system on niche dynamics. Instead, species with narrower native niches showed higher rates of niche expansion in the alien ranges. Our results suggest that niche shifts are frequent in plant invasions but evolutionary potential may not be of major importance for such shifts. Niche dynamics rather appear to be driven by changes of the realized niche without adaptive change of the fundamental climatic niche.

  18. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K S; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future.

  19. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed Central

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K. S.; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future. PMID

  20. Increasing Seriousness of Plant Invasions in Croplands of Eastern China in Relation to Changing Farming Practices: A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guo-Qi; He, Yun-He; Qiang, Sheng

    2013-01-01

    Arable areas are commonly susceptible to alien plant invasion because they experience dramatic environmental influences and intense anthropogenic activity. However, the limited reports on relevant factors in plant invasion of croplands have addressed single or a few invasive species and environmental factors. To elucidate key factors affecting plant invasions in croplands, we analyzed the relationship between 11 effective factors and changes in composition of alien plants, using field surveys of crop fields in Anhui Province conducted during 1987–1990 (historical dataset) and 2005–2010 (recent dataset), when rapid urbanization was occurring in China. We found that in the past few decades, the dominance and richness of alien plant populations approximately doubled, despite differences among the 4 regions of Anhui Province. Among the 38 alien invasive plant species observed in the sites, the dominance values of 11 species increased significantly, while the dominance of 4 species decreased significantly. The quantity of chemical fertilizer and herbicide applied, population density, agricultural machinery use, traffic frequency, and annual mean temperature were significantly related to increased richness and annual dominance values of alien plant species. Our findings suggest that the increase in alien plant invasions during the past few decades is primarily a result of increased application of chemical fertilizer and herbicides. PMID:24066105

  1. Increasing seriousness of plant invasions in croplands of eastern china in relation to changing farming practices: a case study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Guo-Qi; He, Yun-He; Qiang, Sheng

    2013-01-01

    Arable areas are commonly susceptible to alien plant invasion because they experience dramatic environmental influences and intense anthropogenic activity. However, the limited reports on relevant factors in plant invasion of croplands have addressed single or a few invasive species and environmental factors. To elucidate key factors affecting plant invasions in croplands, we analyzed the relationship between 11 effective factors and changes in composition of alien plants, using field surveys of crop fields in Anhui Province conducted during 1987-1990 (historical dataset) and 2005-2010 (recent dataset), when rapid urbanization was occurring in China. We found that in the past few decades, the dominance and richness of alien plant populations approximately doubled, despite differences among the 4 regions of Anhui Province. Among the 38 alien invasive plant species observed in the sites, the dominance values of 11 species increased significantly, while the dominance of 4 species decreased significantly. The quantity of chemical fertilizer and herbicide applied, population density, agricultural machinery use, traffic frequency, and annual mean temperature were significantly related to increased richness and annual dominance values of alien plant species. Our findings suggest that the increase in alien plant invasions during the past few decades is primarily a result of increased application of chemical fertilizer and herbicides.

  2. New records in vascular plants alien to Kyrgyzstan

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A series of brief notes on distribution of vascular plants alien to Kyrgyzstan is presented. A further expansion of Anthemis ruthenica (Asteraceae), Crambe orientalis (Brassicaceae) and Salvia aethiopis (Lamiaceae) in northern and northwestern Kyrgyzstan is recorded. The first record of Chenopodium vulvaria (Amaranthaceae) from the northern side of Kyrgyz Range is confirmed, and the species was found for the second time in Alay Range. The ephemerous occurrence of Hirschfeldia incana (Brassicaceae) in Central Asia is recorded for the first time from Fergana Range. Tragus racemosus (Poaceae) is first recorded from the Chüy Depression as an ephemerous alien. Arrhenatherum elatius, escaped from cultivation and locally established, is new to the country. The second record of established occurrence of Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae) and an ephemerous occurrence of Glaucium corniculatum (Papaveraceae) are presented. Complete information is collected about the occurrence of every mentioned species in Kyrgyzstan. PMID:24855435

  3. New records in vascular plants alien to Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Lazkov, Georgy; Sennikov, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    A series of brief notes on distribution of vascular plants alien to Kyrgyzstan is presented. A further expansion of Anthemisruthenica (Asteraceae), Crambeorientalis (Brassicaceae) and Salviaaethiopis (Lamiaceae) in northern and northwestern Kyrgyzstan is recorded. The first record of Chenopodiumvulvaria (Amaranthaceae) from the northern side of Kyrgyz Range is confirmed, and the species was found for the second time in Alay Range. The ephemerous occurrence of Hirschfeldiaincana (Brassicaceae) in Central Asia is recorded for the first time from Fergana Range. Tragusracemosus (Poaceae) is first recorded from the Chüy Depression as an ephemerous alien. Arrhenatherumelatius, escaped from cultivation and locally established, is new to the country. The second record of established occurrence of Centaureasolstitialis (Asteraceae) and an ephemerous occurrence of Glauciumcorniculatum (Papaveraceae) are presented. Complete information is collected about the occurrence of every mentioned species in Kyrgyzstan.

  4. Alien Invasive Slider Turtle in Unpredicted Habitat: A Matter of Niche Shift or of Predictors Studied?

    PubMed Central

    Rödder, Dennis; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Lötters, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    Background Species Distribution Models (SDMs) aim on the characterization of a species' ecological niche and project it into geographic space. The result is a map of the species' potential distribution, which is, for instance, helpful to predict the capability of alien invasive species. With regard to alien invasive species, recently several authors observed a mismatch between potential distributions of native and invasive ranges derived from SDMs and, as an explanation, ecological niche shift during biological invasion has been suggested. We studied the physiologically well known Slider turtle from North America which today is widely distributed over the globe and address the issue of ecological niche shift versus choice of ecological predictors used for model building, i.e., by deriving SDMs using multiple sets of climatic predictor. Principal Findings In one SDM, predictors were used aiming to mirror the physiological limits of the Slider turtle. It was compared to numerous other models based on various sets of ecological predictors or predictors aiming at comprehensiveness. The SDM focusing on the study species' physiological limits depicts the target species' worldwide potential distribution better than any of the other approaches. Conclusion These results suggest that a natural history-driven understanding is crucial in developing statistical models of ecological niches (as SDMs) while “comprehensive” or “standard” sets of ecological predictors may be of limited use. PMID:19956684

  5. Dominance and environmental correlates of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Land managers are concerned about the negative effects of alien annual plants on native plants, threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and ecosystem integrity in the Mojave Desert. Management of alien plants is hampered by a lack of information regarding the dominance and environmental correlates of these species. The results of this study indicate that alien plant species comprised a small fraction of the total annual plant flora, but most of the annual plant community biomass. When rainfall was high in 1995, aliens comprised 6% of the flora and 66% of the biomass. When rainfall was low in 1999, aliens comprised 27% of the flora and 91% of the biomass. Bromus rubens, Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus), and Erodium cicutarium were the predominant alien species during both years, comprising 99% of the alien biomass. B. rubens was more abundant in relatively mesic microhabitats beneath shrub canopies and at higher elevations above 800-1000 m, whereas Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were more abundant in the relatively arid interspaces between shrubs, and, for Schismus spp., at lower elevations as well. Disturbance variables were more reliable indicators of alien dominance than were productivity or native plant diversity variables, although relationships often varied between years of contrasting rainfall. The strongest environmental correlates occurred between dirt road density and alien species richness and biomass of E. cicutarium, and between frequency and size of fires and biomass of B. rubens.

  6. A tool to assess potential for alien plant establishment and expansion under climate change.

    PubMed

    Roger, Erin; Duursma, Daisy Englert; Downey, Paul O; Gallagher, Rachael V; Hughes, Lesley; Steel, Jackie; Johnson, Stephen B; Leishman, Michelle R

    2015-08-15

    Predicting the influence of climate change on the potential distribution of naturalised alien plant species is an important and challenging task. While prioritisation of management actions for alien plants under current climatic conditions has been widely adopted, very few systems explicitly incorporate the potential of future changes in climate conditions to influence the distribution of alien plant species. Here, we develop an Australia-wide screening tool to assess the potential of naturalised alien plants to establish and spread under both current and future climatic conditions. The screening tool developed uses five spatially explicit criteria to establish the likelihood of alien plant population establishment and expansion under baseline climate conditions and future climates for the decades 2035 and 2065. Alien plants are then given a threat rating according to current and future threat to enable natural resource managers to focus on those species that pose the largest potential threat now and in the future. To demonstrate the screening tool, we present results for a representative sample of approximately 10% (n = 292) of Australia's known, naturalised alien plant species. Overall, most alien plant species showed decreases in area of habitat suitability under future conditions compared to current conditions and therefore the threat rating of most alien plant species declined between current and future conditions. Use of the screening tool is intended to assist natural resource managers in assessing the threat of alien plant establishment and spread under current and future conditions and thus prioritise detailed weed risk assessments for those species that pose the greatest threat. The screening tool is associated with a searchable database for all 292 alien plant species across a range of spatial scales, available through an interactive web-based portal at http://weedfutures.net/.

  7. New alien barnacles in the Azores and some remarks on the invasive potential of Balanidae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Paulo; Costa, Ana Cristina; Dionísio, Maria Ana

    2012-12-01

    Global homogenization of biota is underway through worldwide introduction and establishment of non-indigenous (exotic) species. Organisms fouling ship hulls are continually in transit and can affect communities through biodiversity loss and serious damage to economy and public health. In the Azores, for the first time, underwater alien species prospection was conducted in marinas and recreational harbours, at São Miguel Island. Populations of three locally previously unknown barnacle species were found: Amphibalanus amphitrite, Amphibalanus eburneus and Perforatus perforatus. These species account for the more than 50% of alien barnacles worldwide that belong to Balanidae family. Hence, some considerations about morphology and life cycle of this family are advanced, discussed and related to their invasive potential.

  8. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global environmental change affects exotic plant invasions, which profoundly impact native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, including those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness), and impacts, as well as the integration of these...

  9. Does Mutualism Drive the Invasion of Two Alien Species? The Case of Solenopsis invicta and Phenacoccus solenopsis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Aiming; Lu, Yongyue; Zeng, Ling; Xu, Yijuan; Liang, Guangwen

    2012-01-01

    Although mutualism between ants and honeydew-producing hemipterans has been extensively recognized in ecosystem biology, however few attempts to test the hypothesis that mutualism between two alien species leads to the facilitation of the invasion process. To address this problem, we focus on the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis by field investigations and indoor experiments. In the laboratory, ant colony growth increased significantly when ants had access to P. solenopsis and animal-based food. Honeydew produced by P. solenopsis also improved the survival of ant workers. In the field, colony density of P. solenopsis was significantly greater on plots with ants than on plots without ants. The number of mealybug mummies on plants without fire ants was almost three times that of plants with fire ants, indicating a strong effect of fire ants on mealybug survival. In addition, the presence of S. invicta successfully contributed to the spread of P. solenopsis. The quantity of honeydew consumption by S. invicta was significantly greater than that of a presumptive native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum. When compared with the case without ant tending, mealybugs tended by ants matured earlier and their lifespan and reproduction increased. T. melanocephalum workers arrived at honeydew more quickly than S. invicta workers, while the number of foraging S. invicta workers on plants steadily increased, eventually exceeding that number of T. melanocephalum foragers. Overall, these results suggest that the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis facilitates population growth and fitness of both species. S. invicta tends to acquire much more honeydew and drive away native ants, promoting their predominance. These results suggest that the higher foraging tempo of S. invicta may provide more effective protection of P. solenopsis than native ants. Thus mutualism between these two alien species may facilitate the invasion success of both

  10. Horizon scanning for invasive alien species with the potential to threaten biodiversity in Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Roy, Helen E; Peyton, Jodey; Aldridge, David C; Bantock, Tristan; Blackburn, Tim M; Britton, Robert; Clark, Paul; Cook, Elizabeth; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Dines, Trevor; Dobson, Michael; Edwards, François; Harrower, Colin; Harvey, Martin C; Minchin, Dan; Noble, David G; Parrott, Dave; Pocock, Michael J O; Preston, Chris D; Roy, Sugoto; Salisbury, Andrew; Schönrogge, Karsten; Sewell, Jack; Shaw, Richard H; Stebbing, Paul; Stewart, Alan J A; Walker, Kevin J

    2014-12-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, particularly through their interactions with other drivers of change. Horizon scanning, the systematic examination of future potential threats and opportunities, leading to prioritization of IAS threats is seen as an essential component of IAS management. Our aim was to consider IAS that were likely to impact on native biodiversity but were not yet established in the wild in Great Britain. To achieve this, we developed an approach which coupled consensus methods (which have previously been used for collaboratively identifying priorities in other contexts) with rapid risk assessment. The process involved two distinct phases: Preliminary consultation with experts within five groups (plants, terrestrial invertebrates, freshwater invertebrates, vertebrates and marine species) to derive ranked lists of potential IAS. Consensus-building across expert groups to compile and rank the entire list of potential IAS. Five hundred and ninety-one species not native to Great Britain were considered. Ninety-three of these species were agreed to constitute at least a medium risk (based on score and consensus) with respect to them arriving, establishing and posing a threat to native biodiversity. The quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, received maximum scores for risk of arrival, establishment and impact; following discussions the unanimous consensus was to rank it in the top position. A further 29 species were considered to constitute a high risk and were grouped according to their ranked risk. The remaining 63 species were considered as medium risk, and included in an unranked long list. The information collated through this novel extension of the consensus method for horizon scanning provides evidence for underpinning and prioritizing management both for the species and, perhaps more importantly, their pathways of arrival. Although our study focused on Great Britain, we suggest

  11. Horizon scanning for invasive alien species with the potential to threaten biodiversity in Great Britain

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Helen E; Peyton, Jodey; Aldridge, David C; Bantock, Tristan; Blackburn, Tim M; Britton, Robert; Clark, Paul; Cook, Elizabeth; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Dines, Trevor; Dobson, Michael; Edwards, François; Harrower, Colin; Harvey, Martin C; Minchin, Dan; Noble, David G; Parrott, Dave; Pocock, Michael J O; Preston, Chris D; Roy, Sugoto; Salisbury, Andrew; Schönrogge, Karsten; Sewell, Jack; Shaw, Richard H; Stebbing, Paul; Stewart, Alan J A; Walker, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, particularly through their interactions with other drivers of change. Horizon scanning, the systematic examination of future potential threats and opportunities, leading to prioritization of IAS threats is seen as an essential component of IAS management. Our aim was to consider IAS that were likely to impact on native biodiversity but were not yet established in the wild in Great Britain. To achieve this, we developed an approach which coupled consensus methods (which have previously been used for collaboratively identifying priorities in other contexts) with rapid risk assessment. The process involved two distinct phases: Preliminary consultation with experts within five groups (plants, terrestrial invertebrates, freshwater invertebrates, vertebrates and marine species) to derive ranked lists of potential IAS.Consensus-building across expert groups to compile and rank the entire list of potential IAS. Five hundred and ninety-one species not native to Great Britain were considered. Ninety-three of these species were agreed to constitute at least a medium risk (based on score and consensus) with respect to them arriving, establishing and posing a threat to native biodiversity. The quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, received maximum scores for risk of arrival, establishment and impact; following discussions the unanimous consensus was to rank it in the top position. A further 29 species were considered to constitute a high risk and were grouped according to their ranked risk. The remaining 63 species were considered as medium risk, and included in an unranked long list. The information collated through this novel extension of the consensus method for horizon scanning provides evidence for underpinning and prioritizing management both for the species and, perhaps more importantly, their pathways of arrival. Although our study focused on Great Britain, we suggest that

  12. Phylogenetically poor plant communities receive more alien species, which more easily coexist with natives.

    PubMed

    Gerhold, Pille; Pärtel, Meelis; Tackenberg, Oliver; Hennekens, Stephan M; Bartish, Igor; Schaminée, Joop H J; Fergus, Alexander J F; Ozinga, Wim A; Prinzing, Andreas

    2011-05-01

    Alien species can be a major threat to ecological communities, but we do not know why some community types allow the entry of many more alien species than do others. Here, for the first time, we suggest that evolutionary diversity inherent to the constituent species of a community may determine its present receptiveness to alien species. Using recent large databases from observational studies, we find robust evidence that assemblage of plant community types from few phylogenetic lineages (in plots without aliens) corresponds to higher receptiveness to aliens. Establishment of aliens in phylogenetically poor communities corresponds to increased phylogenetic dispersion of recipient communities and to coexistence with rather than replacement of natives. This coexistence between natives and distantly related aliens in recipient communities of low phylogenetic dispersion may reflect patterns of trait assembly. In communities without aliens, low phylogenetic dispersion corresponds to increased dispersion of most traits, and establishment of aliens corresponds to increased trait concentration. We conclude that if quantified across the tree of life, high biodiversity correlates with decreasing receptiveness to aliens. Low phylogenetic biodiversity, in contrast, facilitates coexistence between natives and aliens even if they share similar trait states. PMID:21508612

  13. Canopy and knowledge gaps when invasive alien insects remove foundation species

    PubMed Central

    Marler, Thomas E.; Lawrence, John H.

    2013-01-01

    The armored scale Aulacaspis yasumatsui invaded the northern range of the cycad Cycas micronesica in 2003, and epidemic tree mortality ensued due to a lack of natural enemies of the insect. We quantified cycad demographic responses to the invasion, but the ecological responses to the selective removal of this foundation species have not been addressed. We use this case to highlight information gaps in our understanding of how alien invasive phytophagous insects force cascading adverse ecosystem changes. The mechanistic role of unique canopy gaps, oceanic island examples and threatened foundation species with distinctive traits are three issues that deserve research efforts in a quest to understand this facet of ecosystem change occurring across multiple settings globally. PMID:23847712

  14. Gaps in Border Controls Are Related to Quarantine Alien Insect Invasions in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Bacon, Steven James; Bacher, Sven; Aebi, Alexandre

    2012-01-01

    Alien insects are increasingly being dispersed around the world through international trade, causing a multitude of negative environmental impacts and billions of dollars in economic losses annually. Border controls form the last line of defense against invasions, whereby inspectors aim to intercept and stop consignments that are contaminated with harmful alien insects. In Europe, member states depend on one another to prevent insect introductions by operating a first point of entry rule – controlling goods only when they initially enter the continent. However, ensuring consistency between border control points is difficult because there exists no optimal inspection strategy. For the first time, we developed a method to quantify the volume of agricultural trade that should be inspected for quarantine insects at border control points in Europe, based on global agricultural trade of over 100 million distinct origin-commodity-species-destination pathways. This metric was then used to evaluate the performance of existing border controls, as measured by border interception results in Europe between 2003 and 2007. Alarmingly, we found significant gaps between the trade pathways that should be inspected and actual number of interceptions. Moreover, many of the most likely introduction pathways yielded none or very few insect interceptions, because regular interceptions are only made on only a narrow range of pathways. European countries with gaps in border controls have been invaded by higher numbers of quarantine alien insect species, indicating the importance of proper inspections to prevent insect invasions. Equipped with an optimal inspection strategy based on the underlying risks of trade, authorities globally will be able to implement more effective and consistent border controls. PMID:23112835

  15. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  16. Getting the right traits: reproductive and dispersal characteristics predict the invasiveness of herbaceous plant species.

    PubMed

    Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pergl, Jan

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effect of species traits on plant invasion, we collected comparative data on 20 reproductive and dispersal traits of 93 herbaceous alien species in the Czech Republic, central Europe, introduced after 1500 A. D. We explain plant invasion success, expressed by two measures: invasiveness, i.e. whether the species is naturalized but non-invasive, or invasive; and dominance in plant communities expressed as the mean cover in vegetation plots. We also tested how important reproductive and dispersal traits are in models including other characteristics generally known to predict invasion outcome, such as plant height, life history and residence time. By using regression/classification trees we show that the biological traits affect invasion success at all life stages, from reproduction (seed production) to dispersal (propagule properties), and the ability to compete with resident species (height). By including species traits information not usually available in multispecies analyses, we provide evidence that traits do play important role in determining the outcome of invasion and can be used to distinguish between alien species that reach the final stage of the invasion process and dominate the local communities from those that do not. No effect of taxonomy ascertained in regression and classification trees indicates that the role of traits in invasiveness should be assessed primarily at the species level.

  17. Optimal and robust control of invasive alien species spreading in homogeneous landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Carrasco, L. R.; Baker, R.; MacLeod, A.; Knight, J. D.; Mumford, J. D.

    2010-01-01

    Government agencies lack robust modelling tools to manage the spread of invasive alien species (IAS). In this paper, we combine optimal control and simulation methods with biological invasion spread theory to estimate the type of optimal policy and switching point of control efforts against a spreading IAS. We employ information-gap (info-gap) theory to assess how the optimal solutions differ from a policy that is most robustly immune to unacceptable outcomes. The model is applied to the potential invasion of the Colorado potato beetle in the UK. Under no uncertainty, we demonstrate that for many of the parameter combinations the optimal control policy corresponds to slowing down the invasion. The info-gap analysis shows that eradication policies identified as optimal under no uncertainty are robustly the best policies even under severe uncertainty, i.e. even if they are likely to turn into slowing down policies. We also show that the control of satellite colonies, if identified as optimal under no uncertainty, will also be a robust slowing down policy for IAS that can spread by long distance dispersal even for relatively ineffective control measures. The results suggest that agencies adopt management strategies that are robustly optimal, despite the severe uncertainties they face. PMID:19740923

  18. Impact of Alien Plant Invaders on Pollination Networks in Two Archipelagos

    PubMed Central

    Padrón, Benigno; Traveset, Anna; Biedenweg, Tine; Díaz, Diana; Nogales, Manuel; Olesen, Jens M.

    2009-01-01

    Mutualistic interactions between plants and animals promote integration of invasive species into native communities. In turn, the integrated invaders may alter existing patterns of mutualistic interactions. Here we simultaneously map in detail effects of invaders on parameters describing the topology of both plant-pollinator (bi-modal) and plant-plant (uni-modal) networks. We focus on the invader Opuntia spp., a cosmopolitan alien cactus. We compare two island systems: Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Menorca (Balearic Islands). Opuntia was found to modify the number of links between plants and pollinators, and was integrated into the new communities via the most generalist pollinators, but did not affect the general network pattern. The plant uni-modal networks showed disassortative linkage, i.e. species with many links tended to connect to species with few links. Thus, by linking to generalist natives, Opuntia remained peripheral to network topology, and this is probably why native network properties were not affected at least in one of the islands. We conclude that the network analytical approach is indeed a valuable tool to evaluate the effect of invaders on native communities. PMID:19609437

  19. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Alien Plant Species Detection and Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvořák, P.; Müllerová, J.; Bartaloš, T.; Brůna, J.

    2015-08-01

    Invasive species spread rapidly and their eradication is difficult. New methods enabling fast and efficient monitoring are urgently needed for their successful control. Remote sensing can improve early detection of invading plants and make their management more efficient and less expensive. In an ongoing project in the Czech Republic, we aim at developing innovative methods of mapping invasive plant species (semi-automatic detection algorithms) by using purposely designed unmanned aircraft (UAV). We examine possibilities for detection of two tree and two herb invasive species. Our aim is to establish fast, repeatable and efficient computer-assisted method of timely monitoring, reducing the costs of extensive field campaigns. For finding the best detection algorithm we test various classification approaches (object-, pixel-based and hybrid). Thanks to its flexibility and low cost, UAV enables assessing the effect of phenological stage and spatial resolution, and is most suitable for monitoring the efficiency of eradication efforts. However, several challenges exist in UAV application, such as geometrical and radiometric distortions, high amount of data to be processed and legal constrains for the UAV flight missions over urban areas (often highly invaded). The newly proposed UAV approach shall serve invasive species researchers, management practitioners and policy makers.

  20. Preference and Prey Switching in a Generalist Predator Attacking Local and Invasive Alien Pests

    PubMed Central

    Jaworski, Coline C.; Bompard, Anaïs; Genies, Laure; Amiens-Desneux, Edwige; Desneux, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Invasive pest species may strongly affect biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems. The ability of generalist predators to prey on new invasive pests may result in drastic changes in the population dynamics of local pest species owing to predator-mediated indirect interactions among prey. On a short time scale, the nature and strength of such indirect interactions depend largely on preferences between prey and on predator behavior patterns. Under laboratory conditions we evaluated the prey preference of the generalist predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur (Heteroptera: Miridae) when it encounters simultaneously the local tomato pest Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and the invasive alien pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). We tested various ratios of local vs. alien prey numbers, measuring switching by the predator from one prey to the other, and assessing what conditions (e.g. prey species abundance and prey development stage) may favor such prey switching. The total predation activity of M. pygmaeus was affected by the presence of T. absoluta in the prey complex with an opposite effect when comparing adult and juvenile predators. The predator showed similar preference toward T. absoluta eggs and B. tabaci nymphs, but T. absoluta larvae were clearly less attacked. However, prey preference strongly depended on prey relative abundance with a disproportionately high predation on the most abundant prey and disproportionately low predation on the rarest prey. Together with the findings of a recent companion study (Bompard et al. 2013, Population Ecology), the insight obtained on M. pygmaeus prey switching may be useful for Integrated Pest Management in tomato crops, notably for optimal simultaneous management of B. tabaci and T. absoluta, which very frequently co-occur on tomato. PMID:24312646

  1. Plant invasions in mountains: Global lessons for better management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDougall, K.L.; Khuroo, A.A.; Loope, L.L.; Parks, C.G.; Pauchard, A.; Reshi, Z.A.; Rushworth, I.; Kueffer, C.

    2011-01-01

    Mountains are one of few ecosystems little affected by plant invasions. However, the threat of invasion is likely to increase because of climate change, greater anthropogenic land use, and continuing novel introductions. Preventive management, therefore, will be crucial but can be difficult to promote when more pressing problems are unresolved and predictions are uncertain. In this essay, we use management case studies from 7 mountain regions to identify common lessons for effective preventive action. The degree of plant invasion in mountains was variable in the 7 regions as was the response to invasion, which ranged from lack of awareness by land managers of the potential impact in Chile and Kashmir to well-organized programs of prevention and containment in the United States (Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest), including prevention at low altitude. In Australia, awareness of the threat grew only after disruptive invasions. In South Africa, the economic benefits of removing alien plants are well recognized and funded in the form of employment programs. In the European Alps, there is little need for active management because no invasive species pose an immediate threat. From these case studies, we identify lessons for management of plant invasions in mountain ecosystems: (i) prevention is especially important in mountains because of their rugged terrain, where invasions can quickly become unmanageable; (ii) networks at local to global levels can assist with awareness raising and better prioritization of management actions; (iii) the economic importance of management should be identified and articulated; (iv) public acceptance of management programs will make them more effective; and (v) climate change needs to be considered. We suggest that comparisons of local case studies, such as those we have presented, have a pivotal place in the proactive solution of global change issues. ?? International Mountain Society.

  2. Comparative Patterns of Plant Invasions in the Mediterranean Biome

    PubMed Central

    Arianoutsou, Margarita; Delipetrou, Pinelopi; Vilà, Montserrat; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G.; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Henderson, Lesley; Fuentes, Nicol; Ugarte-Mendes, Eduardo; Rundel, Philip W.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this work was to compare and contrast the patterns of alien plant invasions in the world’s five mediterranean-climate regions (MCRs). We expected landscape age and disturbance history to have bearing on levels of invasion. We assembled a database on naturalized alien plant taxa occurring in natural and semi-natural terrestrial habitats of all five regions (specifically Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus from the Mediterranean Basin, California, central Chile, the Cape Region of South Africa and Southwestern - SW Australia). We used multivariate (hierarchical clustering and NMDS ordination) trait and habitat analysis to compare characteristics of regions, taxa and habitats across the mediterranean biome. Our database included 1627 naturalized species with an overall low taxonomic similarity among the five MCRs. Herbaceous perennials were the most frequent taxa, with SW Australia exhibiting both the highest numbers of naturalized species and the highest taxonomic similarity (homogenization) among habitats, and the Mediterranean Basin the lowest. Low stress and highly disturbed habitats had the highest frequency of invasion and homogenization in all regions, and high natural stress habitats the lowest, while taxonomic similarity was higher among different habitats in each region than among regions. Our analysis is the first to describe patterns of species characteristics and habitat vulnerability for a single biome. We have shown that a broad niche (i.e. more than one habitat) is typical of naturalized plant species, regardless of their geographical area of origin, leading to potential for high homogenization within each region. Habitats of the Mediterranean Basin are apparently the most resistant to plant invasion, possibly because their landscapes are generally of relatively recent origin, but with a more gradual exposure to human intervention over a longer period. PMID:24244443

  3. Lack of sex-specific movement patterns in an alien species at its invasion front - consequences for invasion speed.

    PubMed

    Herfindal, Ivar; Melis, Claudia; Åhlén, Per-Arne; Dahl, Fredrik

    2016-08-01

    Efficient targeting of actions to reduce the spread of invasive alien species relies on understanding the spatial, temporal, and individual variation of movement, in particular related to dispersal. Such patterns may differ between individuals at the invasion front compared to individuals in established and dense populations due to differences in environmental and ecological conditions such as abundance of conspecifics or sex-specific dispersal affecting the encounter rate of potential mates. We assessed seasonal and diurnal variation in movement pattern (step length and turning angle) of adult male and female raccoon dog at their invasion front in northern Sweden using data from Global Positioning System (GPS)-marked adult individuals and assessed whether male and female raccoon dog differed in their movement behavior. There were few consistent sex differences in movement. The rate of dispersal was rather similar over the months, suggesting that both male and female raccoon dog disperse during most of the year, but with higher speed during spring and summer. There were diurnal movement patterns in both sexes with more directional and faster movement during the dark hours. However, the short summer nights may limit such movement patterns, and long-distance displacement was best explained by fine-scale movement patterns from 18:00 to 05:00, rather than by movement patterns only from twilight and night. Simulation of dispersing raccoon dogs suggested a higher frequency of male-female encounters that were further away from the source population for the empirical data compared to a scenario with sex differences in movement pattern. The lack of sex differences in movement pattern at the invasion front results in an increased likelihood for reproductive events far from the source population. Animals outside the source population should be considered potential reproducing individuals, and a high effort to capture such individuals is needed throughout the year to prevent

  4. Screening Allelochemical-Resistant Species of the Alien Invasive Mikania micrantha for Restoration in South China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ai-Ping; Li, Zi-Li; He, Fei-Fei; Wang, Yan-Hong; Dong, Ming

    2015-01-01

    To screen allelochemical-resistant species of the alien invasive weed Mikania micrantha, we studied the allelopathic inhibition effects of the leaf aqueous extract (LAE) of Mikania on seed germination and seedling growth of the 26 species native or naturalized in the invaded region in South China. Seed germination was more strongly negatively affected by LAE than seedling growth. Responses of seed germination and seed growth to LAE differed differently among the target species. LAE more strongly negatively affected seed germination, but less strongly negatively affected seedling growth, in non-legume species than in legume species. LAE more strongly negatively affected seed germination and seedling growth in native species than naturalized exotic species. Therefore, naturalized exotic non-legume seedlings are more suitable than seeds of native legume species for restoration of Mikania-invaded habitats. PMID:26177031

  5. Analyzing the Social Factors That Influence Willingness to Pay for Invasive Alien Species Management Under Two Different Strategies: Eradication and Prevention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Llorente, Marina; Martín-López, Berta; Nunes, Paulo A. L. D.; González, José A.; Alcorlo, Paloma; Montes, Carlos

    2011-09-01

    Biological invasions occur worldwide, and have been the object of ecological and socio-economic research for decades. However, the manner in which different stakeholder groups identify the problems associated with invasive species and confront invasive species management under different policies remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted an econometric analysis of the social factors influencing willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different regimes: eradication and prevention in the Doñana Natural Protected Area (SW Spain). Controlling for the participation of local residents, tourists and conservationists, email and face-to-face questionnaires were conducted. Results indicated that respondents were more willing to pay for eradication than prevention; and public support for invasive alien species management was influenced by an individual's knowledge and perception of invasive alien species, active interest in nature, and socio-demographic attributes. We concluded that invasive alien species management research should confront the challenges to engage stakeholders and accept any tradeoffs necessary to modify different conservation policies to ensure effective management is implemented. Finally, our willingness to pay estimates suggest the Department of Environment of Andalusian Government has suitable social support to meet the budgetary expenditures required for invasive alien species plans and adequate resources to justify an increase in the invasive alien species management budget.

  6. Analyzing the social factors that influence willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different strategies: eradication and prevention.

    PubMed

    García-Llorente, Marina; Martín-López, Berta; Nunes, Paulo A L D; González, José A; Alcorlo, Paloma; Montes, Carlos

    2011-09-01

    Biological invasions occur worldwide, and have been the object of ecological and socio-economic research for decades. However, the manner in which different stakeholder groups identify the problems associated with invasive species and confront invasive species management under different policies remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted an econometric analysis of the social factors influencing willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different regimes: eradication and prevention in the Doñana Natural Protected Area (SW Spain). Controlling for the participation of local residents, tourists and conservationists, email and face-to-face questionnaires were conducted. Results indicated that respondents were more willing to pay for eradication than prevention; and public support for invasive alien species management was influenced by an individual's knowledge and perception of invasive alien species, active interest in nature, and socio-demographic attributes. We concluded that invasive alien species management research should confront the challenges to engage stakeholders and accept any tradeoffs necessary to modify different conservation policies to ensure effective management is implemented. Finally, our willingness to pay estimates suggest the Department of Environment of Andalusian Government has suitable social support to meet the budgetary expenditures required for invasive alien species plans and adequate resources to justify an increase in the invasive alien species management budget.

  7. Competition between alien annual grasses and native annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2000-01-01

    Alien annual grasses in the genera Bromus and Schismus are widespread and abundant in the Mojave Desert, and negative correlations between these aliens and native annual plants suggest that competition may occur between them. Effects of competition were evaluated by thinning alien annual grass seedlings and measuring the responses of native annual plants at three sites in the central, southcentral and southwestern Mojave Desert during 2 y of contrasting plant productivity. Effects of Bromus and Schismus were evaluated separately in the microhabitat where each was most abundant, beneath the north side of creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) for Bromus and in the open interspace between shrubs for Schismus. Thinning of Bromus and Schismus significantly increased density and biomass of native annuals at all three sites, only during a year of high annual plant productivity and species richness. Effects of thinning were greatest for Amsinckia tesselata and for a group of relatively uncommon native annuals. Thinning also significantly increased the density and biomass of the alien forb, Erodium cicutarium. These results show that alien annual grasses can compete with native annual plants and an alien forb in the Mojave Desert and that effects can vary among years.

  8. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets’ growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  9. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion.

  10. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  11. Plant invasions in protected areas of tropical pacific islands, with special reference to Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    R. Flint Hughes,; Jean-Yves Meyer, jean-yves.meyer@recherche.gov.pf; Loope, Lloyd L.

    2013-01-01

    Isolated tropical islands are notoriously vulnerable to plant invasions. Serious management for protection of native biodiversity in Hawaii began in the 1970s, arguably at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Concerted alien plant management began there in the 1980s and has in a sense become a model for protected areas throughout Hawaii and Pacific Island countries and territories. We review the relative successes of their strategies and touch upon how their experience has been applied elsewhere. Protected areas in Hawaii are fortunate in having relatively good resources for addressing plant invasions, but many invasions remain intractable, and invasions from outside the boundaries continue from a highly globalised society with a penchant for horticultural novelty. There are likely few efforts in most Pacific Islands to combat alien plant invasions in protected areas, but such areas may often have fewer plant invasions as a result of their relative remoteness and/or socio-economic development status. The greatest current needs for protected areas in this region may be for establishment of yet more protected areas, for better resources to combat invasions in Pacific Island countries and territories, for more effective control methods including biological control programme to contain intractable species, and for meaningful efforts to address prevention and early detection of potential new invaders.

  12. Suitability of the ALien Biotic IndEX (ALEX) for assessing invasion of macroalgae across different Mediterranean habitats.

    PubMed

    Piazzi, Luigi; Gennaro, Paola; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2015-08-15

    The ALien Biotic IndEX (ALEX) has been recently proposed to evaluate biological invasions in soft-bottom macro-invertebrate assemblages. The present paper proposes the use of ALEX in sessile assemblages of Mediterranean hard bottom habitats and tests it along gradients of invasion. For five invasive macroalgae a variable number of case studies per each of four habitats were examined from the available data sets. For each case study samples were attributed to four levels of invasion depending on the abundance of the invading macroalgae. Results showed that the application of ALEX to sessile assemblages of hard bottoms allows to qualify the level of invasion along the considered gradients. Moreover, the decline of index values matched the impact of invasion on species number of the assemblages. Results also suggest that the concurrent use of ALEX and indices of benthic quality status can be a valuable tool to assess biopollution in hard bottom habitats.

  13. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Ghahramanzadeh, R; Esselink, G; Kodde, L P; Duistermaat, H; van Valkenburg, J L C H; Marashi, S H; Smulders, M J M; van de Wiel, C C M

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to prevent them from entering a country. However, many related species are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is often difficult for plants in a vegetative stage. In this regard, DNA barcoding could become a good alternative. In this study, 242 samples belonging to 26 species from 10 genera of aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL. Despite testing a large number of primer sets and several PCR protocols, the matK locus could not be amplified or sequenced reliably and therefore was left out of the analysis. Using the other two loci, eight invasive species could be distinguished from their respective related species, a ninth one failed to produce sequences of sufficient quality. Based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination, the trnH-psbA noncoding spacer was the best performing barcode in the aquatic plant species studied. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species, such as is already in place in the Netherlands. This will become even more so once DNA barcoding would be turned into machinery routinely operable by a nonspecialist in botany and molecular genetics.

  14. Alien Plant Monitoring with Ultralight Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Calviño-Cancela, María; Méndez-Rial, Roi; Reguera-Salgado, Javier; Martín-Herrero, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Effective management of invasive plants requires a precise determination of their distribution. Remote sensing techniques constitute a promising alternative to field surveys and hyperspectral sensors (also known as imaging spectrometers, with a large number of spectral bands and high spectral resolution) are especially suitable when very similar categories are to be distinguished (e.g. plant species). A main priority in the development of this technology is to lower its cost and simplify its use, so that its demonstrated aptitude for many environmental applications can be truly realized. With this aim, we have developed a system for hyperspectral imaging (200 spectral bands in the 380–1000 nm range and circa 3 nm spectral resolution) operated on board ultralight aircraft (namely a gyrocopter), which allows a drastic reduction of the running costs and operational complexity of image acquisition, and also increases the spatial resolution of the images (circa 5–8 pixels/m2 at circa 65 km/h and 300 m height). The detection system proved useful for the species tested (Acacia melanoxylon, Oxalis pes-caprae, and Carpobrotus aff. edulis and acinaciformis), with user’s and producer’s accuracy always exceeding 90%. The detection accuracy reported corresponds to patches down to 0.125 m2 (50% of pixels 0.5×0.5 m in size), a very small size for many plant species, making it very effective for initial stages of invasive plant spread. In addition, its low operating costs, similar to those of a 4WD ground vehicle, facilitate frequent image acquisition. Acquired images constitute a permanent record of the status of the study area, with great amount of information that can be analyzed in the future for other purposes, thus greatly facilitating the monitoring of natural areas at detailed spatial and temporal scales for improved management. PMID:25010601

  15. Alien plant monitoring with ultralight airborne imaging spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Calviño-Cancela, María; Méndez-Rial, Roi; Reguera-Salgado, Javier; Martín-Herrero, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Effective management of invasive plants requires a precise determination of their distribution. Remote sensing techniques constitute a promising alternative to field surveys and hyperspectral sensors (also known as imaging spectrometers, with a large number of spectral bands and high spectral resolution) are especially suitable when very similar categories are to be distinguished (e.g. plant species). A main priority in the development of this technology is to lower its cost and simplify its use, so that its demonstrated aptitude for many environmental applications can be truly realized. With this aim, we have developed a system for hyperspectral imaging (200 spectral bands in the 380-1000 nm range and circa 3 nm spectral resolution) operated on board ultralight aircraft (namely a gyrocopter), which allows a drastic reduction of the running costs and operational complexity of image acquisition, and also increases the spatial resolution of the images (circa 5-8 pixels/m(2) at circa 65 km/h and 300 m height). The detection system proved useful for the species tested (Acacia melanoxylon, Oxalis pes-caprae, and Carpobrotus aff. edulis and acinaciformis), with user's and producer's accuracy always exceeding 90%. The detection accuracy reported corresponds to patches down to 0.125 m(2) (50% of pixels 0.5 × 0.5 m in size), a very small size for many plant species, making it very effective for initial stages of invasive plant spread. In addition, its low operating costs, similar to those of a 4WD ground vehicle, facilitate frequent image acquisition. Acquired images constitute a permanent record of the status of the study area, with great amount of information that can be analyzed in the future for other purposes, thus greatly facilitating the monitoring of natural areas at detailed spatial and temporal scales for improved management. PMID:25010601

  16. Planting history and propagule pressure as predictors of invasion by woody species in a temperate region.

    PubMed

    Krivánek, Martin; Pysek, Petr; Jarosík, Vojtech

    2006-10-01

    We studied 28 alien tree species currently planted for forestry purposes in the Czech Republic to determine the probability of their escape from cultivation and naturalization. Indicators of propagule pressure (number of administrative units in which a species is planted and total planting area) and time of introduction into cultivation were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models. Fourteen species escaped from cultivation, and 39% of the variance was explained by the number of planting units and the time of introduction, the latter being more important. Species introduced early had a higher probability of escape than those introduced later, with more than 95% probability of escape for those introduced before 1801 and <5% for those introduced after 1892. Probability of naturalization was more difficult to predict, and eight species were misclassified. A model omitting two species with the largest influence on the model yielded similar predictors of naturalization as did the probability of escape. Both phases of invasion therefore appear to be driven by planting and introduction history in a similar way. Our results demonstrate the importance of forestry for recruitment of invasive trees. Six alien forestry trees, classified as invasive in the Czech Republic, are currently reported in nature reserves. In addition, forestry authorities want to increase the diversity of alien species and planting area in the country.

  17. Principles for ecologically based invasive plant management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land managers long have identified a critical need for a practical and effective framework to guide the implementation of successful restoration, especially where invasive plants dominate the ecosystem. A holistic, ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework that integrates ecosy...

  18. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  19. Invasive plants transform the three-dimensional structure of rain forests

    PubMed Central

    Asner, Gregory P.; Hughes, R. Flint; Vitousek, Peter M.; Knapp, David E.; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Boardman, Joseph; Martin, Roberta E.; Eastwood, Michael; Green, Robert O.

    2008-01-01

    Biological invasions contribute to global environmental change, but the dynamics and consequences of most invasions are difficult to assess at regional scales. We deployed an airborne remote sensing system that mapped the location and impacts of five highly invasive plant species across 221,875 ha of Hawaiian ecosystems, identifying four distinct ways that these species transform the three-dimensional (3D) structure of native rain forests. In lowland to montane forests, three invasive tree species replace native midcanopy and understory plants, whereas one understory invader excludes native species at the ground level. A fifth invasive nitrogen-fixing tree, in combination with a midcanopy alien tree, replaces native plants at all canopy levels in lowland forests. We conclude that this diverse array of alien plant species, each representing a different growth form or functional type, is changing the fundamental 3D structure of native Hawaiian rain forests. Our work also demonstrates how an airborne mapping strategy can identify and track the spread of certain invasive plant species, determine ecological consequences of their proliferation, and provide detailed geographic information to conservation and management efforts. PMID:18316720

  20. The impact of native competitors on an alien invasive: temporal niche shifts to avoid interspecific aggression?

    PubMed

    Harrington, Lauren A; Harrington, Andrew L; Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki; Thom, Michael D; Ferreras, Pablo; Windham, Thomas R; Macdonald, David W

    2009-05-01

    The American mink, Neovison vison, is an established, alien invasive species in the United Kingdom that originally colonized the country at a time when two native mustelids (otters, Lutra lutra, and polecats, Mustela putorius) were largely absent. Both of these species are now recovering their populations nationally. We compared the relative abundance and the behavior of mink in the 1990s and in the 2000s in an area of southern England where both otters and polecats were absent in the 1990s but reappeared in the intervening years. We found that mink were still abundant in the 2000s in the presence of otters and polecats, but that they appeared to have altered some aspects of their behavior. In accordance with previous studies, we found that mink consumed fewer fish in the presence of otters. We also found that mink were predominantly nocturnal in the 1990s (in the absence of competitors) but were predominantly diurnal in the 2000s (in the presence of competitors). We hypothesize that this temporal shift may be an avoidance mechanism allowing the coexistence of mink with the otter and the polecat, although we are unable to attribute the shift to one or the other species. We also found that mink in the presence of competitors weighed less but remained the same size, suggesting the possibility of a competitor-mediated decline in overall body condition. This is one of very few field studies demonstrating a complete temporal shift in apparent response to competitors. The implications of this study are that recovering otter populations may not lead to significant and long-term reductions in the number of invasive mink in the United Kingdom as has been suggested in the media, although we cannot exclude the possibility of a decline in mink in the longer-term. PMID:19537542

  1. The more the better? The role of polyploidy in facilitating plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    te Beest, Mariska; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Richardson, David M.; Brysting, Anne K.; Suda, Jan; Kubešová, Magdalena; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Background Biological invasions are a major ecological and socio-economic problem in many parts of the world. Despite an explosion of research in recent decades, much remains to be understood about why some species become invasive whereas others do not. Recently, polyploidy (whole genome duplication) has been proposed as an important determinant of invasiveness in plants. Genome duplication has played a major role in plant evolution and can drastically alter a plant's genetic make-up, morphology, physiology and ecology within only one or a few generations. This may allow some polyploids to succeed in strongly fluctuating environments and/or effectively colonize new habitats and, thus, increase their potential to be invasive. Scope We synthesize current knowledge on the importance of polyploidy for the invasion (i.e. spread) of introduced plants. We first aim to elucidate general mechanisms that are involved in the success of polyploid plants and translate this to that of plant invaders. Secondly, we provide an overview of ploidal levels in selected invasive alien plants and explain how ploidy might have contributed to their success. Conclusions Polyploidy can be an important factor in species invasion success through a combination of (1) ‘pre-adaptation’, whereby polyploid lineages are predisposed to conditions in the new range and, therefore, have higher survival rates and fitness in the earliest establishment phase; and (2) the possibility for subsequent adaptation due to a larger genetic diversity that may assist the ‘evolution of invasiveness’. Alternatively, polyploidization may play an important role by (3) restoring sexual reproduction following hybridization or, conversely, (4) asexual reproduction in the absence of suitable mates. We, therefore, encourage invasion biologists to incorporate assessments of ploidy in their studies of invasive alien species. PMID:22040744

  2. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E.; Grewell, Brenda J.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Funk, Jennifer L.; James, Jeremy J.; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M.; Richards, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. Scope We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then ‘scale up’ to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. Conclusions To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels. PMID:22589328

  3. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    PubMed

    Litt, Andrea R; Cord, Erin E; Fulbright, Timothy E; Schuster, Greta L

    2014-12-01

    Non-native plants have invaded nearly all ecosystems and represent a major component of global ecological change. Plant invasions frequently change the composition and structure of vegetation communities, which can alter animal communities and ecosystem processes. We reviewed 87 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature to evaluate responses of arthropod communities and functional groups to non-native invasive plants. Total abundance of arthropods decreased in 62% of studies and increased in 15%. Taxonomic richness decreased in 48% of studies and increased in 13%. Herbivorous arthropods decreased in response to plant invasions in 48% of studies and increased in 17%, likely due to direct effects of decreased plant diversity. Predaceous arthropods decreased in response to invasive plants in 44% of studies, which may reflect indirect effects due to reductions in prey. Twenty-two percent of studies documented increases in predators, which may reflect changes in vegetation structure that improved mobility, survival, or web-building for these species. Detritivores increased in 67% of studies, likely in response to increased litter and decaying vegetation; no studies documented decreased abundance in this functional group. Although many researchers have examined effects of plant invasions on arthropods, sizeable information gaps remain, specifically regarding how invasive plants influence habitat and dietary requirements. Beyond this, the ability to predict changes in arthropod populations and communities associated with plant invasions could be improved by adopting a more functional and mechanistic approach. Understanding responses of arthropods to invasive plants will critically inform conservation of virtually all biodiversity and ecological processes because so many organisms depend on arthropods as prey or for their functional roles, including pollination, seed dispersal, and decomposition. Given their short generation times and ability to respond rapidly to

  4. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    PubMed

    Litt, Andrea R; Cord, Erin E; Fulbright, Timothy E; Schuster, Greta L

    2014-12-01

    Non-native plants have invaded nearly all ecosystems and represent a major component of global ecological change. Plant invasions frequently change the composition and structure of vegetation communities, which can alter animal communities and ecosystem processes. We reviewed 87 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature to evaluate responses of arthropod communities and functional groups to non-native invasive plants. Total abundance of arthropods decreased in 62% of studies and increased in 15%. Taxonomic richness decreased in 48% of studies and increased in 13%. Herbivorous arthropods decreased in response to plant invasions in 48% of studies and increased in 17%, likely due to direct effects of decreased plant diversity. Predaceous arthropods decreased in response to invasive plants in 44% of studies, which may reflect indirect effects due to reductions in prey. Twenty-two percent of studies documented increases in predators, which may reflect changes in vegetation structure that improved mobility, survival, or web-building for these species. Detritivores increased in 67% of studies, likely in response to increased litter and decaying vegetation; no studies documented decreased abundance in this functional group. Although many researchers have examined effects of plant invasions on arthropods, sizeable information gaps remain, specifically regarding how invasive plants influence habitat and dietary requirements. Beyond this, the ability to predict changes in arthropod populations and communities associated with plant invasions could be improved by adopting a more functional and mechanistic approach. Understanding responses of arthropods to invasive plants will critically inform conservation of virtually all biodiversity and ecological processes because so many organisms depend on arthropods as prey or for their functional roles, including pollination, seed dispersal, and decomposition. Given their short generation times and ability to respond rapidly to

  5. E-commerce trade in invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Humair, Franziska; Humair, Luc; Kuhn, Fabian; Kueffer, Christoph

    2015-12-01

    Biological invasions are a major concern in conservation, especially because global transport of species is still increasing rapidly. Conservationists hope to anticipate and thus prevent future invasions by identifying and regulating potentially invasive species through species risk assessments and international trade regulations. Among many introduction pathways of non-native species, horticulture is a particularly important driver of plant invasions. In recent decades, the horticultural industry expanded globally and changed structurally through the emergence of new distribution channels, including internet trade (e-commerce). Using an automated search algorithm, we surveyed, on a daily basis, e-commerce trade on 10 major online auction sites (including eBay) of approximately three-fifths of the world's spermatophyte flora. Many recognized invasive plant species (>500 species) (i.e., species associated with ecological or socio-economic problems) were traded daily worldwide on the internet. A markedly higher proportion of invasive than non-invasive species were available online. Typically, for a particular plant family, 30-80% of recognized invasive species were detected on an auction site, but only a few percentages of all species in the plant family were detected on a site. Families that were more traded had a higher proportion of invasive species than families that were less traded. For woody species, there was a significant positive relationship between the number of regions where a species was sold and the number of regions where it was invasive. Our results indicate that biosecurity is not effectively regulating online plant trade. In the future, automated monitoring of e-commerce may help prevent the spread of invasive species, provide information on emerging trade connectivity across national borders, and be used in horizon scanning exercises for early detection of new species and their geographic source areas in international trade.

  6. E-commerce trade in invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Humair, Franziska; Humair, Luc; Kuhn, Fabian; Kueffer, Christoph

    2015-12-01

    Biological invasions are a major concern in conservation, especially because global transport of species is still increasing rapidly. Conservationists hope to anticipate and thus prevent future invasions by identifying and regulating potentially invasive species through species risk assessments and international trade regulations. Among many introduction pathways of non-native species, horticulture is a particularly important driver of plant invasions. In recent decades, the horticultural industry expanded globally and changed structurally through the emergence of new distribution channels, including internet trade (e-commerce). Using an automated search algorithm, we surveyed, on a daily basis, e-commerce trade on 10 major online auction sites (including eBay) of approximately three-fifths of the world's spermatophyte flora. Many recognized invasive plant species (>500 species) (i.e., species associated with ecological or socio-economic problems) were traded daily worldwide on the internet. A markedly higher proportion of invasive than non-invasive species were available online. Typically, for a particular plant family, 30-80% of recognized invasive species were detected on an auction site, but only a few percentages of all species in the plant family were detected on a site. Families that were more traded had a higher proportion of invasive species than families that were less traded. For woody species, there was a significant positive relationship between the number of regions where a species was sold and the number of regions where it was invasive. Our results indicate that biosecurity is not effectively regulating online plant trade. In the future, automated monitoring of e-commerce may help prevent the spread of invasive species, provide information on emerging trade connectivity across national borders, and be used in horizon scanning exercises for early detection of new species and their geographic source areas in international trade. PMID:26249172

  7. ALIENS IN WESTERN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The USEPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program conducted a five year probability sample of permanent mapped streams in 12 western US states. The study design enables us to determine the extent of selected riparian invasive plants, alien aquatic vertebrates, and some ...

  8. Ecological Principles for Invasive Plant Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive annual grasses continue to advance at an alarming rate despite efforts of control by land managers. Ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) is a holistic framework that integrates ecosystem health assessment, knowledge of ecological processes and adaptive management into a succ...

  9. Invasiveness does not predict impact: response of native land snail communities to plant invasions in riparian habitats.

    PubMed

    Horáčková, Jitka; Juřičková, Lucie; Šizling, Arnošt L; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Studies of plant invasions rarely address impacts on molluscs. By comparing pairs of invaded and corresponding uninvaded plots in 96 sites in floodplain forests, we examined effects of four invasive alien plants (Impatiens glandulifera, Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and F.× bohemica) in the Czech Republic on communities of land snails. The richness and abundance of living land snail species were recorded separately for all species, rare species listed on the national Red List, and small species with shell size below 5 mm. The significant impacts ranged from 16-48% reduction in snail species numbers, and 29-90% reduction in abundance. Small species were especially prone to reduction in species richness by all four invasive plant taxa. Rare snails were also negatively impacted by all plant invaders, both in terms of species richness or abundance. Overall, the impacts on snails were invader-specific, differing among plant taxa. The strong effect of I. glandulifera could be related to the post-invasion decrease in abundance of tall nitrophilous native plant species that are a nutrient-rich food source for snails in riparian habitats. Fallopia sachalinensis had the strongest negative impact of the three knotweeds, which reflects differences in their canopy structure, microhabitat humidity and litter decomposition. The ranking of Fallopia taxa according to the strength of impacts on snail communities differs from ranking by their invasiveness, known from previous studies. This indicates that invasiveness does not simply translate to impacts of invasion and needs to be borne in mind by conservation and management authorities. PMID:25238059

  10. Invasiveness Does Not Predict Impact: Response of Native Land Snail Communities to Plant Invasions in Riparian Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Horáčková, Jitka; Juřičková, Lucie; Šizling, Arnošt L.; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Studies of plant invasions rarely address impacts on molluscs. By comparing pairs of invaded and corresponding uninvaded plots in 96 sites in floodplain forests, we examined effects of four invasive alien plants (Impatiens glandulifera, Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and F.×bohemica) in the Czech Republic on communities of land snails. The richness and abundance of living land snail species were recorded separately for all species, rare species listed on the national Red List, and small species with shell size below 5 mm. The significant impacts ranged from 16–48% reduction in snail species numbers, and 29–90% reduction in abundance. Small species were especially prone to reduction in species richness by all four invasive plant taxa. Rare snails were also negatively impacted by all plant invaders, both in terms of species richness or abundance. Overall, the impacts on snails were invader-specific, differing among plant taxa. The strong effect of I. glandulifera could be related to the post-invasion decrease in abundance of tall nitrophilous native plant species that are a nutrient-rich food source for snails in riparian habitats. Fallopia sachalinensis had the strongest negative impact of the three knotweeds, which reflects differences in their canopy structure, microhabitat humidity and litter decomposition. The ranking of Fallopia taxa according to the strength of impacts on snail communities differs from ranking by their invasiveness, known from previous studies. This indicates that invasiveness does not simply translate to impacts of invasion and needs to be borne in mind by conservation and management authorities. PMID:25238059

  11. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

  12. Biological Warfare in Invasive Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) is an invasive species in temperate forests throughout North America that has led to a decrease in species diversity and alterations in nutrient cycling. Garlic mustard produces an arsenal of secondary chemicals in the glucosinolate family that have strong biocid...

  13. Invasive plants and their ecological strategies: Prediction and explanation of woody plant invasion in New England

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herron, P.M.; Martine, C.T.; Latimer, A.M.; Leicht-Young, S. A.

    2007-01-01

    Effective management of introduced species requires the early identification of species that pose a significant threat of becoming invasive. To better understand the invasive ecology of species in New England, USA, we compiled a character data set with which to compare non-native species that are known invaders to non-native species that are not currently known to be invasive. In contrast to previous biological trait-based models, we employed a Bayesian hierarchical analysis to identify sets of plant traits associated with invasiveness for each of three growth forms (vines, shrubs, and trees). The resulting models identify a suite of 'invasive traits' highlighting the ecology associated with invasiveness for each of three growth forms. The most effective predictors of invasiveness that emerged from our model were 'invasive elsewhere', 'fast growth rate', 'native latitudinal range', and 'growth form'. The contrast among growth forms was pronounced. For example, 'wind dispersal' was positively correlated with invasiveness in trees, but negatively correlated in shrubs and vines. The predictive model was able to correctly classify invasive plants 67% of the time (22/33), and non-invasive plants 95% of the time (204/215). A number of potential future invasive species in New England that deserve management consideration were identified. ?? 2007 The Authors.

  14. Unveiling an ancient biological invasion: molecular analysis of an old European alien, the crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata)

    PubMed Central

    Trucchi, Emiliano; Sbordoni, Valerio

    2009-01-01

    Background Biological invasions can be considered one of the main threats to biodiversity, and the recognition of common ecological and evolutionary features among invaders can help developing a predictive framework to control further invasions. In particular, the analysis of successful invasive species and of their autochthonous source populations by means of genetic, phylogeographic and demographic tools can provide novel insights into the study of biological invasion patterns. Today, long-term dynamics of biological invasions are still poorly understood and need further investigations. Moreover, distribution and molecular data on native populations could contribute to the recognition of common evolutionary features of successful aliens. Results We analyzed 2,195 mitochondrial base pairs, including Cytochrome b, Control Region and rRNA 12S, in 161 Italian and 27 African specimens and assessed the ancient invasive origin of Italian crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) populations from Tunisia. Molecular coalescent-based Bayesian analyses proposed the Roman Age as a putative timeframe of introduction and suggested a retention of genetic diversity during the early phases of colonization. The characterization of the native African genetic background revealed the existence of two differentiated clades: a Mediterranean group and a Sub-Saharan one. Both standard population genetic and advanced molecular demography tools (Bayesian Skyline Plot) did not evidence a clear genetic signature of the expected increase in population size after introduction. Along with the genetic diversity retention during the bottlenecked steps of introduction, this finding could be better described by hypothesizing a multi-invasion event. Conclusion Evidences of the ancient anthropogenic invasive origin of the Italian Hystrix cristata populations were clearly shown and the native African genetic background was preliminary described. A more complex pattern than a simple demographic exponential

  15. Predicting plant invasions under climate change: are species distribution models validated by field trials?

    PubMed

    Sheppard, Christine S; Burns, Bruce R; Stanley, Margaret C

    2014-09-01

    Climate change may facilitate alien species invasion into new areas, particularly for species from warm native ranges introduced into areas currently marginal for temperature. Although conclusions from modelling approaches and experimental studies are generally similar, combining the two approaches has rarely occurred. The aim of this study was to validate species distribution models by conducting field trials in sites of differing suitability as predicted by the models, thus increasing confidence in their ability to assess invasion risk. Three recently naturalized alien plants in New Zealand were used as study species (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, Psidium guajava and Schefflera actinophylla): they originate from warm native ranges, are woody bird-dispersed species and of concern as potential weeds. Seedlings were grown in six sites across the country, differing both in climate and suitability (as predicted by the species distribution models). Seedling growth and survival were recorded over two summers and one or two winter seasons, and temperature and precipitation were monitored hourly at each site. Additionally, alien seedling performances were compared to those of closely related native species (Rhopalostylis sapida, Lophomyrtus bullata and Schefflera digitata). Furthermore, half of the seedlings were sprayed with pesticide, to investigate whether enemy release may influence performance. The results showed large differences in growth and survival of the alien species among the six sites. In the more suitable sites, performance was frequently higher compared to the native species. Leaf damage from invertebrate herbivory was low for both alien and native seedlings, with little evidence that the alien species should have an advantage over the native species because of enemy release. Correlations between performance in the field and predicted suitability of species distribution models were generally high. The projected increase in minimum temperature and reduced

  16. Predicting plant invasions under climate change: are species distribution models validated by field trials?

    PubMed

    Sheppard, Christine S; Burns, Bruce R; Stanley, Margaret C

    2014-09-01

    Climate change may facilitate alien species invasion into new areas, particularly for species from warm native ranges introduced into areas currently marginal for temperature. Although conclusions from modelling approaches and experimental studies are generally similar, combining the two approaches has rarely occurred. The aim of this study was to validate species distribution models by conducting field trials in sites of differing suitability as predicted by the models, thus increasing confidence in their ability to assess invasion risk. Three recently naturalized alien plants in New Zealand were used as study species (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, Psidium guajava and Schefflera actinophylla): they originate from warm native ranges, are woody bird-dispersed species and of concern as potential weeds. Seedlings were grown in six sites across the country, differing both in climate and suitability (as predicted by the species distribution models). Seedling growth and survival were recorded over two summers and one or two winter seasons, and temperature and precipitation were monitored hourly at each site. Additionally, alien seedling performances were compared to those of closely related native species (Rhopalostylis sapida, Lophomyrtus bullata and Schefflera digitata). Furthermore, half of the seedlings were sprayed with pesticide, to investigate whether enemy release may influence performance. The results showed large differences in growth and survival of the alien species among the six sites. In the more suitable sites, performance was frequently higher compared to the native species. Leaf damage from invertebrate herbivory was low for both alien and native seedlings, with little evidence that the alien species should have an advantage over the native species because of enemy release. Correlations between performance in the field and predicted suitability of species distribution models were generally high. The projected increase in minimum temperature and reduced

  17. Economic savings from invasive plant prevention

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prevention programs are often assumed to be the most cost-effective method for managing invasive plants. However, there is very little information about economic and biological factors that determine the forage benefits resulting from prevention programs. We developed a simple economic model to asse...

  18. Development of a Scale for Measuring Invasive Plant Environmentalism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, Edward W.; Dozier, Hallie

    2000-01-01

    Developed an instrument to measure invasive plant environmentalism (knowledge and attitudes concerning non-native plant invasions). Scaled responses of 237 plant nursery customers to a 17-item standardized interview using the partial credit model. Results indicate that the instrument measured the construct of invasive plant environmentalism…

  19. An Extensive Field Survey Combined with a Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals Rapid and Widespread Invasion of Two Alien Whiteflies in China

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jian; De Barro, Paul; Zhao, Hua; Wang, Jia; Nardi, Francesco; Liu, Shu-Sheng

    2011-01-01

    Background To understand the processes of invasions by alien insects is a pre-requisite for improving management. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a cryptic species complex that contains some of the most invasive pests worldwide. However, extensive field data to show the geographic distribution of the members of this species complex as well as the invasion by some of its members are scarce. Methodology/Principal Findings We used field surveys and published data to assess the current diversity and distribution of B. tabaci cryptic species in China and relate the indigenous members to other Asian and Australian members of the complex. The survey covered the 16 provinces where indigenous B. tabaci occur and extends this with published data for the whole of China. We used molecular markers to identify cryptic species. The evolutionary relationships between the different Asian B. tabaci were reconstructed using Bayesian methods. We show that whereas in the past the exotic invader Middle East-Asia Minor 1 was predominant across China, another newer invader Mediterranean is now the dominant species in the Yangtze River Valley and eastern coastal areas, and Middle East-Asia Minor 1 is now predominant only in the south and south eastern coastal areas. Based on mtCO1 we identified four new cryptic species, and in total we have recorded 13 indigenous and two invasive species from China. Diversity was highest in the southern and southeastern provinces and declined to north and west. Only the two invasive species were found in the northern part of the country where they occur primarily in protected cropping. By 2009, indigenous species were mainly found in remote mountainous areas and were mostly absent from extensive agricultural areas. Conclusions/Significance Invasions by some members of the whitefly B. tabaci species complex can be rapid and widespread, and indigenous species closely related to the invaders are replaced. PMID:21283707

  20. Changes in plant community of Seasonally Semideciduous Forest after invasion by Schizolobium parahyba at southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abreu, Rodolfo Cesar Real de; Santos, Francisco Ferreira de Miranda; Durigan, Giselda

    2014-01-01

    The recognition of a species as invasive is generally accepted when it comes from another continent or even from another country, but requires strong evidences of negative impacts to support control actions when the invasive species comes from another region in the same country. Schyzolobium parahyba - the 'guapuruvu', is a Brazilian tree native from the evergreen type of the Atlantic Forest, which has been recorded as invader in a number of remnants of the Seasonally Semideciduous Forest - SSF. We hypothesized that this giant and fast growing invasive tree changes the structure and composition of the understory, thus impairing the forest dynamics. We assessed the invasive population in the whole fragment, and, within the portion invaded, we sampled the regenerating plant community 1) under the largest alien trees, 2) under a native species with similar ecology (Peltophorum dubium), and 3) randomly in the forest. Density, basal area and richness under S. parahyba were remarkably lower than under the equivalent native species or in the understory as a whole. Floristic composition of the plant community was also distinct under S. parahyba, possibly due to increased competition for soil water. Even though the alien species has occupied, as yet, a small proportion of the forest fragment, it dominates the overstory and threatens the regeneration processes under its canopy. In view of our findings, we recommend extirpation of the species from SSF, as well as avoiding cultivation of the species away from its native range.

  1. Global trade will accelerate plant invasions in emerging economies under climate change.

    PubMed

    Seebens, Hanno; Essl, Franz; Dawson, Wayne; Fuentes, Nicol; Moser, Dietmar; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Winter, Marten; Blasius, Bernd

    2015-11-01

    Trade plays a key role in the spread of alien species and has arguably contributed to the recent enormous acceleration of biological invasions, thus homogenizing biotas worldwide. Combining data on 60-year trends of bilateral trade, as well as on biodiversity and climate, we modeled the global spread of plant species among 147 countries. The model results were compared with a recently compiled unique global data set on numbers of naturalized alien vascular plant species representing the most comprehensive collection of naturalized plant distributions currently available. The model identifies major source regions, introduction routes, and hot spots of plant invasions that agree well with observed naturalized plant numbers. In contrast to common knowledge, we show that the 'imperialist dogma,' stating that Europe has been a net exporter of naturalized plants since colonial times, does not hold for the past 60 years, when more naturalized plants were being imported to than exported from Europe. Our results highlight that the current distribution of naturalized plants is best predicted by socioeconomic activities 20 years ago. We took advantage of the observed time lag and used trade developments until recent times to predict naturalized plant trajectories for the next two decades. This shows that particularly strong increases in naturalized plant numbers are expected in the next 20 years for emerging economies in megadiverse regions. The interaction with predicted future climate change will increase invasions in northern temperate countries and reduce them in tropical and (sub)tropical regions, yet not by enough to cancel out the trade-related increase.

  2. Differences Found in the Macroinvertebrate Community Composition in the Presence or Absence of the Invasive Alien Crayfish, Orconectes hylas.

    PubMed

    Freeland-Riggert, Brandye T; Cairns, Stefan H; Poulton, Barry C; Riggert, Christopher M

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of alien species into aquatic ecosystems have been well documented, including invasions of crayfish species; however, little is known about the effects of these introductions on macroinvertebrate communities. The woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas (Faxon)) has been introduced into the St. Francis River watershed in southeast Missouri and has displaced populations of native crayfish. The effects of O. hylas on macroinvertebrate community composition were investigated in a fourth-order Ozark stream at two locations, one with the presence of O. hylas and one without. Significant differences between sites and across four sampling periods and two habitats were found in five categories of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics: species richness, percent/composition, dominance/diversity, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. In most seasons and habitat combinations, the invaded site had significantly higher relative abundance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae), and significantly lower Missouri biotic index values, total taxa richness, and both richness and relative abundance of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Overall study results indicate that some macroinvertebrate community differences due to the O. hylas invasion were not consistent between seasons and habitats, suggesting that further research on spatial and temporal habitat use and feeding ecology of Ozark crayfish species is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of these invasions on aquatic communities. PMID:26986207

  3. Differences Found in the Macroinvertebrate Community Composition in the Presence or Absence of the Invasive Alien Crayfish, Orconectes hylas

    PubMed Central

    Freeland-Riggert, Brandye T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of alien species into aquatic ecosystems have been well documented, including invasions of crayfish species; however, little is known about the effects of these introductions on macroinvertebrate communities. The woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas (Faxon)) has been introduced into the St. Francis River watershed in southeast Missouri and has displaced populations of native crayfish. The effects of O. hylas on macroinvertebrate community composition were investigated in a fourth-order Ozark stream at two locations, one with the presence of O. hylas and one without. Significant differences between sites and across four sampling periods and two habitats were found in five categories of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics: species richness, percent/composition, dominance/diversity, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. In most seasons and habitat combinations, the invaded site had significantly higher relative abundance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae), and significantly lower Missouri biotic index values, total taxa richness, and both richness and relative abundance of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Overall study results indicate that some macroinvertebrate community differences due to the O. hylas invasion were not consistent between seasons and habitats, suggesting that further research on spatial and temporal habitat use and feeding ecology of Ozark crayfish species is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of these invasions on aquatic communities. PMID:26986207

  4. Differences found in the macroinvertebrate community composition in the presence or absence of the invasive alien crayfish, Orconectes hylas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freeland-Riggert, Brandye T.; Cairns, Stefan H.; Poulton, Barry C.; Riggert, Chris M.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of alien species into aquatic ecosystems have been well documented, including invasions of crayfish species; however, little is known about the effects of these introductions on macroinvertebrate communities. The woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas (Faxon)) has been introduced into the St. Francis River watershed in southeast Missouri and has displaced populations of native crayfish. The effects of O. hylas on macroinvertebrate community composition were investigated in a fourth-order Ozark stream at two locations, one with the presence of O. hylas and one without. Significant differences between sites and across four sampling periods and two habitats were found in five categories of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics: species richness, percent/composition, dominance/diversity, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. In most seasons and habitat combinations, the invaded site had significantly higher relative abundance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae), and significantly lower Missouri biotic index values, total taxa richness, and both richness and relative abundance of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Overall study results indicate that some macroinvertebrate community differences due to the O. hylas invasion were not consistent between seasons and habitats, suggesting that further research on spatial and temporal habitat use and feeding ecology of Ozark crayfish species is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of these invasions on aquatic communities.

  5. Differences Found in the Macroinvertebrate Community Composition in the Presence or Absence of the Invasive Alien Crayfish, Orconectes hylas.

    PubMed

    Freeland-Riggert, Brandye T; Cairns, Stefan H; Poulton, Barry C; Riggert, Christopher M

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of alien species into aquatic ecosystems have been well documented, including invasions of crayfish species; however, little is known about the effects of these introductions on macroinvertebrate communities. The woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas (Faxon)) has been introduced into the St. Francis River watershed in southeast Missouri and has displaced populations of native crayfish. The effects of O. hylas on macroinvertebrate community composition were investigated in a fourth-order Ozark stream at two locations, one with the presence of O. hylas and one without. Significant differences between sites and across four sampling periods and two habitats were found in five categories of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics: species richness, percent/composition, dominance/diversity, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. In most seasons and habitat combinations, the invaded site had significantly higher relative abundance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae), and significantly lower Missouri biotic index values, total taxa richness, and both richness and relative abundance of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Overall study results indicate that some macroinvertebrate community differences due to the O. hylas invasion were not consistent between seasons and habitats, suggesting that further research on spatial and temporal habitat use and feeding ecology of Ozark crayfish species is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of these invasions on aquatic communities.

  6. Con-specific neighbours may enhance compensation capacity in an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Lu, X; Dai, H; Ding, J

    2010-05-01

    Facilitation, both by inter- and intra-specific neighbours, is known to be an important process in structuring plant communities. However, only a small number of experiments have been reported on facilitation in plant invasions, especially between invasive con-specific individuals. Here, we focus on how con-specific neighbours of the invasive alien plant alligator weed affect the tolerance of alligator weed to herbivory by the introduced biological control agent, Agasicles hygrophila. We conducted greenhouse and garden experiments in which invasive plant density and herbivory intensity (artificial clipping and real herbivory) were manipulated. In the greenhouse experiment, artificial clipping significantly reduced plant biomass when plants were grown individually, but when con-specific neighbours were present in the same pot, biomass was not significantly different from control plants. Similarly, when compared to control plants, plants that were subjected to herbivory by A. hygrophila produced more biomass when grown with two con-specific neighbours than when grown alone. Real herbivory also resulted in an increased number of vegetative buds, and again when two con-specific neighbours were present this effect was increased (a 55.3% increase in buds when there was no neighbour, but a 111.6% increase in buds when two con-specific neighbours were present). In the garden experiment, in which plants were grown at high density (6 plants per pot), alligator weed fully recovered from defoliation caused by insects at levels from 20-30% to 100%. Our results indicate that the con-specific association may increase the compensatory ability to cope with intense damage in this invasive plant.

  7. Living with aliens: effects of invasive shrub honeysuckles on avian nesting.

    PubMed

    Gleditsch, Jason M; Carlo, Tomás A

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species have come to the forefront of conservation biology as a major threat to native biodiversity. Habitats dominated by shrub honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) in the United States have been characterized as "ecological traps" by ecologists. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating the effects of shrub honeysuckles on the nesting ecology of native birds in seven study sites in central Pennsylvania, USA. We examined how the abundance of shrub honeysuckles influenced the selection of nesting substrates and habitat for a community of common songbirds, and the parental-care behavior and nestling development of gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). We found that birds had a strong bias towards nesting in honeysuckle shrubs, but not necessarily for nesting in honeysuckle-dominated habitats. Nest predation rates were affected by the density of nests in a habitat, but not by the overall abundance of honeysuckles in such habitats. Honeysuckle abundance in the habitat did show significant effects on some parental-care behavioral parameters: catbirds had higher nest visitation rates and shorter visit lengths in areas of high honeysuckle density. On average, Gray catbirds fed fruit 12%±0.31 s.e. of their nestling-feeding bouts, mostly fruits of shrub honeysuckles. Nestlings in sites with high honeysuckle density also showed higher mass:tarsus ratios, suggesting a good (possibly better) physiological condition of catbird nestlings at the time of fledging. Our study shows that honeysuckle-dominated habitats could have equivocal effects on nesting parameters of common species of native birds. We advise more caution in the widespread denomination of novel plant communities with high densities of honeysuckle as "ecological traps" as effects can be null or positive on native birds in certain localities.

  8. Living with Aliens: Effects of Invasive Shrub Honeysuckles on Avian Nesting

    PubMed Central

    Gleditsch, Jason M.; Carlo, Tomás A.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species have come to the forefront of conservation biology as a major threat to native biodiversity. Habitats dominated by shrub honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) in the United States have been characterized as “ecological traps” by ecologists. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating the effects of shrub honeysuckles on the nesting ecology of native birds in seven study sites in central Pennsylvania, USA. We examined how the abundance of shrub honeysuckles influenced the selection of nesting substrates and habitat for a community of common songbirds, and the parental-care behavior and nestling development of gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). We found that birds had a strong bias towards nesting in honeysuckle shrubs, but not necessarily for nesting in honeysuckle-dominated habitats. Nest predation rates were affected by the density of nests in a habitat, but not by the overall abundance of honeysuckles in such habitats. Honeysuckle abundance in the habitat did show significant effects on some parental-care behavioral parameters: catbirds had higher nest visitation rates and shorter visit lengths in areas of high honeysuckle density. On average, Gray catbirds fed fruit 12%±0.31 s.e. of their nestling-feeding bouts, mostly fruits of shrub honeysuckles. Nestlings in sites with high honeysuckle density also showed higher mass:tarsus ratios, suggesting a good (possibly better) physiological condition of catbird nestlings at the time of fledging. Our study shows that honeysuckle-dominated habitats could have equivocal effects on nesting parameters of common species of native birds. We advise more caution in the widespread denomination of novel plant communities with high densities of honeysuckle as “ecological traps” as effects can be null or positive on native birds in certain localities. PMID:25229633

  9. Neighbourhood association of Cortaderia selloana invasion, soil properties and plant community structure in Mediterranean coastal grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domènech, Roser; Vilà, Montserrat; Gesti, Josep; Serrasolses, Isabel

    2006-03-01

    Invasion by alien species is threatening the conservation of native plant communities and the integrity of ecosystems. To gain a better understanding of such impacts, many studies have examined the traits that make alien species successful invaders as well as the factors involved in community invasibility. However, it is necessary to link invader effects on community structure and on ecosystem processes in order to unravel the mechanisms of impact. Cortaderia selloana is a perennial grass native to South America that is invading abandoned agricultural lands close to coastal human settlements in Catalonia (NE Spain). In invaded pastures, we examined the association between C. selloana invasion, soil properties and vegetation structure changes in pastures, comparing the neighbourhood area of influence of C. selloana with areas far from C. selloana. Areas under the influence of C. selloana had lower total soil nitrogen values and higher C/N values than in areas far from C. selloana. Furthermore, the areas affected by C. selloana had lower species, family and life form richness and diversity, and less plant cover. In addition, C. selloana also increased the vertical vegetation structure and changed species composition (only 44% similarity between invaded and non-invaded areas). Our results point out that C. selloana has an effect on its neighbourhood leading to an increase in small-scale variability within invaded fields.

  10. Attacking invasive grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2015-01-01

    In grasslands fire may play a role in the plant invasion process, both by creating disturbances that potentially favour non-native invasions and as a possible tool for controlling alien invasions. Havill et al. (Applied Vegetation Science, 18, 2015, this issue) determine how native and non-native species respond to different fire regimes as a first step in understanding the potential control of invasive grasses.

  11. Invasive plants on disturbed Korean sand dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kee Dae

    2005-01-01

    The sand dunes in coastal regions of South Korea are important ecosystems because of their small size, the rare species found in this habitat, and the beautiful landscapes they create. This study investigated the current vegetative status of sand dunes on three representative coasts of the Korean peninsula, and on the coasts of Cheju Island, and assessed the conditions caused by invasive plants. The relationships between the degree of invasion and 14 environmental variables were studied. Plots of sand dunes along line transects perpendicular to the coastal lines were established to estimate vegetative species coverage. TWINSPAN (Two-Way Indicator Species Analysis), CCA (Canonical Correspondence Analysis), and DCCA (Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis) were performed to classify communities on sand dunes and assess species composition variation. Carex kobomugi, Elymus mollis, and Vitex rotundifolia were found to be the dominant species plotted on the east, the west, and the peripheral coasts of Cheju Island, respectively. Vegetation on the south coast was totally extinct. The 19 communities, including representative C. kobomugi, C. kobomugi- Ixeris repens, C. kobomugi- Oenothera biennis, E. mollis, Lolium multiflorum- Calystegia soldanella, and V. rotundifolia- C. kobomugi, were all classified according to TWINSPAN. Oenothera biennis and L. multiflorum were exotics observed within these native communities. CCA showed that invasive native and exotic species distribution was segregated significantly, according to disturbance level, exotic species number, gravel, sand and silt contents, as well as vegetation size. It further revealed that human disturbance can strongly favor the settlement of invasive and exotic species. Restoration options to reduce exotic plants in the South Korean sand dune areas were found to be the introduction of native plant species from one sand dune into other sand dune areas, prohibition of building and the introduction of exotic

  12. Dispersal limitation does not control high elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rundel, Philip W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2016-01-01

    Patterns of elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada of California were used to test the hypothesis that alien plant species invading high elevations around the world are typically climate generalists capable of growing across a wide elevational range. The Sierra Nevada has been heavily impacted for more than a century and a half, first by heavy grazing up into high elevation meadows, followed by major logging, and finally, by impacts associated with recreational use. The comparative elevational patterns of distribution and growth form were compared for native and alien plant species in the four families (Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) that contribute the majority of naturalized aliens in the study area. The distribution of realized climatic niche breadth, as measured by elevational range of occurrence, was virtually identical for alien and native species, with both groups showing a roughly Gaussian distribution peaking with species whose range covers a span of 1500–1999 m. In contrast to alien species, which only rarely occurred at higher elevations, native species showed a distribution of upper elevation limits peaking at 3000–3499 m, an elevation that corresponds to the zone of upper montane and subalpine forests. Consistent with a hypothesis of abiotic limitations, only a few alien species have been ecologically successful invaders at subalpine and alpine elevations above 2500 m. The low diversity of aliens able to become established in these habitats is unlikely due to dispersal limitations, given the long history of heavy grazing pressure at high elevations across this region. Instead, this low diversity is hypothesized to be a function of life history traits and multiple abiotic stresses that include extremes of cold air and soil temperature, heavy snowfall, short growing seasons, and low resource availability. These findings have significant implications for resource managers.

  13. Quantifying the Establishment Likelihood of Invasive Alien Species Introductions Through Ports with Application to Honeybees in Australia.

    PubMed

    Heersink, Daniel K; Caley, Peter; Paini, Dean R; Barry, Simon C

    2016-05-01

    The cost of an uncontrolled incursion of invasive alien species (IAS) arising from undetected entry through ports can be substantial, and knowledge of port-specific risks is needed to help allocate limited surveillance resources. Quantifying the establishment likelihood of such an incursion requires quantifying the ability of a species to enter, establish, and spread. Estimation of the approach rate of IAS into ports provides a measure of likelihood of entry. Data on the approach rate of IAS are typically sparse, and the combinations of risk factors relating to country of origin and port of arrival diverse. This presents challenges to making formal statistical inference on establishment likelihood. Here we demonstrate how these challenges can be overcome with judicious use of mixed-effects models when estimating the incursion likelihood into Australia of the European (Apis mellifera) and Asian (A. cerana) honeybees, along with the invasive parasites of biosecurity concern they host (e.g., Varroa destructor). Our results demonstrate how skewed the establishment likelihood is, with one-tenth of the ports accounting for 80% or more of the likelihood for both species. These results have been utilized by biosecurity agencies in the allocation of resources to the surveillance of maritime ports.

  14. Trait differences between naturalized and invasive plant species independent of residence time and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, R V; Randall, R P; Leishman, M R

    2015-04-01

    The ability to predict which alien plants will transition from naturalized to invasive prior to their introduction to novel regions is a key goal for conservation and has the potential to increase the efficacy of weed risk assessment (WRA). However, multiple factors contribute to plant invasion success (e.g., functional traits, range characteristics, residence time, phylogeny), and they all must be taken into account simultaneously in order to identify meaningful correlates of invasion success. We compiled 146 pairs of phylogenetically paired (congeneric) naturalized and invasive plant species in Australia with similar minimum residence times (i.e., time since introduction in years). These pairs were used to test for differences in 5 functional traits (flowering duration, leaf size, maximum height, specific leaf area [SLA], seed mass) and 3 characteristics of species' native ranges (biome occupancy, mean annual temperature, and rainfall breadth) between naturalized and invasive species. Invasive species, on average, had larger SLA, longer flowering periods, and were taller than their congeneric naturalized relatives. Invaders also exhibited greater tolerance for different environmental conditions in the native range, where they occupied more biomes and a wider breadth of rainfall and temperature conditions than naturalized congeners. However, neither seed mass nor leaf size differed between pairs of naturalized and invasive species. A key finding was the role of SLA in distinguishing between naturalized and invasive pairs. Species with high SLA values were typically associated with faster growth rates, more rapid turnover of leaf material, and shorter lifespans than those species with low SLA. This suite of characteristics may contribute to the ability of a species to transition from naturalized to invasive across a wide range of environmental contexts and disturbance regimes. Our findings will help in the refinement of WRA protocols, and we advocate the inclusion

  15. Designing Invasion Resistant Plant Communities: The Role of Plant Functional Traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Establishing and maintaining weed-resistant plant communities is a central goal of sustainable invasive plant management programs. Plant community characteristics that improve invasion resistance, however, are poorly understood. Here we synthesize data from multiple studies and show traits related ...

  16. Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations

    PubMed Central

    McCreless, Erin E.; Huff, David D.; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Spatz, Dena R.; Holmes, Nick D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Wilcox, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 41–75% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies. PMID:27535095

  17. Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations.

    PubMed

    McCreless, Erin E; Huff, David D; Croll, Donald A; Tershy, Bernie R; Spatz, Dena R; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Wilcox, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 41-75% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies. PMID:27535095

  18. Invasive crayfish reduce food limitation of alien American mink and increase their resilience to control.

    PubMed

    Melero, Yolanda; Palazón, Santiago; Lambin, Xavier

    2014-02-01

    Trophic relationships between invasive species in multiply invaded ecosystems may reduce food limitation relative to more pristine ecosystems and increase resilience to control. Here, we consider whether invasive predatory American mink Neovison vison are trophically subsidized by invasive crayfish. We collated data from the literature on density and home range size of mink populations in relation to the prevalence of crayfish in the diet of mink. We then tested the hypothesis that populations of an invasive predator reach higher densities and are more resilient to lethal control when they have access to super-abundant non-native prey, even in the absence of changes in density dependence, hence compensatory capacity. We found a strong positive relationship between the proportion of crayfish in mink diet and mink population density, and a negative relationship between the proportion of crayfish in mink diet and mink home range size, with crayfish contribution to mink diet reflecting their abundance in the ecosystem. We then explored the consequence of elevated mink density by simulating a hypothetical eradication program with a constant harvest in a Ricker model. We found that mink populations were more resilient to harvest in the presence of crayfish. As a result, the simulated number of mink harvested to achieve eradication increased by 500% in the presence of abundant crayfish if carrying capacity increased by 630%. This led to a threefold increase in time to eradication under a constant harvest and an approximately 20-fold increase in the cumulative management cost. Our results add to evidence of inter-specific positive interactions involving invasive species, and our simple model illustrates how this increases management cost. PMID:24065555

  19. Invasive crayfish reduce food limitation of alien American mink and increase their resilience to control.

    PubMed

    Melero, Yolanda; Palazón, Santiago; Lambin, Xavier

    2014-02-01

    Trophic relationships between invasive species in multiply invaded ecosystems may reduce food limitation relative to more pristine ecosystems and increase resilience to control. Here, we consider whether invasive predatory American mink Neovison vison are trophically subsidized by invasive crayfish. We collated data from the literature on density and home range size of mink populations in relation to the prevalence of crayfish in the diet of mink. We then tested the hypothesis that populations of an invasive predator reach higher densities and are more resilient to lethal control when they have access to super-abundant non-native prey, even in the absence of changes in density dependence, hence compensatory capacity. We found a strong positive relationship between the proportion of crayfish in mink diet and mink population density, and a negative relationship between the proportion of crayfish in mink diet and mink home range size, with crayfish contribution to mink diet reflecting their abundance in the ecosystem. We then explored the consequence of elevated mink density by simulating a hypothetical eradication program with a constant harvest in a Ricker model. We found that mink populations were more resilient to harvest in the presence of crayfish. As a result, the simulated number of mink harvested to achieve eradication increased by 500% in the presence of abundant crayfish if carrying capacity increased by 630%. This led to a threefold increase in time to eradication under a constant harvest and an approximately 20-fold increase in the cumulative management cost. Our results add to evidence of inter-specific positive interactions involving invasive species, and our simple model illustrates how this increases management cost.

  20. Interactions between environment, species traits, and human uses describe patterns of plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Richardson, David M; Rouget, Mathieu; Procheş, Serban; Wilson, John R U

    2006-07-01

    Although invasive alien species (IAS) are a major threat to biodiversity, human health, and economy, our understanding of the factors controlling their distribution and abundance is limited. Here, we determine how environmental factors, land use, life-history traits of the invaders, residence time, origin, and human usage interact to shape the spatial pattern of invasive alien plant species in South Africa. Relationships between the environmental factors and the extrinsic and intrinsic attributes of species were investigated using RLQ analysis, a multivariate method for relating a species-attribute table to an environmental table by way of a species presence/absence table. We then clustered species according to their position on the RLQ axes, and tested these groups for phylogenetic independence. The first three axes of the RLQ explained 99% of the variation and were strongly related to the species attributes. The clustering showed that, after accounting for environmental factors, the spatial pattern of IAS in South Africa was driven by human uses, life forms, and reproductive traits. The seven clusters of species strongly reflected geographical distribution, but also intrinsic species attributes and patterns of human use. Two of the clusters, centered on the genera Acacia and Opuntia, were phylogenetically non-independent. The remaining clusters comprised species of diverse taxonomic affinities, but sharing traits facilitating invasion in particular habitats. This information is useful for assessing the extent to which the potential spread of recent introductions can be predicted by considering the interaction of their biological attributes, region of origin, and human use.

  1. Severe plant invasions can increase mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity.

    PubMed

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean M; Rosendahl, Søren; Ramsey, Philip W

    2013-07-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge)--but not cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)--support a higher abundance and diversity of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) than multi-species native plant communities. The higher AMF richness associated with knapweed and spurge is unlikely due to a co-invasion by AMF, because a separate sampling showed that individual native forbs hosted a similar AMF abundance and richness as exotic forbs. Native grasses associated with fewer AMF taxa, which could explain the reduced AMF richness in native, grass-dominated communities. The three invasive plant species harbored distinct AMF communities, and analyses of co-occurring native and invasive plants indicate that differences were partly driven by the invasive plants and were not the result of pre-invasion conditions. Our results suggest that invasions by mycotrophic plants that replace poorer hosts can increase AMF abundance and richness. The high AMF richness in monodominant plant invasions also indicates that the proposed positive relationship between above and belowground diversity is not always strong. Finally, the disparate responses among exotic plants and consistent results between grasses and forbs suggest that AMF respond more to plant functional group than plant provenance.

  2. Biotic Resistance to an Alien Amphibian: Larval Competition between Japanese Frogs and Invasive Cane Toads.

    PubMed

    Haramura, Takashi; Takeuchi, Hirohiko; Crossland, Michael R; Shine, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Understanding negative effects of native species on introduced taxa may suggest novel ways to control the invasive species by enhancing such effects. Previous studies have reported that the larvae of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) are suppressed by competition with the larvae of native anurans in Australia, but not in North America. We conducted laboratory trials to measure the effect of exposure to the larvae of Japanese frogs (Microhyla ornata, Fejervarya sakishimensis, Rhacophorus owstoni) on rates of survival, growth and development of cane toad tadpoles in Ishigaki Island, in southern Japan. Survival rates were not affected by native species, but competition with Dicroglossids and Rhacophorids (but not Microhylids) strongly reduced rates of growth and development in the tadpoles of cane toads. Dicroglossid tadpoles also reduced the body condition to toad tadpoles in addition to effects on SVL and mass. Encouraging populations of native frogs in toad-invaded areas of Japan thus may help to reduce the numbers of invasive cane toads. PMID:27253973

  3. Biotic Resistance to an Alien Amphibian: Larval Competition between Japanese Frogs and Invasive Cane Toads

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Understanding negative effects of native species on introduced taxa may suggest novel ways to control the invasive species by enhancing such effects. Previous studies have reported that the larvae of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) are suppressed by competition with the larvae of native anurans in Australia, but not in North America. We conducted laboratory trials to measure the effect of exposure to the larvae of Japanese frogs (Microhyla ornata, Fejervarya sakishimensis, Rhacophorus owstoni) on rates of survival, growth and development of cane toad tadpoles in Ishigaki Island, in southern Japan. Survival rates were not affected by native species, but competition with Dicroglossids and Rhacophorids (but not Microhylids) strongly reduced rates of growth and development in the tadpoles of cane toads. Dicroglossid tadpoles also reduced the body condition to toad tadpoles in addition to effects on SVL and mass. Encouraging populations of native frogs in toad-invaded areas of Japan thus may help to reduce the numbers of invasive cane toads. PMID:27253973

  4. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    PubMed

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  5. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Ma, Peter; Kumar, Sunil; Rocca, Monique; Morisette, Jeffrey T; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Benson, Nate

    2010-02-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis.

  6. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Ma, P.; Kumar, S.; Rocca, M.; Morisette, J.T.; Jarnevich, C.S.; Benson, N.

    2010-01-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis. ?? 2010 Society for Risk Analysis.

  7. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Ma, Peter; Kumar, Sunil; Rocca, Monique; Morisette, Jeffrey T; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Benson, Nate

    2010-02-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis. PMID:20136746

  8. RELATIONSHIPS OF ALIEN PLANT SPECIES ABUNDANCE TO RIPARIAN VEGETATION, ENVIRONMENT, AND DISTURBANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian ecosystems are often invaded by alien species. We evaluated vegetation, environment, and disturbance conditions and their interrelationships with alien species abundance along reaches of 29 streams in eastern Oregon, USA. Using flexible-BETA clustering, indicator species...

  9. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  10. Evaluating the "recovery level" of endangered species without prior information before alien invasion.

    PubMed

    Watari, Yuya; Nishijima, Shota; Fukasawa, Marina; Yamada, Fumio; Abe, Shintaro; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2013-11-01

    For maintaining social and financial support for eradication programs of invasive species, quantitative assessment of recovery of native species or ecosystems is important because it provides a measurable parameter of success. However, setting a concrete goal for recovery is often difficult owing to lack of information prior to the introduction of invaders. Here, we present a novel approach to evaluate the achievement level of invasive predator management based on the carrying capacity of endangered species estimated using long-term monitoring data. In Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, where the eradication project of introduced small Indian mongoose is ongoing since 2000, we surveyed the population densities of four endangered species threatened by the mongoose (Amami rabbit, the Otton frog, Amami tip-nosed frog, and Amami Ishikawa's frog) at four time points ranging from 2003 to 2011. We estimated the carrying capacities of these species using the logistic growth model combined with the effects of mongoose predation and environmental heterogeneity. All species showed clear tendencies toward increasing their density in line with decreased mongoose density, and they exhibited density-dependent population growth. The estimated carrying capacities of three endangered species had small confidence intervals enough to measure recovery levels by the mongoose management. The population density of each endangered species has recovered to the level of the carrying capacity at about 20-40% of all sites, whereas no individuals were observed at more than 25% of all sites. We propose that the present approach involving appropriate monitoring data of native organism populations will be widely applicable to various eradication projects and provide unambiguous goals for management of invasive species.

  11. Evaluating the "recovery level" of endangered species without prior information before alien invasion.

    PubMed

    Watari, Yuya; Nishijima, Shota; Fukasawa, Marina; Yamada, Fumio; Abe, Shintaro; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2013-11-01

    For maintaining social and financial support for eradication programs of invasive species, quantitative assessment of recovery of native species or ecosystems is important because it provides a measurable parameter of success. However, setting a concrete goal for recovery is often difficult owing to lack of information prior to the introduction of invaders. Here, we present a novel approach to evaluate the achievement level of invasive predator management based on the carrying capacity of endangered species estimated using long-term monitoring data. In Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, where the eradication project of introduced small Indian mongoose is ongoing since 2000, we surveyed the population densities of four endangered species threatened by the mongoose (Amami rabbit, the Otton frog, Amami tip-nosed frog, and Amami Ishikawa's frog) at four time points ranging from 2003 to 2011. We estimated the carrying capacities of these species using the logistic growth model combined with the effects of mongoose predation and environmental heterogeneity. All species showed clear tendencies toward increasing their density in line with decreased mongoose density, and they exhibited density-dependent population growth. The estimated carrying capacities of three endangered species had small confidence intervals enough to measure recovery levels by the mongoose management. The population density of each endangered species has recovered to the level of the carrying capacity at about 20-40% of all sites, whereas no individuals were observed at more than 25% of all sites. We propose that the present approach involving appropriate monitoring data of native organism populations will be widely applicable to various eradication projects and provide unambiguous goals for management of invasive species. PMID:24363899

  12. Strategy to control the invasive alien tree Miconia calvescens in Pacific islands: Eradication, containment or something else?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, Jean-Yves; Loope, Lloyd; Goarant, Anne-Claire; Veitch, C.R.; Clout, M.N.; Towns, D. R.

    2011-01-01

    Miconia calvescens (Melastomataceae) is a notorious plant invader in the tropical islands of French Polynesia, Hawaii and New Caledonia. A small tree native to Central and South America, it was first introduced as an ornamental in private botanic gardens in Tahiti (1937), Honolulu (1961), and Nouméa (1970s) where it escaped, became naturalised, and formed dense monospecific stands. More than 80,000 ha are currently invaded in French Polynesia, 10,000 ha in the Hawaiian Islands and 140 ha in New Caledonia. Control programmes have been under way in the Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai) and French Polynesia (Raiatea, Tahaa, Nuku Hiva, Fatu Hiva) since the early 1990s, and in New Caledonia (Province Sud) since 2006. Despite more than 15 years of intensive control efforts and millions of plants destroyed, eradication has not been achieved in any of these islands, mainly because the species has multiple features that thwart its elimination (e.g., prolific seed production, active dispersal by alien and native frugivorous birds, large and persistent soil seed bank, shade-tolerance), combined with the difficulty of detecting and destroying plants on rough terrain and steep slopes, insufficient control frequency, and limited financial and human resources. Miconia’s life cycle requires at least four years growth from seedling to fruiting. Consequently, prevention of fruit production may be an effective management strategy for small populations. This “juvenilization” process may allow the eradication of small populations when carefully conducted over a quarter century. 

  13. Climate and Human Pressure Constraints Co-Explain Regional Plant Invasion at Different Spatial Scales

    PubMed Central

    García-Baquero, Gonzalo; Caño, Lidia; Biurrun, Idoia; García-Mijangos, Itziar; Loidi, Javier; Herrera, Mercedes

    2016-01-01

    Alien species invasion represents a global threat to biodiversity and ecosystems. Explaining invasion patterns in terms of environmental constraints will help us to assess invasion risks and plan control strategies. We aim to identify plant invasion patterns in the Basque Country (Spain), and to determine the effects of climate and human pressure on that pattern. We modeled the regional distribution of 89 invasive plant species using two approaches. First, distance-based Moran’s eigenvector maps were used to partition variation in the invasive species richness, S, into spatial components at broad and fine scales; redundancy analysis was then used to explain those components on the basis of climate and human pressure descriptors. Second, we used generalized additive mixed modeling to fit species-specific responses to the same descriptors. Climate and human pressure descriptors have different effects on S at different spatial scales. Broad-scale spatially structured temperature and precipitation, and fine-scale spatially structured human population density and percentage of natural and semi-natural areas, explained altogether 38.7% of the total variance. The distribution of 84% of the individually tested species was related to either temperature, precipitation or both, and 68% was related to either population density or natural and semi-natural areas, displaying similar responses. The spatial pattern of the invasive species richness is strongly environmentally forced, mainly by climate factors. Since individual species responses were proved to be both similarly constrained in shape and explained variance by the same environmental factors, we conclude that the pattern of invasive species richness results from individual species’ environmental preferences. PMID:27741276

  14. Hitting the right target: taxonomic challenges for, and of, plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    Pyšek, Petr; Hulme, Philip E.; Meyerson, Laura A.; Smith, Gideon F.; Boatwright, James S.; Crouch, Neil R.; Figueiredo, Estrela; Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Richardson, David M.; Suda, Jan; Wilson, John R. U.

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores how a lack of taxonomic expertise, and by implication a dearth of taxonomic products such as identification tools, has hindered progress in understanding and managing biological invasions. It also explores how the taxonomic endeavour could benefit from studies of invasive species. We review the literature on the current situation in taxonomy with a focus on the challenges of identifying alien plant species and explore how this has affected the study of biological invasions. Biosecurity strategies, legislation dealing with invasive species, quarantine, weed surveillance and monitoring all depend on accurate and rapid identification of non-native taxa. However, such identification can be challenging because the taxonomic skill base in most countries is diffuse and lacks critical mass. Taxonomic resources are essential for the effective management of invasive plants and incorrect identifications can impede ecological studies. On the other hand, biological invasions have provided important tests of basic theories about species concepts. Better integration of classical alpha taxonomy and modern genetic taxonomic approaches will improve the accuracy of species identification and further refine taxonomic classification at the level of populations and genotypes in the field and laboratory. Modern taxonomy therefore needs to integrate both classical and new concepts and approaches. In particular, differing points of view between the proponents of morphological and molecular approaches should be negotiated because a narrow taxonomic perspective is harmful; the rigour of taxonomic decision-making clearly increases if insights from a variety of different complementary disciplines are combined and confronted. Taxonomy plays a critical role in the study of plant invasions and in turn benefits from the insights gained from these studies.

  15. Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Plant invaders are often considered in the context of herbivores that may drive invasion by avoiding invaders while consuming natives (enemy escape), or inhibit invasion by consuming invaders (biotic resistance). However, predators that attack those herbivores are rarely considered as major players in invasion. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion. By enabling top-down control of herbivores, predator-promoting invaders lose any advantage gained through enemy escape, indirectly favoring natives. In cases where palatable invaders encounter biotic resistance, predator promotion may allow an invader to persist, but not dominate. Overall, results indicate that placing invaders in a full community context may reveal reduced impacts of invaders compared to expectations based on simple plant–plant or plant–herbivore subsystems. PMID:26120430

  16. The invasion of five alien species in the Delta do Parnaíba Environmental Protection Area, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loebmann, Daniel; Mai, Ana Cecília G; Lee, James T

    2010-09-01

    Marine biological invasions have been regarded as one of the major causes of native biodiversity loss, with shipping and aquaculture being the leading contributors for the introductions of alien species in aquatic ecosystems. In the present study, five aquatic alien species (one mollusk, three crustaceans and one fish species) were detected during dives, shore searches and from the fisheries on the coast of the Delta do Parnaíba Environmental Protection Area, in the States of Piauí and Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil. The species were the bicolor purse-oyster Isognomon bicolor, the whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, the giant river prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii, the Indo-Pacific swimming crab Charybdis hellerii and, the muzzled blenny Omobranchus punctatus. Ballast water (I. bicolor, C. hellerii, and O. punctatus) and aquaculture activities (L. vannamei and M. rosenbergii) in adjacent areas are the most likely vectors of introduction. All exotic species found have potential impact risks to the environment because they are able to compete against native species for resources (food and habitat). Isognomon bicolor share the same habitat and food items with the native bivalve species of mussels and barnacles. Litopenaeus vannamei share the same habitat and food items with the native penaeids such as the pinkspot shrimp Farfantepenaeus brasiliensis, the Southern brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus subtilis, and the Southern white shrimp Litopenaeus schmitti, and in the past few years L. vannamei was responsible for a viral epidemics in the cultivation tanks that could be transmitted to native penaeid shrimps. Charybdis hellerii is also able to cause impacts on the local fisheries as the species can decrease the populations of native portunid crabs which are commercialized in the studied region. Macrobrachium rosenbergii may be sharing natural resources with the Amazon River prawn Macrobrachium amazonicum. Omobranchus punctatus shares habit with the native redlip blenny

  17. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, Don A; Catford, Jane A; Barney, Jacob N; Hulme, Philip E; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-11-18

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks.

  18. Individual and temporal variation in habitat association of an alien carnivore at its invasion front.

    PubMed

    Melis, Claudia; Herfindal, Ivar; Dahl, Fredrik; Åhlén, Per-Arne

    2015-01-01

    Gathering information on how invasive species utilize the habitat is important, in order to better aim actions to reduce their negative impact. We studied habitat use and selection of 55 GPS-marked raccoon dogs (30 males, 25 females) at their invasion front in Northern Sweden, with particular focus on differences between males and females, between movement states, and between seasons and times of the day. Daily movement pattern was used to classify GPS-locations into dispersing and settled. We focused on both anthropogenic and natural landscape characteristics. Since we did not have any a priori knowledge about the spatial scale of raccoon dog habitat selection, we first assessed how landscape characteristics of random points changed with distance from the GPS-location they were paired to. Because changes in habitat use became less pronounced at approximately 5 km for all variables, we focused on habitat use at two spatial scales: fine (500 m) and coarse (5 km). Habitat selection was strongest at the coarse scale, and reflected the results found for habitat use. Raccoon dogs selected agricultural areas and wetlands, lower altitudes, and shallow slopes, and avoided forests, open natural areas, and areas close to water and roads. There were no differences in habitat selection between males and females, or between movement states. This lack of sexual segregation increases the probability of encountering potential mates during dispersal, and therefore the likelihood for reproduction in new areas. The seasonal and diurnal pattern of habitat use may provide guidance for where and when to aim management efforts.

  19. Individual and Temporal Variation in Habitat Association of an Alien Carnivore at Its Invasion Front

    PubMed Central

    Melis, Claudia; Herfindal, Ivar; Dahl, Fredrik; Åhlén, Per-Arne

    2015-01-01

    Gathering information on how invasive species utilize the habitat is important, in order to better aim actions to reduce their negative impact. We studied habitat use and selection of 55 GPS-marked raccoon dogs (30 males, 25 females) at their invasion front in Northern Sweden, with particular focus on differences between males and females, between movement states, and between seasons and times of the day. Daily movement pattern was used to classify GPS-locations into dispersing and settled. We focused on both anthropogenic and natural landscape characteristics. Since we did not have any a priori knowledge about the spatial scale of raccoon dog habitat selection, we first assessed how landscape characteristics of random points changed with distance from the GPS-location they were paired to. Because changes in habitat use became less pronounced at approximately 5 km for all variables, we focused on habitat use at two spatial scales: fine (500 m) and coarse (5 km). Habitat selection was strongest at the coarse scale, and reflected the results found for habitat use. Raccoon dogs selected agricultural areas and wetlands, lower altitudes, and shallow slopes, and avoided forests, open natural areas, and areas close to water and roads. There were no differences in habitat selection between males and females, or between movement states. This lack of sexual segregation increases the probability of encountering potential mates during dispersal, and therefore the likelihood for reproduction in new areas. The seasonal and diurnal pattern of habitat use may provide guidance for where and when to aim management efforts. PMID:25815509

  20. Invasive clonal plant species have a greater root-foraging plasticity than non-invasive ones.

    PubMed

    Keser, Lidewij H; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Clonality is frequently positively correlated with plant invasiveness, but which aspects of clonality make some clonal species more invasive than others is not known. Due to their spreading growth form, clonal plants are likely to experience spatial heterogeneity in nutrient availability. Plasticity in allocation of biomass to clonal growth organs and roots may allow these plants to forage for high-nutrient patches. We investigated whether this foraging response is stronger in species that have become invasive than in species that have not. We used six confamilial pairs of native European clonal plant species differing in invasion success in the USA. We grew all species in large pots under homogeneous or heterogeneous nutrient conditions in a greenhouse, and compared their nutrient-foraging response and performance. Neither invasive nor non-invasive species showed significant foraging responses to heterogeneity in clonal growth organ biomass or in aboveground biomass of clonal offspring. Invasive species had, however, a greater positive foraging response in terms of root and belowground biomass than non-invasive species. Invasive species also produced more total biomass. Our results suggest that the ability for strong root foraging is among the characteristics promoting invasiveness in clonal plants.

  1. Invasive clonal plant species have a greater root-foraging plasticity than non-invasive ones.

    PubMed

    Keser, Lidewij H; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Clonality is frequently positively correlated with plant invasiveness, but which aspects of clonality make some clonal species more invasive than others is not known. Due to their spreading growth form, clonal plants are likely to experience spatial heterogeneity in nutrient availability. Plasticity in allocation of biomass to clonal growth organs and roots may allow these plants to forage for high-nutrient patches. We investigated whether this foraging response is stronger in species that have become invasive than in species that have not. We used six confamilial pairs of native European clonal plant species differing in invasion success in the USA. We grew all species in large pots under homogeneous or heterogeneous nutrient conditions in a greenhouse, and compared their nutrient-foraging response and performance. Neither invasive nor non-invasive species showed significant foraging responses to heterogeneity in clonal growth organ biomass or in aboveground biomass of clonal offspring. Invasive species had, however, a greater positive foraging response in terms of root and belowground biomass than non-invasive species. Invasive species also produced more total biomass. Our results suggest that the ability for strong root foraging is among the characteristics promoting invasiveness in clonal plants. PMID:24352844

  2. Paradigm of plant invasion: multifaceted review on sustainable management.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2015-12-01

    A cascade of reviews and growing body of literature exists on forest invasion ecology, its mechanism or causes; however, no review addressed the sustainable management of invasive plants of forest in totality. Henceforth, the present paper aims to provide a critical review on the management of invasive species particularly in the context of forest plants. Plant invasion in forest is now increasingly being recognized as a global problem, and various continents are adversely affected, although to a differential scale. Quest for the ecological mechanism lying behind the success of invasive species over native species of forest has drawn the attention of researches worldwide particularly in the context of diversity-stability relationship. Transport, colonization, establishment, and landscape spread may be different steps in success of invasive plants in forest, and each and every step is checked through several ecological attributes. Further, several ecological attribute and hypothesis (enemy release, novel weapon, empty niche, evolution of increased competitive ability, etc.) were proposed pertaining to success of invasive plant species in forest ecosystems. However, a single theory will not be able to account for invasion success among all environments as it may vary spatially and temporally. Therefore, in order to formulate a sustainable management plan for invasive plants of forest, it is necessary to develop a synoptic view of the dynamic processes involved in the invasion process. Moreover, invasive species of forest can act synergistically with other elements of global change, including land-use change, climate change, increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and nitrogen deposition. Henceforth, a unified framework for biological invasions that reconciles and integrates the key features of the most commonly used invasion frameworks into a single conceptual model that can be applied to all human-mediated invasions.

  3. Paradigm of plant invasion: multifaceted review on sustainable management.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2015-12-01

    A cascade of reviews and growing body of literature exists on forest invasion ecology, its mechanism or causes; however, no review addressed the sustainable management of invasive plants of forest in totality. Henceforth, the present paper aims to provide a critical review on the management of invasive species particularly in the context of forest plants. Plant invasion in forest is now increasingly being recognized as a global problem, and various continents are adversely affected, although to a differential scale. Quest for the ecological mechanism lying behind the success of invasive species over native species of forest has drawn the attention of researches worldwide particularly in the context of diversity-stability relationship. Transport, colonization, establishment, and landscape spread may be different steps in success of invasive plants in forest, and each and every step is checked through several ecological attributes. Further, several ecological attribute and hypothesis (enemy release, novel weapon, empty niche, evolution of increased competitive ability, etc.) were proposed pertaining to success of invasive plant species in forest ecosystems. However, a single theory will not be able to account for invasion success among all environments as it may vary spatially and temporally. Therefore, in order to formulate a sustainable management plan for invasive plants of forest, it is necessary to develop a synoptic view of the dynamic processes involved in the invasion process. Moreover, invasive species of forest can act synergistically with other elements of global change, including land-use change, climate change, increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and nitrogen deposition. Henceforth, a unified framework for biological invasions that reconciles and integrates the key features of the most commonly used invasion frameworks into a single conceptual model that can be applied to all human-mediated invasions. PMID:26581605

  4. Ecological principles underpinning invasive plant management tools and strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The broad focus of ecologically-based invasive plant management is to identify and repair the ecological processes facilitating plant invasion. To be useful, however, EBIPM requires that our application of management tools and strategies be based on ecological principles that determine the rate and ...

  5. Drought and ice plant invasion in Bodega Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weill, A.

    2014-12-01

    Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) is a succulent native to South Africa that is widespread in coastal California. Ice plant invasion is facilitated by the plant's ability to compete for water. More frequent drought due to climate change could enhance the invasive potential of ice plant due to its succulent properties and potential to access and compete for water under drought conditions. However, ice plant spread may be slowed due to water stress under drought despite a potential competitive advantage. We test the alternative hypotheses that invasive potential increases or decreases during times of drought by analyzing ice plant spread during past droughts at Bodega Bay, California using analysis of aerial photographs taken over the last two decades. The results of this analysis may reveal how ice plant may behave in future drought years and provide useful information for invasive species management.

  6. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk

    PubMed Central

    Driscoll, Don A.; Catford, Jane A.; Barney, Jacob N.; Hulme, Philip E.; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M.; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks. PMID:25368175

  7. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, Don A; Catford, Jane A; Barney, Jacob N; Hulme, Philip E; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-11-18

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks. PMID:25368175

  8. Plant Invasions in China – Challenges and Chances

    PubMed Central

    Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species cause serious environmental and economic harm and threaten global biodiversity. We set out to investigate how quickly invasive plant species are currently spreading in China and how their resulting distribution patterns are linked to socio-economic and environmental conditions. A comparison of the invasive plant species density (log species/log area) reported in 2008 with current data shows that invasive species were originally highly concentrated in the wealthy, southeastern coastal provinces of China, but they are currently rapidly spreading inland. Linear regression models based on the species density and turnover of invasive plants as dependent parameters and principal components representing key socio-economic and environmental parameters as predictors indicate strong positive links between invasive plant density and the overall phytodiversity and associated climatic parameters. Principal components representing socio-economic factors and endemic plant density also show significant positive links with invasive plant density. Urgent control and eradication measures are needed in China's coastal provinces to counteract the rapid inland spread of invasive plants. Strict controls of imports through seaports need to be accompanied by similarly strict controls of the developing horticultural trade and underpinned by awareness campaigns for China's increasingly affluent population to limit the arrival of new invaders. Furthermore, China needs to fully utilize its substantial native phytodiversity, rather than relying on exotics, in current large-scale afforestation projects and in the creation of urban green spaces. PMID:23691164

  9. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms

  10. Invasive plants have broader physiological niches.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Steven I; Richardson, David M

    2014-07-22

    Invasive species cost the global economy billions of dollars each year, but ecologists have struggled to predict the risk of an introduced species naturalizing and invading. Although carefully designed experiments are needed to fully elucidate what makes some species invasive, much can be learned from unintentional experiments involving the introduction of species beyond their native ranges. Here, we assess invasion risk by linking a physiologically based species distribution model with data on the invasive success of 749 Australian acacia and eucalypt tree species that have, over more than a century, been introduced around the world. The model correctly predicts 92% of occurrences observed outside of Australia from an independent dataset. We found that invasiveness is positively associated with the projection of physiological niche volume in geographic space, thereby illustrating that species tolerant of a broader range of environmental conditions are more likely to be invasive. Species achieve this broader tolerance in different ways, meaning that the traits that define invasive success are context-specific. Hence, our study reconciles studies that have failed to identify the traits that define invasive success with the urgent and pragmatic need to predict invasive success.

  11. Positive responses of coastal dune plants to soil conditioning by the invasive Lupinus nootkatensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanslin, Hans Martin; Kollmann, Johannes

    2016-11-01

    Invasive nitrogen-fixing plants drive vegetation dynamics and may cause irreversible changes in nutrient-limited ecosystems through increased soil resources. We studied how soil conditioning by the invasive alien Lupinus nootkatensis affected the seedling growth of co-occurring native plant species in coastal dunes, and whether responses to lupin-conditioned soil could be explained by fertilisation effects interacting with specific ecological strategies of the native dune species. Seedling performance of dune species was compared in a greenhouse experiment using field-collected soil from within or outside coastal lupin stands. In associated experiments, we quantified the response to nutrient supply of each species and tested how addition of specific nutrients affected growth of the native grass Festuca arundinacea in control and lupin-conditioned soil. We found that lupin-conditioned soil increased seedling biomass in 30 out of 32 native species; the conditioned soil also had a positive effect on seedling biomass of the invasive lupin itself. Increased phosphorus mobilisation by lupins was the major factor driving these positive seedling responses, based both on growth responses to addition of specific elements and analyses of plant available soil nutrients. There were large differences in growth responses to lupin-conditioned soil among species, but they were unrelated to selected autecological indicators or plant strategies. We conclude that Lupinus nootkatensis removes the phosphorus limitation for growth of native plants in coastal dunes, and that it increases cycling of other nutrients, promoting the growth of its own seedlings and a wide range of dune species. Finally, our study indicates that there are no negative soil legacies that prevent re-establishment of native plant species after removal of lupins.

  12. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  14. AM and DSE colonization of invasive plants in urban habitat: a study of Upper Silesia (southern Poland).

    PubMed

    Gucwa-Przepióra, Ewa; Chmura, Damian; Sokołowska, Kamila

    2016-07-01

    Interactions between invasive plants and root endophytes may contribute to the exploration of plant invasion causes. Twenty plant species of alien origin differing in invasiveness were studied in terms of status and typical structures of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes (DSE) in urban habitats in Silesia Upland (southern Poland). We observed that 75 % of investigated plant species were mycorrhizal. The arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) of most plant species was of the Arum morphology. The nearly 100 % mycorrhizal frequency, high intensity of AM colonization within root cortex and the presence of arbuscules in all mycorrhizal plant species indicate that the investigated species are able to establish AM associations in the secondary range and urban habitats. DSE were present in all mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal species. The frequency of DSE was significantly lower in non-mycorrhizal group of plants, however, sclerotia of DSE were found mainly in the roots of non-mycorrhizal plant species. The group of species native to North America including three Solidago congeners have the highest values of all AM mycorrhization and DSE indices. Moreover, we observed that most mycorrhizal invasive species belonged to the family Asteraceae. In turn, representatives of Poaceae had the lowest values of AM mycorrhization. Nevertheless, quite high values of DSE frequency were also encountered in roots of Poaceae species. The high invasiveness of the representatives of the Asteraceae family from North America support theory that both taxonomic pattern, and the fact of root endophytes colonization contribute to invasion success. While, the taxa of Reynoutria also represent successful invaders but they are of Asiatic origin, non-mycorrhizal and weakly colonized by DSE fungi. PMID:26894756

  15. AM and DSE colonization of invasive plants in urban habitat: a study of Upper Silesia (southern Poland).

    PubMed

    Gucwa-Przepióra, Ewa; Chmura, Damian; Sokołowska, Kamila

    2016-07-01

    Interactions between invasive plants and root endophytes may contribute to the exploration of plant invasion causes. Twenty plant species of alien origin differing in invasiveness were studied in terms of status and typical structures of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes (DSE) in urban habitats in Silesia Upland (southern Poland). We observed that 75 % of investigated plant species were mycorrhizal. The arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) of most plant species was of the Arum morphology. The nearly 100 % mycorrhizal frequency, high intensity of AM colonization within root cortex and the presence of arbuscules in all mycorrhizal plant species indicate that the investigated species are able to establish AM associations in the secondary range and urban habitats. DSE were present in all mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal species. The frequency of DSE was significantly lower in non-mycorrhizal group of plants, however, sclerotia of DSE were found mainly in the roots of non-mycorrhizal plant species. The group of species native to North America including three Solidago congeners have the highest values of all AM mycorrhization and DSE indices. Moreover, we observed that most mycorrhizal invasive species belonged to the family Asteraceae. In turn, representatives of Poaceae had the lowest values of AM mycorrhization. Nevertheless, quite high values of DSE frequency were also encountered in roots of Poaceae species. The high invasiveness of the representatives of the Asteraceae family from North America support theory that both taxonomic pattern, and the fact of root endophytes colonization contribute to invasion success. While, the taxa of Reynoutria also represent successful invaders but they are of Asiatic origin, non-mycorrhizal and weakly colonized by DSE fungi.

  16. Development of a scale for measuring invasive plant environmentalism.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, E W; Dozier, H

    2000-01-01

    The ecological impact of invasive plant species is a serious concern among environmental scientists and conservationists. Educating the public about invasive plant issues is a major hurdle, given that several invaders come into the environment through ornamental gardening. An important first step in planning an educational program concerning invasive plant issues is to assess public knowledge and attitudes concerning these issues. This paper describes the development of an instrument that measures invasive plant environmentalism. Responses from 237 nursery customers from the southeastern U.S. to a 17-item standardized interview were scaled using the partial credit model, a member of the family of Rasch (1960) measurement models. Our results indicate that the instrument adequately measures this construct. Substantive interpretations of the results are also discussed. PMID:12029169

  17. Development of a scale for measuring invasive plant environmentalism.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, E W; Dozier, H

    2000-01-01

    The ecological impact of invasive plant species is a serious concern among environmental scientists and conservationists. Educating the public about invasive plant issues is a major hurdle, given that several invaders come into the environment through ornamental gardening. An important first step in planning an educational program concerning invasive plant issues is to assess public knowledge and attitudes concerning these issues. This paper describes the development of an instrument that measures invasive plant environmentalism. Responses from 237 nursery customers from the southeastern U.S. to a 17-item standardized interview were scaled using the partial credit model, a member of the family of Rasch (1960) measurement models. Our results indicate that the instrument adequately measures this construct. Substantive interpretations of the results are also discussed.

  18. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens.

    PubMed

    Makino, Takashi T; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant-pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly.

  19. Ecophysiology of invasive plants: osmotic adjustment and antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Pintó-Marijuan, Marta; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2013-12-01

    Current research into plant invasiveness often attempts to predict the effect of invasions under future climate change, but most studies only focus on ecological aspects. Understanding ecophysiological responses by characterizing physiological markers such as osmotic adjustment or antioxidant protection indicators will help us to project future invasiveness patterns. In this opinion article, we highlight how the information from physiological measurements can be incorporated into effective management strategies. Furthermore, we propose how combining research strategies of physiologists and ecologists could speed up our understanding of the advantageous mechanisms adopted by invasive species. We suggest that a combined approach would also be of considerable benefit for the development of effective governmental biodiversity conservation policies.

  20. Shift in cytotype frequency and niche space in the invasive plant Centaurea maculosa.

    PubMed

    Treier, Urs A; Broennimann, Olivier; Normand, Signe; Guisan, Antoine; Schaffner, Urs; Steinger, Thomas; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

    2009-05-01

    Polyploidy is often assumed to increase the spread and thus the success of alien plant species, but few empirical studies exist. We tested this hypothesis with Centaurea maculosa Lam., a species native to Europe and introduced into North America approximately 120 years ago where it became highly invasive. We analyzed the ploidy level of more than 2000 plants from 93 native and 48 invasive C. maculosa populations and found a pronounced shift in the relative frequency of diploid and tetraploid cytotypes. In Europe diploid populations occur in higher frequencies than tetraploids and only four populations had both cytotypes, while in North America diploid plants were found in only one mixed population and thus tetraploids clearly dominated. Our results showed a pronounced shift in the climatic niche between tetraploid populations in the native and introduced range toward drier climate in North America and a similar albeit smaller shift between diploids and tetraploids in the native range. The field data indicate that diploids have a predominately monocarpic life cycle, while tetraploids are often polycarpic. Additionally, the polycarpic life-form seems to be more prevalent among tetraploids in the introduced range than among tetraploids in the native range. Our study suggests that both ploidy types of C. maculosa were introduced into North America, but tetraploids became the dominant cytotype with invasion. We suggest that the invasive success of C. maculosa is partly due to preadaptation of the tetraploid cytotype in Europe to drier climate and possibly further adaptation to these conditions in the introduced range. The potential for earlier and longer seed production associated with the polycarpic life cycle constitutes an additional factor that may have led to the dominance of tetraploids over diploids in the introduced range.

  1. Invasive mechanism and management strategy of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B: progress report of 973 Program on invasive alien species in China.

    PubMed

    Wan, FangHao; Zhang, GuiFen; Liu, ShuSheng; Luo, Chen; Chu, Dong; Zhang, YouJun; Zang, LianSheng; Jiu, Min; Lü, ZhiChuang; Cui, XuHong; Zhang, LiPing; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, QingWen; Liu, WanXue; Liang, Pei; Lei, ZhongRen; Zhang, YongJun

    2009-01-01

    Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B, called a "superbug", is one of the most harmful biotypes of this species complex worldwide. In this report, the invasive mechanism and management of B. tabaci biotype B, based on our 5-year studies, are presented. Six B. tabaci biotypes, B, Q, ZHJ1, ZHJ2, ZHJ3 and FJ1, have been identified in China. Biotype B dominates the other biotypes in many regions of the country. Genetic diversity in biotype B might be induced by host plant, geographical conditions, and/or insecticidal application. The activities of CarE (carboxylesterase) and GSTs (glutathione-S-transferase) in biotype B reared on cucumber and squash were greater than on other host plants, which might have increased its resistance to insecticides. The higher activities of detoxification enzymes in biotype B might be induced by the secondary metabolites in host plants. Higher adaptive ability of biotype B adults to adverse conditions might be linked to the expression of heat shock protein genes. The indigenous B. tabaci biotypes were displaced by the biotype B within 225 d. The asymmetric mating interactions and mutualism between biotype B and begomoviruses via its host plants speed up widespread invasion and displacement of other biotypes. B. tabaci biotype B displaced Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) after 4-7 generations under glasshouse conditions. Greater adaptive ability of the biotype B to adverse conditions and its rapid population increase might be the reasons of its successful displacement of T. vaporariorum. Greater ability of the biotype B to switch to different host plants may enrich its host plants, which might enable it to better compete with T. vaporariorum. Native predatory natural enemies possess greater ability to suppress B. tabaci under field conditions. The kairomones in the 3rd and 4th instars of biotype B may provide an important stimulus in host searching and location by its parasitoids. The present results provide useful information in

  2. Invasive Plant Management in the United States National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lusk, Michael; Ericson, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species pose a significant challenge to the National Wildlife Refuge System and have been identified as the single most important threat to habitat management on refuges. At present, it is estimated that over 2 million acres of refuge lands are invaded by invasive plants. The current and potential costs of controlling invasive plants, as well as monitoring and restoring refuge lands, are significant both financially and ecologically. Budgetary expenditures for invasive species projects in FY 2009 totaled $18.4 million. A number of strategies are used to confront this threat and have resulted in success on a variety of levels. The Refuge System utilizes key partnerships, invasive species strike teams, and a dedicated cadre of volunteers to implement projects that incorporate mechanical, chemical and biological control methods.

  3. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens

    PubMed Central

    Makino, Takashi T.; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant–pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly. PMID:26650121

  4. Long live the alien: is high genetic diversity a pivotal aspect of crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) long-lasting and successful invasion?

    PubMed

    Trucchi, Emiliano; Facon, Benoit; Gratton, Paolo; Mori, Emiliano; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Jentoft, Sissel

    2016-08-01

    Studying the evolutionary dynamics of an alien species surviving and continuing to expand after several generations can provide fundamental information on the relevant features of clearly successful invasions. Here, we tackle this task by investigating the dynamics of the genetic diversity in invasive crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) populations, introduced to Italy about 1500 years ago, which are still growing in size, distribution range and ecological niche. Using genome-wide RAD markers, we describe the structure of the genetic diversity and the demographic dynamics of the H. cristata invasive populations and compare their genetic diversity with that of native African populations of both H. cristata and its sister species, H. africaeaustralis. First, we demonstrate that genetic diversity is lower in both the invasive Italian and the North Africa source range relative to other native populations from sub-Saharan and South Africa. Second, we find evidence of multiple introduction events in the invasive range followed by very limited gene flow. Through coalescence-based demographic reconstructions, we also show that the bottleneck at introduction was mild and did not affect the introduced genetic diversity. Finally, we reveal that the current spatial expansion at the northern boundary of the range is following a leading-edge model characterized by a general reduction of genetic diversity towards the edge of the expanding range. We conclude that the level of genome-wide diversity of H. cristata invasive populations is less important in explaining its successful invasion than species-specific life-history traits or the phylogeographic history in the native source range. PMID:27171527

  5. Long live the alien: is high genetic diversity a pivotal aspect of crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) long-lasting and successful invasion?

    PubMed

    Trucchi, Emiliano; Facon, Benoit; Gratton, Paolo; Mori, Emiliano; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Jentoft, Sissel

    2016-08-01

    Studying the evolutionary dynamics of an alien species surviving and continuing to expand after several generations can provide fundamental information on the relevant features of clearly successful invasions. Here, we tackle this task by investigating the dynamics of the genetic diversity in invasive crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) populations, introduced to Italy about 1500 years ago, which are still growing in size, distribution range and ecological niche. Using genome-wide RAD markers, we describe the structure of the genetic diversity and the demographic dynamics of the H. cristata invasive populations and compare their genetic diversity with that of native African populations of both H. cristata and its sister species, H. africaeaustralis. First, we demonstrate that genetic diversity is lower in both the invasive Italian and the North Africa source range relative to other native populations from sub-Saharan and South Africa. Second, we find evidence of multiple introduction events in the invasive range followed by very limited gene flow. Through coalescence-based demographic reconstructions, we also show that the bottleneck at introduction was mild and did not affect the introduced genetic diversity. Finally, we reveal that the current spatial expansion at the northern boundary of the range is following a leading-edge model characterized by a general reduction of genetic diversity towards the edge of the expanding range. We conclude that the level of genome-wide diversity of H. cristata invasive populations is less important in explaining its successful invasion than species-specific life-history traits or the phylogeographic history in the native source range.

  6. Life under alien skies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dartnell, Lewis

    2012-04-01

    As the number of confirmed extrasolar planets increases, so does the likelihood that some of them will harbour life. Lewis Dartnell describes some preliminary - but increasingly well founded - efforts to predict what alien plants and animals might look like.

  7. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management.

    PubMed

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-03-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability.

  8. Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chong, G.W.; Otsuki, Y.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Guenther, D.; Evangelista, P.; Villa, C.; Waters, A.

    2006-01-01

    We present an approach to quantitatively assess nonnative plant invasions at landscape scales from both habitat and species perspectives. Our case study included 34 nonnative species found in 142 plots (0.1 ha) in 14 vegetation types within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. A plot invasion index, based on nonnative species richness and cover, showed that only 16 of 142 plots were heavily invaded. A species invasive index, based on frequency, cover, and number of vegetation types invaded, showed that only 7 of 34 plant species were highly invasive. Multiple regressions using habitat characteristics (moisture index, elevation, soil P, native species richness, maximum crust development class, bare ground, and rock) explained 60% of variation in nonnative species richness and 46% of variation in nonnative species cover. Three mesic habitats (aspen, wet meadow, and perennial riparian types) were particularly invaded (31 of 34 nonnative species studied were found in these types). Species-specific logistic regression models for the 7 most invasive species correctly predicted occurrence 89% of the time on average (from 80% for Bromus tectorum, a habitat generalist, to 93% for Tamarix spp., a habitat specialist). Even with such a modest sampling intensity (<0.1% of the landscape), this multiscale sampling scheme was effective at evaluating habitat vulnerability to invasion and the occurrence of the 7 most invasive nonnative species. This approach could be applied in other natural areas to develop strategies to document invasive species and invaded habitats.

  9. Plant community associations of two invasive thistles

    PubMed Central

    Rauschert, Emily S.J.; Shea, Katriona; Goslee, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    In order to combat the growing problems associated with biological invasions, many researchers have focused on identifying which communities are most vulnerable to invasion by exotic species. However, once established, invasive species can significantly change the composition of the communities that they invade. The first step to disentangling the direction of causality is to discern whether a relationship with other vegetation exists at all. Carduus nutans and C. acanthoides are similar invasive thistles, which have caused substantial economic damage worldwide. We assessed the associations between the thistles and the standing flora in four sites in central Pennsylvania in which they co-occur. After sampling nearly 2000 plots of 1 m2, we used partial Mantel tests to assess the differences in vegetation between thistle and non-thistle plots after accounting for location, and non-metric multidimensional scaling to visualize differences among plots and sites. We found significant differences in community composition in plots with and without Carduus thistles. The non-native species Sisymbrium officinale and Coronilla varia were consistently associated with the presence of Carduus thistles. Several species were associated with areas that were free of Carduus thistles, including an important non-native pasture species (Trifolium repens). We found no evidence for differences in composition between plots with C. nutans versus C. acanthoides, suggesting that they have similar associations with the vegetation community. We conclude that even at the within-field scale, areas invaded by Carduus thistles have different vegetation associations than uninvaded areas, allowing us to target future research about the role of vegetation structure in resisting and responding to invasion. PMID:26038126

  10. Plant community associations of two invasive thistles.

    PubMed

    Rauschert, Emily S J; Shea, Katriona; Goslee, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    In order to combat the growing problems associated with biological invasions, many researchers have focused on identifying which communities are most vulnerable to invasion by exotic species. However, once established, invasive species can significantly change the composition of the communities that they invade. The first step to disentangling the direction of causality is to discern whether a relationship with other vegetation exists at all. Carduus nutans and C. acanthoides are similar invasive thistles, which have caused substantial economic damage worldwide. We assessed the associations between the thistles and the standing flora in four sites in central Pennsylvania in which they co-occur. After sampling nearly 2000 plots of 1 m(2), we used partial Mantel tests to assess the differences in vegetation between thistle and non-thistle plots after accounting for location, and non-metric multidimensional scaling to visualize differences among plots and sites. We found significant differences in community composition in plots with and without Carduus thistles. The non-native species Sisymbrium officinale and Coronilla varia were consistently associated with the presence of Carduus thistles. Several species were associated with areas that were free of Carduus thistles, including an important non-native pasture species (Trifolium repens). We found no evidence for differences in composition between plots with C. nutans versus C. acanthoides, suggesting that they have similar associations with the vegetation community. We conclude that even at the within-field scale, areas invaded by Carduus thistles have different vegetation associations than uninvaded areas, allowing us to target future research about the role of vegetation structure in resisting and responding to invasion.

  11. Assessment of Nonnative Invasive Plants in the DOE Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, S.J.

    2002-11-05

    The Department of Energy (DOE) National Environmental Research Park at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is composed of second-growth forest stands characteristic of much of the eastern deciduous forest of the Ridge and Valley Province of Tennessee. Human use of natural ecosystems in this region has facilitated the establishment of at least 167 nonnative, invasive plant species on the Research Park. Our objective was to assess the distribution, abundance, impact, and potential for control of the 18 most abundant invasive species on the Research Park. In 2000, field surveys were conducted of 16 management areas on the Research Park (14 Natural Areas, 1 Reference Area, and Walker Branch Watershed) and the Research Park as a whole to acquire qualitative and quantitative data on the distribution and abundance of these taxa. Data from the surveys were used to rank the relative importance of these species using the ''Alien Plant Ranking System, Version 5.1'' developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Microstegium (Microstegium vimineum) was ranked highest, or most problematic, for the entire Research Park because of its potential impact on natural systems, its tendency to become a management problem, and how difficult it is to control. Microstegium was present in 12 of the 16 individual sites surveyed; when present, it consistently ranked as the most problematic invasive species, particularly in terms of its potential impact on natural systems. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) were the second- and third-most problematic plant species on the Research Park; these two species were present in 12 and 9 of the 16 sites surveyed, respectively, and often ranked second- or third-most problematic. Other nonnative, invasive species, in decreasing rank order, included kudzu (Pueraria montma), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), Chinese lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneara), and other species representing a variety of life forms and growth forms. Results of

  12. Interspecific competition between alien and native congeneric species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Serrano, H.; Sans, F. X.; Escarré, J.

    2007-01-01

    A good way to check hypotheses explaining the invasion of ecosystems by exotic plants is to compare alien and native congeneric species. To test the hypothesis that invasive alien plants are more competitive than natives, we designed a replacement series experiment to evaluate interspecific competition between three Senecio species representing the same bushy life form: two alien species ( S. inaequidens and S. pterophorus, both from South Africa) and a native species from the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula and Maghreb ( S. malacitanus). While S. inaequidens is widespread throughout western Europe and is expanding towards the south of Spanish-French border, the geographical distribution of the recently introduced S. pterophorus is still limited to north-eastern Spain. Plants from each species were grown in pure and in mixed cultures with one of their congeners, and water availability was manipulated to evaluate the effects of water stress on competitive abilities. Our results show that the alien S. inaequidens is the most competitive species for all water conditions. The native S. malacitanus is more competitive that the alien S. pterophorus in water stress conditions, but this situation is reversed when water availability is not limiting.

  13. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    PubMed

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  14. The physiology of invasive plants in low-resource environments

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    While invasive plant species primarily occur in disturbed, high-resource environments, many species have invaded ecosystems characterized by low nutrient, water, and light availability. Species adapted to low-resource systems often display traits associated with resource conservation, such as slow growth, high tissue longevity, and resource-use efficiency. This contrasts with our general understanding of invasive species physiology derived primarily from studies in high-resource environments. These studies suggest that invasive species succeed through high resource acquisition. This review examines physiological and morphological traits of native and invasive species in low-resource environments. Existing data support the idea that species invading low-resource environments possess traits associated with resource acquisition, resource conservation or both. Disturbance and climate change are affecting resource availability in many ecosystems, and understanding physiological differences between native and invasive species may suggest ways to restore invaded ecosystems. PMID:27293610

  15. Space, time and aliens: charting the dynamic structure of Galápagos pollination networks

    PubMed Central

    Traveset, Anna; Chamorro, Susana; Olesen, Jens M.; Heleno, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    Oceanic archipelagos are threatened by the introduction of alien species which can severely disrupt the structure, function and stability of native communities. Here we investigated the pollination interactions in the two most disturbed Galápagos Islands, comparing the three main habitats and the two seasons, and assessing the impacts of alien plant invasions on network structure. We found that the pollination network structure was rather consistent between the two islands, but differed across habitats and seasons. Overall, the arid zone had the largest networks and highest species generalization levels whereas either the transition between habitats or the humid habitat showed lower values. Our data suggest that alien plants integrate easily into the communities, but with low impact on overall network structure, except for an increase in network selectiveness. The humid zone showed the highest nestedness and the lowest modularity, which might be explained by the low species diversity and the higher incidence of alien plants in this habitat. Both pollinators and plants were also more generalized in the hot season, when networks showed to be more nested. Alien species (both plants and pollinators) represented a high fraction (∼56 %) of the total number of interactions in the networks. It is thus likely that, in spite of the overall weak effect we found of alien plant invasion on pollination network structure, these introduced species influence the reproductive success of native ones, and by doing so, they affect the functioning of the community. This certainly deserves further investigation. PMID:26104283

  16. Space, time and aliens: charting the dynamic structure of Galápagos pollination networks.

    PubMed

    Traveset, Anna; Chamorro, Susana; Olesen, Jens M; Heleno, Ruben

    2015-06-23

    Oceanic archipelagos are threatened by the introduction of alien species which can severely disrupt the structure, function and stability of native communities. Here we investigated the pollination interactions in the two most disturbed Galápagos Islands, comparing the three main habitats and the two seasons, and assessing the impacts of alien plant invasions on network structure. We found that the pollination network structure was rather consistent between the two islands, but differed across habitats and seasons. Overall, the arid zone had the largest networks and highest species generalization levels whereas either the transition between habitats or the humid habitat showed lower values. Our data suggest that alien plants integrate easily into the communities, but with low impact on overall network structure, except for an increase in network selectiveness. The humid zone showed the highest nestedness and the lowest modularity, which might be explained by the low species diversity and the higher incidence of alien plants in this habitat. Both pollinators and plants were also more generalized in the hot season, when networks showed to be more nested. Alien species (both plants and pollinators) represented a high fraction (∼56 %) of the total number of interactions in the networks. It is thus likely that, in spite of the overall weak effect we found of alien plant invasion on pollination network structure, these introduced species influence the reproductive success of native ones, and by doing so, they affect the functioning of the community. This certainly deserves further investigation.

  17. Alien plant species with a wider global distribution are better able to capitalize on increased resource availability.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne; Rohr, Rudolf P; van Kleunen, Mark; Fischer, Markus

    2012-05-01

    • A high ability of alien plant species to capitalize on increases in resource availability has been suggested as an explanation for being globally successful. Here, we tested this hypothesis meta-analytically using existing data from experiments manipulating plant resources (light, water and nutrients). • From these studies we extracted the response to resource increase of biomass, as an indicator of plant performance, and the responses of two traits related to resource capture: root : shoot ratio and specific leaf area (SLA). For 211 species recorded in the Global Compendium of Weeds, we assessed the relationship between effect sizes from such studies and the number of global regions where a species was established. • We found that globally widespread species exhibited greater biomass responses to increases in resources overall, compared to less widespread species. Root : shoot ratio and SLA responses to increased resource availability were not related to species global distribution. • In general, globally widespread alien plant species were better able to capitalize on increased availability of resources, through achieving increased growth and biomass accumulation, while greater plasticity of key resource-capture traits per se did not appear to be related to greater success.

  18. Protected-area boundaries as filters of plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Rouget, Mathieu

    2011-04-01

    Human land uses surrounding protected areas provide propagules for colonization of these areas by non-native species, and corridors between protected-area networks and drainage systems of rivers provide pathways for long-distance dispersal of non-native species. Nevertheless, the influence of protected-area boundaries on colonization of protected areas by invasive non-native species is unknown. We drew on a spatially explicit data set of more than 27,000 non-native plant presence records for South Africa's Kruger National Park to examine the role of boundaries in preventing colonization of protected areas by non-native species. The number of records of non-native invasive plants declined rapidly beyond 1500 m inside the park; thus, we believe that the park boundary limited the spread of non-native plants. The number of non-native invasive plants inside the park was a function of the amount of water runoff, density of major roads, and the presence of natural vegetation outside the park. Of the types of human-induced disturbance, only the density of major roads outside the protected area significantly increased the number of non-native plant records. Our findings suggest that the probability of incursion of invasive plants into protected areas can be quantified reliably.

  19. Protected-Area Boundaries as Filters of Plant Invasions

    PubMed Central

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; JaroŠÍK, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Rouget, Mathieu

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Human land uses surrounding protected areas provide propagules for colonization of these areas by non-native species, and corridors between protected-area networks and drainage systems of rivers provide pathways for long-distance dispersal of non-native species. Nevertheless, the influence of protected-area boundaries on colonization of protected areas by invasive non-native species is unknown. We drew on a spatially explicit data set of more than 27,000 non-native plant presence records for South Africa's Kruger National Park to examine the role of boundaries in preventing colonization of protected areas by non-native species. The number of records of non-native invasive plants declined rapidly beyond 1500 m inside the park; thus, we believe that the park boundary limited the spread of non-native plants. The number of non-native invasive plants inside the park was a function of the amount of water runoff, density of major roads, and the presence of natural vegetation outside the park. Of the types of human-induced disturbance, only the density of major roads outside the protected area significantly increased the number of non-native plant records. Our findings suggest that the probability of incursion of invasive plants into protected areas can be quantified reliably. PMID:21166715

  20. Low persistence of a monocarpic invasive plant in historical sites biases our perception of its actual distribution

    PubMed Central

    Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Perglová, Irena; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Procheş, Şerban

    2012-01-01

    Aim As accurate and up-to-date distribution data for plant species are rarely available, cumulative records over long periods of time are frequently used for mapping distributions, without taking into account that species do not persist in their historical localities forever. However, persistence is highly relevant in changing modern landscapes, especially for invasive species that dynamically spread in unstable human-made habitats. We studied how an invasive species, Heracleum mantegazzianum, persists at sites once colonized and how its ability to persist affects its distribution. Location The Czech Republic. Methods We visited 521 localities of H. mantegazzianum occurrence reported in the literature and herbaria to determine whether the species still occurs at these sites. By using G-tests and classification trees, we explored the roles of various factors affecting its persistence at a site. Results Of the total number of 521 historical sites at which the species has occurred since the end of the 19th century, it persists at only 124 (23.8%). The persistence rate differs with respect to habitat type and is highest in meadows and forest margins. Analysis using classification trees indicated that the factors that best explain persistence are: type of habitat (with meadow and forest margins over-represented); urbanity (with a higher persistence outside urban areas); proximity to the place of the species’ introduction into the country; metapopulation connectivity; and distance to the nearest neighbouring population. Main conclusions The use of cumulative historical records as a measure of species distribution, which is common in invasion literature, can seriously overestimate the actual distribution of alien plant species with low persistence. In the case of alien species such as H. mantegazzanium, which is non-clonal and reproduces only by seed, estimates of distribution and spread based on historical data are informative about potentially suitable habitat but may

  1. Colonization History, Host Distribution, Anthropogenic Influence and Landscape Features Shape Populations of White Pine Blister Rust, an Invasive Alien Tree Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Brar, Simren; Tsui, Clement K. M.; Dhillon, Braham; Bergeron, Marie-Josée; Joly, David L.; Zambino, P. J.; El-Kassaby, Yousry A.; Hamelin, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    White pine blister rust is caused by the fungal pathogen Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch (Basidiomycota, Pucciniales). This invasive alien pathogen was introduced into North America at the beginning of the 20th century on pine seedlings imported from Europe and has caused serious economic and ecological impacts. In this study, we applied a population and landscape genetics approach to understand the patterns of introduction and colonization as well as population structure and migration of C. ribicola. We characterized 1,292 samples of C. ribicola from 66 geographic locations in North America using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and evaluated the effect of landscape features, host distribution, and colonization history on the structure of these pathogen populations. We identified eastern and western genetic populations in North America that are strongly differentiated. Genetic diversity is two to five times higher in eastern populations than in western ones, which can be explained by the repeated accidental introductions of the pathogen into northeastern North America compared with a single documented introduction into western North America. These distinct genetic populations are maintained by a barrier to gene flow that corresponds to a region where host connectivity is interrupted. Furthermore, additional cryptic spatial differentiation was identified in western populations. This differentiation corresponds to landscape features, such as mountain ranges, and also to host connectivity. We also detected genetic differentiation between the pathogen populations in natural stands and plantations, an indication that anthropogenic movement of this pathogen still takes place. These results highlight the importance of monitoring this invasive alien tree pathogen to prevent admixture of eastern and western populations where different pathogen races occur. PMID:26010250

  2. Colonization history, host distribution, anthropogenic influence and landscape features shape populations of white pine blister rust, an invasive alien tree pathogen.

    PubMed

    Brar, Simren; Tsui, Clement K M; Dhillon, Braham; Bergeron, Marie-Josée; Joly, David L; Zambino, P J; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Hamelin, Richard C

    2015-01-01

    White pine blister rust is caused by the fungal pathogen Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch (Basidiomycota, Pucciniales). This invasive alien pathogen was introduced into North America at the beginning of the 20th century on pine seedlings imported from Europe and has caused serious economic and ecological impacts. In this study, we applied a population and landscape genetics approach to understand the patterns of introduction and colonization as well as population structure and migration of C. ribicola. We characterized 1,292 samples of C. ribicola from 66 geographic locations in North America using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and evaluated the effect of landscape features, host distribution, and colonization history on the structure of these pathogen populations. We identified eastern and western genetic populations in North America that are strongly differentiated. Genetic diversity is two to five times higher in eastern populations than in western ones, which can be explained by the repeated accidental introductions of the pathogen into northeastern North America compared with a single documented introduction into western North America. These distinct genetic populations are maintained by a barrier to gene flow that corresponds to a region where host connectivity is interrupted. Furthermore, additional cryptic spatial differentiation was identified in western populations. This differentiation corresponds to landscape features, such as mountain ranges, and also to host connectivity. We also detected genetic differentiation between the pathogen populations in natural stands and plantations, an indication that anthropogenic movement of this pathogen still takes place. These results highlight the importance of monitoring this invasive alien tree pathogen to prevent admixture of eastern and western populations where different pathogen races occur.

  3. PLANT INVASIONS IN RHODE ISLAND RIPARIAN ZONES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The vegetation in riparian zones provides valuable wildlife habitat while enhancing instream habitat and water quality. Forest fragmentation, sunlit edges, and nutrient additions from adjacent development may be sources of stress on riparian zones. Landscape plants may include no...

  4. Patchy Invasion of Stage-Structured Alien Species with Short-Distance and Long-Distance Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Luiz Alberto Díaz; Mistro, Diomar Cristina; Cara, Elisa Regina; Petrovskaya, Natalia; Petrovskii, Sergei

    2015-08-01

    Understanding of spatiotemporal patterns arising in invasive species spread is necessary for successful management and control of harmful species, and mathematical modeling is widely recognized as a powerful research tool to achieve this goal. The conventional view of the typical invasion pattern as a continuous population traveling front has been recently challenged by both empirical and theoretical results revealing more complicated, alternative scenarios. In particular, the so-called patchy invasion has been a focus of considerable interest; however, its theoretical study was restricted to the case where the invasive species spreads by predominantly short-distance dispersal. Meanwhile, there is considerable evidence that the long-distance dispersal is not an exotic phenomenon but a strategy that is used by many species. In this paper, we consider how the patchy invasion can be modified by the effect of the long-distance dispersal and the effect of the fat tails of the dispersal kernels. PMID:26438447

  5. Effects of Ozone on Gas Exchange in Invasive Forest Plants.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elton, E. E.

    2006-12-01

    Evaluations of invasive plant biology have failed to investigate the relationship between leaf structure and effects of ozone among closely related native and non-native plants. When exposed to toxic pollutants plants with lower stomatal density and lower stomatal conductance might experience reduced exposure and consequently be more competitive. To test for systematic differences between invasive and native species, experiments assessed the stomatal density and stomatal conductance of nine non-native invasive species and thirteen native species. Field sites, used for forest surveys, centered on three urban areas including sites with differing ozone levels (low 0-60 ppb, medium 80-99 ppb, high 111-125+ ppb). Three sites were selected within each of the three urban areas, and surveys were taken at each of the nine sites determining the native and non-native plant composition. The low level sites had greater densities of native plants than the high ozone level sites. Leaf impressions revealed a significantly higher (t = 14.13, p < 0.0001) stomatal density for the natives, and a LI-COR 1600 showed significantly higher (Fndf,ddf = 12.88, p = 0.0004) stomatal conductance for native plants. Dissimilar gas-exchange capacities are likely to be linked to the observed differences in plant composition among study sites. The importance of addressing air and biotic pollution grows every year as human health, agriculture, and ecosystem function are negatively affected in new areas.

  6. Short Lag Times for Invasive Tropical Plants: Evidence from Experimental Plantings in Hawai'i

    PubMed Central

    Daehler, Curtis C.

    2009-01-01

    Background The lag time of an invasion is the delay between arrival of an introduced species and its successful spread in a new area. To date, most estimates of lag times for plants have been indirect or anecdotal, and these estimates suggest that plant invasions are often characterized by lag times of 50 years or more. No general estimates are available of lag times for tropical plant invasions. Historical plantings and documentation were used to directly estimate lag times for tropical plant invasions in Hawai'i. Methodology/Principal Findings Historical planting records for the Lyon Arboretum dating back to 1920 were examined to identify plants that have since become invasive pests in the Hawaiian Islands. Annual reports describing escape from plantings were then used to determine the lag times between initial plantings and earliest recorded spread of the successful invaders. Among 23 species that eventually became invasive pests, the average lag time between introduction and first evidence of spread was 14 years for woody plants and 5 years for herbaceous plants. Conclusions/Significance These direct estimates of lag times are as much as an order of magnitude shorter than previous, indirect estimates, which were mainly based on temperate plants. Tropical invaders may have much shorter lag times than temperate species. A lack of direct and deliberate observations may have also inflated many previous lag time estimates. Although there have been documented cases of long lag times due to delayed arrival of a mutualist or environmental changes over time, this study suggests that most successful invasions are likely to begin shortly after arrival of the plant in a suitable habitat, at least in tropical environments. Short lag times suggest that controlled field trials may be a practical element of risk assessment for plant introductions. PMID:19223966

  7. Invasive plant ecology and management: Linking processes to practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book brings together 10 chapters from renowned researchers that study how ecosystems operate and how to adopt the principles of ecology to manage invasive plants. This book taps this expertise by seeking to bridge the inherent disconnect between processes operating within ecosystems and the pr...

  8. Wildfire and invasive plants in American deserts: a special feature

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Society for Range Management (SRM) and 26 partners hosted a special conference in Reno, Nevada in December of 2008 in response to the need to provide information for the management of native rangelands in the face of challenges posed by the interactions of invasive plants and wildfire. SRM hoste...

  9. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant species can establish in diverse environments and with the increase in human mobility, they are no longer restricted to isolated pockets in remote parts of the world. Cheat grass (Bromus tectorum L.) in rangelands, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) in wet lands and Canada this...

  10. AIRBORNE HYPERSPECTRAL IDENTIFICATION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC WETLANDS PLANT SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal wetlands are among the most fragmented and disturbed ecosystems and the Great Lakes are no exception. One possible result is the observed increase in the presence and dominance of invasive and other opportunistic plant species, such as the common reed (Phragmites australi...

  11. Environmental implications of plastic debris in marine settings—entanglement, ingestion, smothering, hangers-on, hitch-hiking and alien invasions

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Murray R.

    2009-01-01

    Over the past five or six decades, contamination and pollution of the world’s enclosed seas, coastal waters and the wider open oceans by plastics and other synthetic, non-biodegradable materials (generally known as ‘marine debris’) has been an ever-increasing phenomenon. The sources of these polluting materials are both land- and marine-based, their origins may be local or distant, and the environmental consequences are many and varied. The more widely recognized problems are typically associated with entanglement, ingestion, suffocation and general debilitation, and are often related to stranding events and public perception. Among the less frequently recognized and recorded problems are global hazards to shipping, fisheries and other maritime activities. Today, there are rapidly developing research interests in the biota attracted to freely floating (i.e. pelagic) marine debris, commonly known as ‘hangers-on and hitch-hikers’ as well as material sinking to the sea floor despite being buoyant. Dispersal of aggressive alien and invasive species by these mechanisms leads one to reflect on the possibilities that ensuing invasions could endanger sensitive, or at-risk coastal environments (both marine and terrestrial) far from their native habitats. PMID:19528053

  12. Environmental implications of plastic debris in marine settings--entanglement, ingestion, smothering, hangers-on, hitch-hiking and alien invasions.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Murray R

    2009-07-27

    Over the past five or six decades, contamination and pollution of the world's enclosed seas, coastal waters and the wider open oceans by plastics and other synthetic, non-biodegradable materials (generally known as 'marine debris') has been an ever-increasing phenomenon. The sources of these polluting materials are both land- and marine-based, their origins may be local or distant, and the environmental consequences are many and varied. The more widely recognized problems are typically associated with entanglement, ingestion, suffocation and general debilitation, and are often related to stranding events and public perception. Among the less frequently recognized and recorded problems are global hazards to shipping, fisheries and other maritime activities. Today, there are rapidly developing research interests in the biota attracted to freely floating (i.e. pelagic) marine debris, commonly known as 'hangers-on and hitch-hikers' as well as material sinking to the sea floor despite being buoyant. Dispersal of aggressive alien and invasive species by these mechanisms leads one to reflect on the possibilities that ensuing invasions could endanger sensitive, or at-risk coastal environments (both marine and terrestrial) far from their native habitats.

  13. Survivorship and feeding preferences among size classes of outplanted sea urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, and possible use as biocontrol for invasive alien algae

    PubMed Central

    Ringang, Rory R.; Cantero, Sean Michael A.; Toonen, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the survivorship, growth and diet preferences of hatchery-raised juvenile urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, to evaluate the efficacy of their use as biocontrol agents in the efforts to reduce alien invasive algae. In flow-through tanks, we measured urchin growth rates, feeding rates and feeding preferences among diets of the most common invasive algae found in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaiʻi: Acanthophora spicifera, Gracilaria salicornia, Eucheuma denticulatum and Kappaphycus clade B. Post-transport survivorship of outplanted urchins was measured in paired open and closed cages in three different reef environments (lagoon, reef flat and reef slope) for a month. Survivorship in closed cages was highest on the reef flat (∼75%), and intermediate in the lagoon and reef slope (∼50%). In contrast, open cages showed similar survivorship on the reef flat and in the lagoon, but only 20% of juvenile urchins survived in open cages placed on the reef slope. Urchins grew significantly faster on diets of G. salicornia (1.58 mm/week ± 0.14 SE) and Kappaphycus clade B (1.69 ± 0.14 mm/wk) than on E. denticulatum (0.97 ± 0.14 mm/wk), with intermediate growth when fed on A. spicifera (1.23 ± 0.11 mm/wk). Interestingly, urchins display size-specific feeding preferences. In non-choice feeding trials, small urchins (17.5–22.5 mm test diameter) consumed G. salicornia fastest (6.08 g/day ± 0.19 SE), with A. spicifera (4.25 ± 0.02 g/day) and Kappaphycus clade B (3.83 ± 0.02 g/day) intermediate, and E. denticulatum was clearly the least consumed (2.32 ± 0.37 g/day). Medium-sized (29.8–43.8 mm) urchins likewise preferentially consumed G. salicornia (12.60 ± 0.08 g/day), with less clear differences among the other species in which E. denticulatum was still consumed least (9.35 ± 0.90 g/day). In contrast, large urchins (45.0–65.0 mm) showed no significant preferences among the different algae species at all (12.43–15.24 g/day). Overall consumption rates in non

  14. Survivorship and feeding preferences among size classes of outplanted sea urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, and possible use as biocontrol for invasive alien algae.

    PubMed

    Westbrook, Charley E; Ringang, Rory R; Cantero, Sean Michael A; Toonen, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the survivorship, growth and diet preferences of hatchery-raised juvenile urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, to evaluate the efficacy of their use as biocontrol agents in the efforts to reduce alien invasive algae. In flow-through tanks, we measured urchin growth rates, feeding rates and feeding preferences among diets of the most common invasive algae found in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i: Acanthophora spicifera, Gracilaria salicornia, Eucheuma denticulatum and Kappaphycus clade B. Post-transport survivorship of outplanted urchins was measured in paired open and closed cages in three different reef environments (lagoon, reef flat and reef slope) for a month. Survivorship in closed cages was highest on the reef flat (∼75%), and intermediate in the lagoon and reef slope (∼50%). In contrast, open cages showed similar survivorship on the reef flat and in the lagoon, but only 20% of juvenile urchins survived in open cages placed on the reef slope. Urchins grew significantly faster on diets of G. salicornia (1.58 mm/week ± 0.14 SE) and Kappaphycus clade B (1.69 ± 0.14 mm/wk) than on E. denticulatum (0.97 ± 0.14 mm/wk), with intermediate growth when fed on A. spicifera (1.23 ± 0.11 mm/wk). Interestingly, urchins display size-specific feeding preferences. In non-choice feeding trials, small urchins (17.5-22.5 mm test diameter) consumed G. salicornia fastest (6.08 g/day ± 0.19 SE), with A. spicifera (4.25 ± 0.02 g/day) and Kappaphycus clade B (3.83 ± 0.02 g/day) intermediate, and E. denticulatum was clearly the least consumed (2.32 ± 0.37 g/day). Medium-sized (29.8-43.8 mm) urchins likewise preferentially consumed G. salicornia (12.60 ± 0.08 g/day), with less clear differences among the other species in which E. denticulatum was still consumed least (9.35 ± 0.90 g/day). In contrast, large urchins (45.0-65.0 mm) showed no significant preferences among the different algae species at all (12.43-15.24 g/day). Overall consumption rates in non-choice trials

  15. Survivorship and feeding preferences among size classes of outplanted sea urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, and possible use as biocontrol for invasive alien algae.

    PubMed

    Westbrook, Charley E; Ringang, Rory R; Cantero, Sean Michael A; Toonen, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the survivorship, growth and diet preferences of hatchery-raised juvenile urchins, Tripneustes gratilla, to evaluate the efficacy of their use as biocontrol agents in the efforts to reduce alien invasive algae. In flow-through tanks, we measured urchin growth rates, feeding rates and feeding preferences among diets of the most common invasive algae found in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i: Acanthophora spicifera, Gracilaria salicornia, Eucheuma denticulatum and Kappaphycus clade B. Post-transport survivorship of outplanted urchins was measured in paired open and closed cages in three different reef environments (lagoon, reef flat and reef slope) for a month. Survivorship in closed cages was highest on the reef flat (∼75%), and intermediate in the lagoon and reef slope (∼50%). In contrast, open cages showed similar survivorship on the reef flat and in the lagoon, but only 20% of juvenile urchins survived in open cages placed on the reef slope. Urchins grew significantly faster on diets of G. salicornia (1.58 mm/week ± 0.14 SE) and Kappaphycus clade B (1.69 ± 0.14 mm/wk) than on E. denticulatum (0.97 ± 0.14 mm/wk), with intermediate growth when fed on A. spicifera (1.23 ± 0.11 mm/wk). Interestingly, urchins display size-specific feeding preferences. In non-choice feeding trials, small urchins (17.5-22.5 mm test diameter) consumed G. salicornia fastest (6.08 g/day ± 0.19 SE), with A. spicifera (4.25 ± 0.02 g/day) and Kappaphycus clade B (3.83 ± 0.02 g/day) intermediate, and E. denticulatum was clearly the least consumed (2.32 ± 0.37 g/day). Medium-sized (29.8-43.8 mm) urchins likewise preferentially consumed G. salicornia (12.60 ± 0.08 g/day), with less clear differences among the other species in which E. denticulatum was still consumed least (9.35 ± 0.90 g/day). In contrast, large urchins (45.0-65.0 mm) showed no significant preferences among the different algae species at all (12.43-15.24 g/day). Overall consumption rates in non-choice trials

  16. Geographical constraints are stronger than invasion patterns for European urban floras.

    PubMed

    Ricotta, Carlo; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Kühn, Ingolf; Rapson, Gillian; Pyšek, Petr; La Sorte, Frank A; Thompson, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that affect invasion success of alien species is an important prerequisite for the effective management of present and future aliens. To gain insight into this matter we asked the following questions: Are the geographical patterns of species distributions in urban floras different for native compared with alien plant species? Does the introduction of alien species contribute to the homogenization of urban floras? We used a Mantel test on Jaccard dissimilarity matrices of 30 urban floras across the British Isles, Italy and central Europe to compare the spatial distribution of native species with four classes of alien species: archaeophytes, all neophytes, non-invasive neophytes, and invasive neophytes. Archaeophytes and neophytes are species that were introduced into Europe before and after 1500 AD, respectively. To analyze the homogenizing effect of alien species on the native urban floras, we tested for differences in the average dissimilarity of individual cities from their group centroid in ordination space. Our results show that the compositional patterns of native and alien species seem to respond to the same environmental drivers, such that all four classes of alien species were significantly related to native species across urban floras. In this framework, alien species may have an impact on biogeographic patterns of urban floras in ways that reflect their history of introduction and expansion: archaeophytes and invasive neophytes tended to homogenize, while non-invasive neophytes tended to differentiate urban floras.

  17. Non-native plant invasions of United States National parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, J.A.; Brown, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    The United States National Park Service was created to protect and make accessible to the public the nation's most precious natural resources and cultural features for present and future generations. However, this heritage is threatened by the invasion of non-native plants, animals, and pathogens. To evaluate the scope of invasions, the USNPS has inventoried non-native plant species in the 216 parks that have significant natural resources, documenting the identity of non-native species. We investigated relationships among non-native plant species richness, the number of threatened and endangered plant species, native species richness, latitude, elevation, park area and park corridors and vectors. Parks with many threatened and endangered plants and high native plant species richness also had high non-native plant species richness. Non-native plant species richness was correlated with number of visitors and kilometers of backcountry trails and rivers. In addition, this work reveals patterns that can be further explored empirically to understand the underlying mechanisms. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  18. A global assessment of invasive plant impacts on resident species, communities and ecosystems: the interaction of impact measures, invading species' traits and environment

    PubMed Central

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Hulme, Philip E; Pergl, Jan; Hejda, Martin; Schaffner, Urs; Vilà, Montserrat

    2012-01-01

    With the growing body of literature assessing the impact of invasive alien plants on resident species and ecosystems, a comprehensive assessment of the relationship between invasive species traits and environmental settings of invasion on the characteristics of impacts is needed. Based on 287 publications with 1551 individual cases that addressed the impact of 167 invasive plant species belonging to 49 families, we present the first global overview of frequencies of significant and non-significant ecological impacts and their directions on 15 outcomes related to the responses of resident populations, species, communities and ecosystems. Species and community outcomes tend to decline following invasions, especially those for plants, but the abundance and richness of the soil biota, as well as concentrations of soil nutrients and water, more often increase than decrease following invasion. Data mining tools revealed that invasive plants exert consistent significant impacts on some outcomes (survival of resident biota, activity of resident animals, resident community productivity, mineral and nutrient content in plant tissues, and fire frequency and intensity), whereas for outcomes at the community level, such as species richness, diversity and soil resources, the significance of impacts is determined by interactions between species traits and the biome invaded. The latter outcomes are most likely to be impacted by annual grasses, and by wind pollinated trees invading mediterranean or tropical biomes. One of the clearest signals in this analysis is that invasive plants are far more likely to cause significant impacts on resident plant and animal richness on islands rather than mainland. This study shows that there is no universal measure of impact and the pattern observed depends on the ecological measure examined. Although impact is strongly context dependent, some species traits, especially life form, stature and pollination syndrome, may provide a means to predict

  19. Alien species in a warmer world: risks and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Walther, Gian-Reto; Roques, Alain; Hulme, Philip E; Sykes, Martin T; Pysek, Petr; Kühn, Ingolf; Zobel, Martin; Bacher, Sven; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Bugmann, Harald; Czúcz, Bálint; Dauber, Jens; Hickler, Thomas; Jarosík, Vojtech; Kenis, Marc; Klotz, Stefan; Minchin, Dan; Moora, Mari; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Ott, Jürgen; Panov, Vadim E; Reineking, Björn; Robinet, Christelle; Semenchenko, Vitaliy; Solarz, Wojciech; Thuiller, Wilfried; Vilà, Montserrat; Vohland, Katrin; Settele, Josef

    2009-12-01

    Climate change and biological invasions are key processes affecting global biodiversity, yet their effects have usually been considered separately. Here, we emphasise that global warming has enabled alien species to expand into regions in which they previously could not survive and reproduce. Based on a review of climate-mediated biological invasions of plants, invertebrates, fishes and birds, we discuss the ways in which climate change influences biological invasions. We emphasise the role of alien species in a more dynamic context of shifting species' ranges and changing communities. Under these circumstances, management practices regarding the occurrence of 'new' species could range from complete eradication to tolerance and even consideration of the 'new' species as an enrichment of local biodiversity and key elements to maintain ecosystem services.

  20. Alien species in a warmer world: risks and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Walther, Gian-Reto; Roques, Alain; Hulme, Philip E; Sykes, Martin T; Pysek, Petr; Kühn, Ingolf; Zobel, Martin; Bacher, Sven; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Bugmann, Harald; Czúcz, Bálint; Dauber, Jens; Hickler, Thomas; Jarosík, Vojtech; Kenis, Marc; Klotz, Stefan; Minchin, Dan; Moora, Mari; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Ott, Jürgen; Panov, Vadim E; Reineking, Björn; Robinet, Christelle; Semenchenko, Vitaliy; Solarz, Wojciech; Thuiller, Wilfried; Vilà, Montserrat; Vohland, Katrin; Settele, Josef

    2009-12-01

    Climate change and biological invasions are key processes affecting global biodiversity, yet their effects have usually been considered separately. Here, we emphasise that global warming has enabled alien species to expand into regions in which they previously could not survive and reproduce. Based on a review of climate-mediated biological invasions of plants, invertebrates, fishes and birds, we discuss the ways in which climate change influences biological invasions. We emphasise the role of alien species in a more dynamic context of shifting species' ranges and changing communities. Under these circumstances, management practices regarding the occurrence of 'new' species could range from complete eradication to tolerance and even consideration of the 'new' species as an enrichment of local biodiversity and key elements to maintain ecosystem services. PMID:19712994

  1. DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED INVASIVE PLANTS IN RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEMS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian ecosystems typically exhibit high levels of plant species richness, physical disturbance, and interconnectedness; characteristics that may favor establishment and spread of invasive plant species. To assess the magnitude of this invasion, we organized an extensive surve...

  2. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  3. Using Tournament Angler Data to Rapidly Assess the Invasion Status of Alien Sport Fishes (Micropterus spp.) in Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Hargrove, John S.; Weyl, Olaf L. F.; Allen, Micheal S.; Deacon, Neil R.

    2015-01-01

    Fishes are one of the most commonly introduced aquatic taxa worldwide, and invasive fish species pose threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function in recipient waters. Considerable research efforts have focused on predicting the invasibility of different fish taxa; however, accurate records detailing the establishment and spread of invasive fishes are lacking for large numbers of fish around the globe. In response to these data limitations, a low-cost method of cataloging and quantifying the temporal and spatial status of fish invasions was explored. Specifically, angler catch data derived from competitive bass angling tournaments was used to document the distribution of 66 non-native populations of black bass (Micropterus spp.) in southern Africa. Additionally, catch data from standardized tournament events were used to assess the abundance and growth of non-native bass populations in southern Africa relative to their native distribution (southern and eastern United States). Differences in metrics of catch per unit effort (average number of fish retained per angler per day), daily bag weights (the average weight of fish retained per angler), and average fish weight were assessed using catch data from 14,890 angler days of tournament fishing (11,045 days from South Africa and Zimbabwe; 3,845 days from the United States). No significant differences were found between catch rates, average daily bag weight, or the average fish weight between countries, suggesting that bass populations in southern Africa reach comparable sizes and numbers relative to waters in their native distribution. Given the minimal cost associated with data collection (i.e. records are collected by tournament organizers), the standardized nature of the events, and consistent bias (i.e. selection for the biggest fish in a population), the use of angler catch data represents a novel approach to infer the status and distribution of invasive sport fish. PMID:26047487

  4. Using Tournament Angler Data to Rapidly Assess the Invasion Status of Alien Sport Fishes (Micropterus spp.) in Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Hargrove, John S; Weyl, Olaf L F; Allen, Micheal S; Deacon, Neil R

    2015-01-01

    Fishes are one of the most commonly introduced aquatic taxa worldwide, and invasive fish species pose threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function in recipient waters. Considerable research efforts have focused on predicting the invasibility of different fish taxa; however, accurate records detailing the establishment and spread of invasive fishes are lacking for large numbers of fish around the globe. In response to these data limitations, a low-cost method of cataloging and quantifying the temporal and spatial status of fish invasions was explored. Specifically, angler catch data derived from competitive bass angling tournaments was used to document the distribution of 66 non-native populations of black bass (Micropterus spp.) in southern Africa. Additionally, catch data from standardized tournament events were used to assess the abundance and growth of non-native bass populations in southern Africa relative to their native distribution (southern and eastern United States). Differences in metrics of catch per unit effort (average number of fish retained per angler per day), daily bag weights (the average weight of fish retained per angler), and average fish weight were assessed using catch data from 14,890 angler days of tournament fishing (11,045 days from South Africa and Zimbabwe; 3,845 days from the United States). No significant differences were found between catch rates, average daily bag weight, or the average fish weight between countries, suggesting that bass populations in southern Africa reach comparable sizes and numbers relative to waters in their native distribution. Given the minimal cost associated with data collection (i.e. records are collected by tournament organizers), the standardized nature of the events, and consistent bias (i.e. selection for the biggest fish in a population), the use of angler catch data represents a novel approach to infer the status and distribution of invasive sport fish. PMID:26047487

  5. The Phenology of Plant Invasions: How temporal niches assemble plant communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkovich, E. M.; Cleland, E. E.

    2009-12-01

    Understanding why certain exotic species become invasive in particular habitats has been an area of ecological research for over fifty years with numerous theories developed over this time. At the same time plant phenology has received increasing attention in recent decades because it is a major indicator of climate change, promoting the development of many geographically large-scale databases in addition to previously-available long-term records. Here we develop three of the major theories of invasion biology into their main phenological predictions and present early results from testing these predictions with two large datasets from North America. We first extend the vacant niche, priority effects and increased plasticity theories of invasion biology into their phenological applications. The vacant niche hypothesis states that invasive species establish and benefit from using available resources in a system, both static and temporally variable. One common way for invasive plants to exploit temporally variable resources is to target their growth during periods when native plants are less active, such an exploitation would result in differing phenologies for native species versus exotic species. Additionally, basic ecological co-existence models predict priority effects—where species establishing earlier in the season benefit by sequestering resources first—could also be important to the success of invasive plants. Finally, current invasion biology theory also predicts exotic species exhibit greater plasticity in their phenologies than native species; this plasticity then benefits exotic species by allowing them to respond more strongly to variability compared to native species. We test the main predictions of these theories using data publicly-available from USDA-Plants and Project Budburst for leaf-burst and flowering of many exotic and native plant species throughout the United States. Our results show support for priority effects in some areas of North

  6. Early detection of invasive plants: principles and practices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, Bradley A.; Geissler, Paul H.; Latham, Penelope

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants infest an estimated 2.6 million acres of the 83 million acres managed by the National Park Service (NPS) in the United States. The consequences of these invasions present a significant challenge for the NPS to manage the agency’s natural resources “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” More NPS lands are infested daily despite diligent efforts to curtail the problem. Impacts from invasive species have been realized in most parks, resulting in an expressed need to control existing infestations and restore affected ecosystems. There is a growing urgency in the NPS and other resource management organizations to be proactive. The NPS I&M Program, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Status and Trends Program, compiled this document to provide guidance and insight to parks and other natural areas engaged in developing early-detection monitoring protocols for invasive plants. While several rapid response frameworks exist, there is no consistent or comprehensive guidance informing the active detection of nonnative plants early in the invasion process. Early-detection was selected as a primary focus for invasive-species monitoring because, along with rapid response, it is a key strategy for successful management of invasive species. Eradication efforts are most successful on small infestations (that is less than 1 hectare) and become less successful as infestation size increases, to the point that eradication is unlikely for large (that is greater than 1,000 hectares) populations of invasive plants. This document provides guidance for natural resource managers wishing to detect invasive plants early through an active, directed monitoring program. It has a Quick-Start Guide to direct readers to specific chapters and text relevant to their needs. Decision trees and flow charts assist the reader in deciding what methods to choose and when to use them. This document is written in a modular format to accommodate use of

  7. Patterns of woody plant invasion in an Argentinean coastal grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alberio, Constanza; Comparatore, Viviana

    2014-01-01

    Coastal dune grasslands are fragile ecosystems that have historically been subjected to various types of uses and human activities. In Buenos Aires Province (Argentina), these areas are frequently afforested for urban and touristic development. The introduction and subsequent spread of exotic tree species is one of the main threats to conservation of natural grasslands as invasive trees strongly transform their structure and composition. The aim of this study was to identify patterns of woody plant invasion comparing plant communities and environmental variables between invaded and non-invaded areas surrounding the coastal village of Mar Azul, Argentina. Coastal grasslands in this area are being invaded by Populus alba (white poplar) and Acacia longifolia (coast wattle). The height of the saplings and the richness of the accompanying vegetation were evaluated in relation to the distance from the edge of the mature tree patches. Also, the cover, richness and diversity of all species in the invaded and non-invaded areas were measured, as well as soil pH, temperature and particle size. Negative correlations were found between the height of the saplings and distance to mature tree patches in all areas. The richness of the accompanying vegetation was negatively and positively correlated with the distance from the poplar and acacia area, respectively. The most abundant native species was Cortaderia selloana. Less cover, richness and diversity of native plant species and greater soil particle size were found in invaded areas, where the proportion of bare soil was higher. Also, a higher proportion of leaf litter in the invaded areas was registered. The results emphasize the invasive capacity of P. alba and A. longifolia advancing on the native communities and reducing their richness. Knowledge of the impact of invasive woody plants in coastal grasslands is important to design active management strategies for conservation purposes.

  8. Effect of temperature and nutrients on the growth and development of seedlings of an invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Skálová, Hana; Moravcová, Lenka; Dixon, Anthony F. G.; Kindlmann, P.; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-01-01

    Plant species distributions are determined by the response of populations to regional climates; however, little is known about how alien plants that arrive in central Europe from climatically warmer regions cope with the temperature conditions at the early stage of population development. Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) is an invasive annual plant causing considerable health and economic problems in Europe. Although climate-based models predict that the whole of the Czech Republic is climatically suitable for this species, it is confined to the warmest regions. To determine the factors possibly responsible for its restricted occurrence, we investigated the effects of temperature and nutrient availability on its seedlings. The plants were cultivated at one of seven temperature regimes ranging from 10 to 34 °C, combined with three nutrient levels. The data on the rate of leaf development were used to calculate the lower developmental threshold (LDT, the temperature, in °C, below which development ceases), the sum of effective temperatures (SET, the amount of heat needed to complete a developmental stage measured in degree days above LDT) and width of the thermal window. The rate of development decreased with decrease in temperature and nutrient supply. Besides this, the decrease in the availability of nutrients resulted in decreased LDT, increased SET and wider thermal window. The dependence of LDT and SET on the availability of nutrients contradicts the concept that thermal constants do not vary. Our results highlight temperature as the main determinant of common ragweed's distribution and identify nutrient availability as a factor that results in the realized niche being smaller than the fundamental niche; both of these need to be taken into account when predicting the future spread of A. artemisiifolia. PMID:25926326

  9. Effect of temperature and nutrients on the growth and development of seedlings of an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Skálová, Hana; Moravcová, Lenka; Dixon, Anthony F G; Kindlmann, P; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-04-28

    Plant species distributions are determined by the response of populations to regional climates; however, little is known about how alien plants that arrive in central Europe from climatically warmer regions cope with the temperature conditions at the early stage of population development. Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) is an invasive annual plant causing considerable health and economic problems in Europe. Although climate-based models predict that the whole of the Czech Republic is climatically suitable for this species, it is confined to the warmest regions. To determine the factors possibly responsible for its restricted occurrence, we investigated the effects of temperature and nutrient availability on its seedlings. The plants were cultivated at one of seven temperature regimes ranging from 10 to 34 °C, combined with three nutrient levels. The data on the rate of leaf development were used to calculate the lower developmental threshold (LDT, the temperature, in °C, below which development ceases), the sum of effective temperatures (SET, the amount of heat needed to complete a developmental stage measured in degree days above LDT) and width of the thermal window. The rate of development decreased with decrease in temperature and nutrient supply. Besides this, the decrease in the availability of nutrients resulted in decreased LDT, increased SET and wider thermal window. The dependence of LDT and SET on the availability of nutrients contradicts the concept that thermal constants do not vary. Our results highlight temperature as the main determinant of common ragweed's distribution and identify nutrient availability as a factor that results in the realized niche being smaller than the fundamental niche; both of these need to be taken into account when predicting the future spread of A. artemisiifolia.

  10. Consequences of plant invasions on compartmentalization and species' roles in plant-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Matthias; Padrón, Benigno; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Traveset, Anna

    2014-08-01

    Compartmentalization-the organization of ecological interaction networks into subsets of species that do not interact with other subsets (true compartments) or interact more frequently among themselves than with other species (modules)-has been identified as a key property for the functioning, stability and evolution of ecological communities. Invasions by entomophilous invasive plants may profoundly alter the way interaction networks are compartmentalized. We analysed a comprehensive dataset of 40 paired plant-pollinator networks (invaded versus uninvaded) to test this hypothesis. We show that invasive plants have higher generalization levels with respect to their pollinators than natives. The consequences for network topology are that-rather than displacing native species from the network-plant invaders attracting pollinators into invaded modules tend to play new important topological roles (i.e. network hubs, module hubs and connectors) and cause role shifts in native species, creating larger modules that are more connected among each other. While the number of true compartments was lower in invaded compared with uninvaded networks, the effect of invasion on modularity was contingent on the study system. Interestingly, the generalization level of the invasive plants partially explains this pattern, with more generalized invaders contributing to a lower modularity. Our findings indicate that the altered interaction structure of invaded networks makes them more robust against simulated random secondary species extinctions, but more vulnerable when the typically highly connected invasive plants go extinct first. The consequences and pathways by which biological invasions alter the interaction structure of plant-pollinator communities highlighted in this study may have important dynamical and functional implications, for example, by influencing multi-species reciprocal selection regimes and coevolutionary processes.

  11. Spatial interplay of plant competition and consumer foraging mediate plant coexistence and drive the invasion ratchet.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Baskett, Marissa L; Holt, Robert D

    2010-11-01

    Indirect effects may play an important role in structuring plant communities. Using a spatially explicit model of consumer foraging and plant competition, we demonstrate how the relationship between the spatial area over which plants compete and the spatial scale of consumer behaviour can determine the outcome of competition when one plant species provides a refuge for mobile consumers (i.e. refuge-mediated apparent competition). Once an initial population of the invader is established, complete invasion may be inevitable because of an ever-advancing invasion front ratchets forward driven by a feeding front of mobile consumers. Because the spatial extent of apparent competition determines the area available for colonization, consumers may also dictate the rate at which an invasion occurs. We find that, as long as refuge-mediated apparent competition is sufficiently localized, invasion is possible even in systems characterized by low overall levels of consumer pressure. Moreover, we show that a stable equilibrium can result in which both resident and invading plants coexist, suggesting that spatial heterogeneity created by refuge-mediated apparent competition may be important in mediating coexistence in plant communities. The spatial interplay of consumer behaviour and plant competition may be an underappreciated mechanism affecting the composition, diversity and spatial pattern of plant communities.

  12. Impacts of invasive plants on resident animals across ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types: a global assessment.

    PubMed

    Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-02-01

    As drivers of global change, biological invasions have fundamental ecological consequences. However, it remains unclear how invasive plant effects on resident animals vary across ecosystems, animal classes, and functional groups. We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 198 field and laboratory studies reporting a total of 3624 observations of invasive plant effects on animals. Invasive plants had reducing (56%) or neutral (44%) effects on animal abundance, diversity, fitness, and ecosystem function across different ecosystems, animal classes, and feeding types while we could not find any increasing effect. Most importantly, we found that invasive plants reduced overall animal abundance, diversity and fitness. However, this significant overall effect was contingent on ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types of animals. Decreasing effects of invasive plants were most evident in riparian ecosystems, possibly because frequent disturbance facilitates more intense plant invasions compared to other ecosystem types. In accordance with their immediate reliance on plants for food, invasive plant effects were strongest on herbivores. Regarding taxonomic groups, birds and insects were most strongly affected. In insects, this may be explained by their high frequency of herbivory, while birds demonstrate that invasive plant effects can also cascade up to secondary consumers. Since data on impacts of invasive plants are rather limited for many animal groups in most ecosystems, we argue for overcoming gaps in knowledge and for a more differentiated discussion on effects of invasive plant on native fauna.

  13. Rapid divergence of ecotypes of an invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Avik; Ray, Rajasri

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species demonstrate rapid evolution within a very short period of time allowing one to understand the underlying mechanism(s). Lantana camara, a highly invasive plant of the tropics and subtropics, has expanded its range and successfully established itself almost throughout India. In order to uncover the processes governing the invasion dynamics, 218 individuals from various locations across India were characterized with six microsatellites. By integrating genetic data with niche modelling, we examined the effect of drift and environmental selection on genetic divergence. We found multiple genetic clusters that were non-randomly distributed across space. Spatial autocorrelation revealed a strong fine-scale structure, i.e. isolation by distance. In addition, we obtained evidence of inhibitory effects of selection on gene flow, i.e. isolation by environmental distance. Perhaps, local adaptation in response to selection is offsetting gene flow and causing the populations to diverge. Niche models suggested that temperature and precipitation play a major role in the observed spatial distribution of this plant. Based on a non-random distribution of clusters, unequal gene flow among them and different bioclimatic niche requirements, we concluded that the emergence of ecotypes represented by two genetic clusters is underway. They may be locally adapted to specific climatic conditions, and perhaps at the very early stages of ecological divergence. PMID:25165061

  14. Alienation Incident.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasserman, Louis

    1979-01-01

    Critiques Marxian "cures" for alienation as discussed in Karl Marx's "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts." Also traces the activity of a former student who joined the revolution in Cuba. Journal available from 7 Harwood Drive, Amherst, New York, 14226. (KC)

  15. Invasive plants as feedstock for biochar and bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Liao, Rui; Gao, Bin; Fang, June

    2013-07-01

    In this work, the potential of invasive plant species as feedstock for value-added products (biochar and bioenergy) through pyrolysis was investigated. The product yield rates of two major invasive species in the US, Brazilian Pepper (BP) and Air Potato (AP), were compared to that of two traditional feedstock materials, water oak and energy cane. Three pyrolysis temperatures (300, 450, and 600°C) and four feedstock masses (10, 15, 20, and 25 g) were tested for a total of 12 experimental conditions. AP had high biochar and low oil yields, while BP had a high oil yield. At lower temperatures, the minimum feedstock residence time for biochar and bioenergy production increased at a faster rate as feedstock weight increased than it did at higher temperatures. A simple mathematical model was successfully developed to describe the relationship between feedstock weight and the minimum residence time.

  16. The Climate change caused by the land-plants invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Hir, G.; Godderis, Y.; Meyer-Berthaud, B.; Donnadieu, Y.; Ramstein, G.

    2009-04-01

    Land-plants invaded continents during the Mid-Paleozoic. Their spreading and diversification have been compared to the Cambrian explosion in terms of intensity and importance in the Earth life history. If prior studies were focused on the roots system development and its weathering impact, here we used a coupled climate/carbon/vegetation model to investigate impacts of their colonization on surface climate. The simulated climate predicts a significant CO2 drawdown due to an enhanced hydrological cycle which is paradoxically associated with a very small temperature change. Indeed the greenhouse reduction linked to CO2 is counter-acted by a large warming provided by the surface albedo reduction caused by the appearance of an extended plant-cover. If the CO2 is consensually assumed as the main driver of the Phanerozoic climate, this paper demonstrates that, during the land-plants invasion, the soil properties modifications have supplanted the carbon as the primary factor governing the climate.

  17. Self-reinforcing impacts of plant invasions change over time.

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2013-11-28

    Returning native species to habitats degraded by biological invasions is a critical conservation goal. A leading hypothesis poses that exotic plant dominance is self-reinforced by impacts on ecosystem processes, leading to persistent stable states. Invaders have been documented to modify fire regimes, alter soil nutrients or shift microbial communities in ways that feed back to benefit themselves over competitors. However, few studies have followed invasions through time to ask whether ecosystem impacts and feedbacks persist. Here we return to woodland sites in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park that were invaded by exotic C4 grasses in the 1960s, the ecosystem impacts of which were studied intensively in the 1990s. We show that positive feedbacks between exotic grasses and soil nitrogen cycling have broken down, but rather than facilitating native vegetation, the weakening feedbacks facilitate new exotic species. Data from the 1990s showed that exotic grasses increased nitrogen-mineralization rates by two- to fourfold, but were nitrogen-limited. Thus, the impacts of the invader created a positive feedback early in the invasion. We now show that annual net soil nitrogen mineralization has since dropped to pre-invasion levels. In addition, a seedling outplanting experiment that varied soil nitrogen and grass competition demonstrates that the changing impacts of grasses do not favour native species re-establishment. Instead, decreased nitrogen availability most benefits another aggressive invader, the nitrogen-fixing tree Morella faya. Long-term studies of invasions may reveal that ecosystem impacts and feedbacks shift over time, but that this may not benefit native species recovery.

  18. Self-reinforcing impacts of plant invasions change over time.

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2013-11-28

    Returning native species to habitats degraded by biological invasions is a critical conservation goal. A leading hypothesis poses that exotic plant dominance is self-reinforced by impacts on ecosystem processes, leading to persistent stable states. Invaders have been documented to modify fire regimes, alter soil nutrients or shift microbial communities in ways that feed back to benefit themselves over competitors. However, few studies have followed invasions through time to ask whether ecosystem impacts and feedbacks persist. Here we return to woodland sites in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park that were invaded by exotic C4 grasses in the 1960s, the ecosystem impacts of which were studied intensively in the 1990s. We show that positive feedbacks between exotic grasses and soil nitrogen cycling have broken down, but rather than facilitating native vegetation, the weakening feedbacks facilitate new exotic species. Data from the 1990s showed that exotic grasses increased nitrogen-mineralization rates by two- to fourfold, but were nitrogen-limited. Thus, the impacts of the invader created a positive feedback early in the invasion. We now show that annual net soil nitrogen mineralization has since dropped to pre-invasion levels. In addition, a seedling outplanting experiment that varied soil nitrogen and grass competition demonstrates that the changing impacts of grasses do not favour native species re-establishment. Instead, decreased nitrogen availability most benefits another aggressive invader, the nitrogen-fixing tree Morella faya. Long-term studies of invasions may reveal that ecosystem impacts and feedbacks shift over time, but that this may not benefit native species recovery. PMID:24256723

  19. Exotic plant invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an arid grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evans, R.D.; Rimer, R.; Sperry, L.; Belnap, J.

    2001-01-01

    The introduction of nonnative plant species may decrease ecosystem stability by altering the availability of nitrogen (N) for plant growth. Invasive species can impact N availability by changing litter quantity and quality, rates of N2-fixation, or rates of N loss. We quantified the effects of invasion by the annual grass Bromus tectorum on N cycling in an arid grassland on the Colorado Plateau (USA). The invasion occurred in 1994 in two community types in an undisturbed grassland. This natural experiment allowed us to measure the immediate responses following invasion without the confounding effects of previous disturbance. Litter biomass and the C:N and lignin:N ratios were measured to determine the effects on litter dynamics. Long-term soil incubations (415 d) were used to measure potential microbial respiration and net N mineralization. Plant-available N was quantified for two years in situ with ion-exchange resin bags, and potential changes in rates of gaseous N loss were estimated by measuring denitrification enzyme activity. Bromus invasion significantly increased litter biomass, and Bromus litter had significantly greater C:N and lignin:N ratios than did native species. The change in litter quantity and chemistry decreased potential rates of net N mineralization in sites with Bromus by decreasing nitrogen available for microbial activity. Inorganic N was 50% lower on Hilaria sites with Bromus during the spring of 1997, but no differences were observed during 1998. The contrasting differences between years are likely due to moisture availability; spring precipitation was 15% greater than average during 1997, but 52% below average during spring of 1998. Bromus may cause a short-term decrease in N loss by decreasing substrate availability and denitrification enzyme activity, but N loss is likely to be greater in invaded sites in the long term because of increased fire frequency and greater N volatilization during fire. We hypothesize that the introduction of

  20. Genetic control of invasive plants species using selfish genetic elements

    PubMed Central

    Hodgins, Kathryn A; Rieseberg, Loren; Otto, Sarah P

    2009-01-01

    Invasive plants cause substantial environmental damage and economic loss. Here, we explore the possibility that a selfish genetic element found in plants called cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) could be exploited for weed control. CMS is caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome that sterilize male reproductive organs. We developed an analytical model and a spatial simulation to assess the use of CMS alleles to manage weed populations. Specifically, we examined how fertility, selfing, pollen limitation and dispersal influenced extinction rate and time until extinction in populations where CMS arises. We found that the introduction of a CMS allele can cause rapid population extinction, but only under a restricted set of conditions. Both models suggest that the CMS strategy will be appropriate for species where pollen limitation is negligible, inbreeding depression is high and the fertility advantage of females over hermaphrodites is substantial. In general, spatial structure did not have a strong influence on the simulation outcome, although low pollen dispersal and intermediate levels of seed dispersal tended to reduce population extinction rates. Given these results, the introduction of CMS alleles into a population of invasive plants probably represents an effective control method for only a select number of species. PMID:25567898

  1. Ecosystem engineers modulate exotic invasions in riparian plant communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corenblit, D.; Tabacchi, E.; Steiger, J.; Gonzales, E.; Planty-Tabacchi, A. M.

    2012-04-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and invasibility of exotic plant species within different environments and at different spatial scales is still being discussed amongst scientists. In this study, patterns of native and exotic plant species richness and cover were examined in relation with ecosystem engineer effects of pioneer vegetation within the active tract of the Mediterranean gravel bed river Tech, South France. The floristic composition was characterized according to two distinct vegetation types corresponding to two habitats with contrasted conditions: (i) open and exposed alluvial bars dominated by herbaceous communities and (ii) islands and river margins partly stabilized by ecosystem engineer plants, disconnected from annual hydrogeomorphic disturbances, and covered by woody vegetation. A significant positive correlation between exotic and native plant species richness and cover was observed for the herbaceous and the woody types, indicating that both native and exotic richness benefit from the prevailing environmental conditions. However, significant differences in native and exotic specific richness and cover were found between these two vegetation types. Higher values of total species richness and Shannon diversity of native and exotic species were attained within the herbaceous vegetation type compared to the woody type. These differences may be related to changes in local exposure to hydrogeomorphic disturbances driven by engineer plant species, and to vegetation succession. A lower exotic cover within the woody vegetation type compared to the herbaceous type suggested an increase of resistance to invasion by exotic species during the biogeomorphic succession. The engineer effects of woody vegetation resulted in a decrease of alpha (α) diversity at patch scale but, in parallel, caused an increase in gamma (γ) diversity at the scale of the studied river segment. Our study corroborates recent investigations that support the theory of biotic

  2. Invasive Plant Species: Inventory, Mapping, and Monitoring - A National Strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludke, J. Larry; D'Erchia, Frank; Coffelt, Jan; Hanson, Leanne

    2002-01-01

    America is under siege by invasive species of plants and animals, and by diseases. The current environmental, economic, and health-related costs of invasive species could exceed $138 billion per year-more than all other natural disasters combined. Notorious examples include West Nile virus, Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and purple loose- strife in the Northeast; kudzu, Brazilian peppertree, water hyacinth, nutria, and fire ants in the Southeast; zebra mussels, leafy spurge, and Asian long-horn beetles in the Midwest; salt cedar, Russian olive, and Africanized bees in the Southwest; yellow star thistle, European wild oats, oak wilt disease, Asian clams, and white pine blister rust in California; cheatgrass, various knapweeds, and thistles in the Great Basin; whirling disease of salmonids in the Northwest; hundreds of invasive species from microbes to mammals in Hawaii; and the brown tree snake in Guam. Thousands of species from other countries are introduced intentionally or accidentally into the United States each year. Based on past experience, 10-15 percent can be expected to establish free-living populations and about 1 percent can be expected to cause significant impacts to ecosystems, native species, economic productivity, and (or) human health.

  3. Alien Abductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nickell, Joe

    2000-03-01

    Since the beginning of the modern UFO craze in 1947, an elaborate mythology has developed concerning alleged extraterrestrial visitations. ``Flying saucer" sightings (typically involving misperceptions of such mundane phenomena as meteors and research balloons) began to be accompanied in the 1950s by reports from ``contactees," persons who claimed to have had close encounters with, even to have been transported to distant planets by, UFO occupants. By the 1960s came reports of sporadic ``abductions" which have proliferated in correlation with media interest. (Indeed, by interaction between claimants and media the portrayal of aliens has evolved from a multiplicity of types into the rather standardized big-eyed humanoid model.) While evidence of alien contact has often been faked--as by spurious photos, ``crop circles," and the notorious ``Alien Autopsy" film--few alien abduction reports appear to be hoaxes. Most seem instead to come from sincere, sane individuals. Nevertheless, not one has been authenticated, and serious investigation shows that such claims can be explained as sleep-related phenomena (notably ``waking dreams"), hypnotic confabulation, and other psychological factors. As is typical of other mythologies, the alien myth involves supernormal beings that may interact with humans, and it purports to explain the workings of the universe and humanity's place within it.

  4. Managing breaches of containment and eradication of invasive plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Cameron S; Westcott, David A; Murphy, Helen T; Grice, Anthony C; Clarkson, John R

    2015-01-01

    Containment can be a viable strategy for managing invasive plants, but it is not always cheaper than eradication. In many cases, converting a failed eradication programme to a containment programme is not economically justified. Despite this, many contemporary invasive plant management strategies invoke containment as a fallback for failed eradication, often without detailing how containment would be implemented. We demonstrate a generalized analysis of the costs of eradication and containment, applicable to any plant invasion for which infestation size, dispersal distance, seed bank lifetime and the economic discount rate are specified. We estimate the costs of adapting eradication and containment in response to six types of breach and calculate under what conditions containment may provide a valid fallback to a breached eradication programme. We provide simple, general formulae and plots that can be applied to any invasion and show that containment will be cheaper than eradication only when the size of the occupied zone exceeds a multiple of the dispersal distance determined by seed bank longevity and the discount rate. Containment becomes proportionally cheaper than eradication for invaders with smaller dispersal distances, longer lived seed banks, or for larger discount rates. Both containment and eradication programmes are at risk of breach. Containment is less exposed to risk from reproduction in the ‘occupied zone’ and three types of breach that lead to a larger ‘occupied zone’, but more exposed to one type of breach that leads to a larger ‘buffer zone’. For a well-specified eradication programme, only the three types of breach leading to reproduction in or just outside the buffer zone can justify falling back to containment, and only if the expected costs of eradication and containment were comparable before the breach. Synthesis and applications. Weed management plans must apply a consistent definition of containment and provide sufficient

  5. Effects of fruit position on fruit mass and seed germination in the alien species Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae) and the implications for its invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moravcová, Lenka; Perglová, Irena; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pergl, Jan

    2005-07-01

    The aims of this paper are to determine whether the effect of position of fruit on a plant affects the germination characteristics of seed of Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae), a Caucasian species invasive in Europe, and the germination potential of this species. Reproductive characteristics of H. mantegazzianum were studied at seven sites in the Czech Republic where this species is abundant. Fruits were collected and weighed from eight plants at each site, from three umbel types (terminal, satellite and branch) and two fruit positions within an umbel (central or marginal). Characteristics of individual umbels (duration of flowering, size) and plants (fecundity, age, height, basal diameter) were recorded. Percentage germination and germination rate (time to when 50% of the seeds had germinated) were assessed. At each site, fruit mass and percentage germination varied greatly among plants. Fruits from terminal inflorescences were heavier than those from satellites and branches, and those produced in the centre of an umbel were heavier than those from the margin. Mean percentage germination was 91%, which varied among sites but was not affected by fruit position on a plant. Germination rate increased with fruit mass. Neither umbel size nor time of flowering had a significant effect on germination characteristics. At some sites, there was a negative relationship between fruit mass and plant height. A combination of reproductive traits (high fecundity, high germination capacity, opportunistic behaviour associated with limited effect of fruit position on a plant on germination characteristics) might determine this species ability to successfully invade new habitats.

  6. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  7. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure

    PubMed Central

    Prior, Kirsten M.; Robinson, Jennifer M.; Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A.; Frederickson, Megan E.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species (‘invasional meltdown’) if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

  8. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure.

    PubMed

    Prior, Kirsten M; Robinson, Jennifer M; Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A; Frederickson, Megan E

    2015-02-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species ('invasional meltdown') if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

  9. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    PubMed

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-11-17

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range.

  10. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range. PMID:26573017

  11. Intercontinental comparison of habitat levels of invasion between temperate North America and Europe.

    PubMed

    Kalusova, Veronika; Chytry, Milan; Peet, Robert K; Wentworth, Thomas R

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that floras of the New World contain larger proportions of alien species than those of the Old World; however, the differences in fine-scale invasion patterns are poorly known. We compared the levels of invasion in analogous habitats of two environmentally similar regions in temperate North America and Europe (the Carolinas and the Czech Republic), using comprehensive vegetation-plot databases. Native and alien vascular plant species were identified within 4165 vegetation plots assigned to 12 habitats occurring in both areas. The level of invasion was calculated for each habitat (1) as the proportion of aliens recorded cumulatively across multiple plots (habitat scale) and (2) as the mean proportion of aliens per plot (plot scale), both separately for all alien species and for the subgroup of aliens originating in one region and invading the other. The proportions of species native on one continent and invading the other were also calculated for each habitat to compare the alien species exchange between continents. Habitat levels of invasion showed remarkably similar patterns on the two continents. There were significant positive relationships for the levels of invasion, both for all alien species (habitat-scale R2 = 0.907; plot-scale R2 = 0.676) and for those that originated on the opposite continent (habitat-scale R2 = 0.624; plot-scale R2 = 0.708). In both regions, the most and the least invaded habitats were the same, but on average, North American habitats showed higher habitat-scale levels of invasion than their European counterparts. At the same time, a larger proportion of alien species was provided by European habitats for invasion to North America than vice versa. The consistent intercontinental pattern of habitat levels of invasion suggests that these levels are driven by similar mechanisms in distant regions. Habitat conditions are likely to have stronger effect on the level of invasion than the identity of alien

  12. Intercontinental comparison of habitat levels of invasion between temperate North America and Europe.

    PubMed

    Kalusova, Veronika; Chytry, Milan; Peet, Robert K; Wentworth, Thomas R

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that floras of the New World contain larger proportions of alien species than those of the Old World; however, the differences in fine-scale invasion patterns are poorly known. We compared the levels of invasion in analogous habitats of two environmentally similar regions in temperate North America and Europe (the Carolinas and the Czech Republic), using comprehensive vegetation-plot databases. Native and alien vascular plant species were identified within 4165 vegetation plots assigned to 12 habitats occurring in both areas. The level of invasion was calculated for each habitat (1) as the proportion of aliens recorded cumulatively across multiple plots (habitat scale) and (2) as the mean proportion of aliens per plot (plot scale), both separately for all alien species and for the subgroup of aliens originating in one region and invading the other. The proportions of species native on one continent and invading the other were also calculated for each habitat to compare the alien species exchange between continents. Habitat levels of invasion showed remarkably similar patterns on the two continents. There were significant positive relationships for the levels of invasion, both for all alien species (habitat-scale R2 = 0.907; plot-scale R2 = 0.676) and for those that originated on the opposite continent (habitat-scale R2 = 0.624; plot-scale R2 = 0.708). In both regions, the most and the least invaded habitats were the same, but on average, North American habitats showed higher habitat-scale levels of invasion than their European counterparts. At the same time, a larger proportion of alien species was provided by European habitats for invasion to North America than vice versa. The consistent intercontinental pattern of habitat levels of invasion suggests that these levels are driven by similar mechanisms in distant regions. Habitat conditions are likely to have stronger effect on the level of invasion than the identity of alien

  13. Biochar as a biosecurity tool for the management of invasive and/or infected plants.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, Philip J. E.; Fielding, J. James; Alayne Street-Perrott, F.; Doerr, Stefan H.; Brackenbury, Sion

    2014-05-01

    Control of invasive alien/native plants and diseased trees is often achieved using labour-intensive mechanical methods, incurring high costs and significant carbon debt. Disposal of cleared biomass may be heavily regulated. The commonly used method, burning, wastes a potentially valuable resource. Biochar may offer a safe, cost-effective solution to the problem of disposal. Large areas of Wales are covered by bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) (37x103 ha) or invasive Rhododendron ponticum (area not yet quantified). Clearance of these plants is often necessary for agriculture or maintenance of biodiversity (bracken), or to curb the rapid dispersal of the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum from rhododendron (the principal host) into commercial timber stands, notably Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi). In addition, ash dieback (the fungal disease Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus aka Chalara fraxinea) is now spreading aggressively in common ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) in the UK. Pilot-scale experiments are being conducted using a BiGchar 1000 mobile, fast pyrolysis -gasification unit, focussing on chipped rhododendron, Japanese larch and common ash feedstocks. Preliminary results of these experiments will be presented. The biochars produced are being subjected to a range of physical and chemical analyses. Levels of micro- and macro-nutrients retained from the original feedstocks are being evaluated. Organic and inorganic contaminants are also being compared with those in the respective feedstocks. Biochar produced from R. ponticum comprised C 63.7-85.9%, H 0.4-0.8%, N 0.4-0.8%, S 0.27-1.79% and O 4.1-27.4%, with most of the mineral nutrients being retained from the original feedstock, especially Mn. Larch biochar comprised C 84.1-91.7%, H 1.8-3.1%, N 0.3-0.8%, S 0.42-0.69% and O 4.1-10.7%. Heavy-metal concentrations were below recommended limits (International Biochar Initiative, 2012), although R. ponticum growing on highly acidified soils showed some tendency to bio

  14. Biogeographical plant-soil relations of invasive medusahead (Elymus caput-medusae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the mechanisms that underlie the success of invasive plant species is integral to predicting and ameliorating their negative impacts. Many hypotheses have consequently been proposed to explain invasive behavior. This lack of consensus within invasion ecology can partially be attributed...

  15. The Development of a Plant Risk Evaluation (PRE) Tool for Assessing the Invasive Potential of Ornamental Plants

    PubMed Central

    Conser, Christiana; Seebacher, Lizbeth; Fujino, David W.; Reichard, Sarah; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2015-01-01

    Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) methods for evaluating invasiveness in plants have evolved rapidly in the last two decades. Many WRA tools exist, but none were specifically designed to screen ornamental plants prior to being released into the environment. To be accepted as a tool to evaluate ornamental plants for the nursery industry, it is critical that a WRA tool accurately predicts non-invasiveness without falsely categorizing them as invasive. We developed a new Plant Risk Evaluation (PRE) tool for ornamental plants. The 19 questions in the final PRE tool were narrowed down from 56 original questions from existing WRA tools. We evaluated the 56 WRA questions by screening 21 known invasive and 14 known non-invasive ornamental plants. After statistically comparing the predictability of each question and the frequency the question could be answered for both invasive and non-invasive species, we eliminated questions that provided no predictive power, were irrelevant in our current model, or could not be answered reliably at a high enough percentage. We also combined many similar questions. The final 19 remaining PRE questions were further tested for accuracy using 56 additional known invasive plants and 36 known non-invasive ornamental species. The resulting evaluation demonstrated that when “needs further evaluation” classifications were not included, the accuracy of the model was 100% for both predicting invasiveness and non-invasiveness. When “needs further evaluation” classifications were included as either false positive or false negative, the model was still 93% accurate in predicting invasiveness and 97% accurate in predicting non-invasiveness, with an overall accuracy of 95%. We conclude that the PRE tool should not only provide growers with a method to accurately screen their current stock and potential new introductions, but also increase the probability of the tool being accepted for use by the industry as the basis for a nursery certification program

  16. The development of a plant risk evaluation (PRE) tool for assessing the invasive potential of ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Conser, Christiana; Seebacher, Lizbeth; Fujino, David W; Reichard, Sarah; DiTomaso, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) methods for evaluating invasiveness in plants have evolved rapidly in the last two decades. Many WRA tools exist, but none were specifically designed to screen ornamental plants prior to being released into the environment. To be accepted as a tool to evaluate ornamental plants for the nursery industry, it is critical that a WRA tool accurately predicts non-invasiveness without falsely categorizing them as invasive. We developed a new Plant Risk Evaluation (PRE) tool for ornamental plants. The 19 questions in the final PRE tool were narrowed down from 56 original questions from existing WRA tools. We evaluated the 56 WRA questions by screening 21 known invasive and 14 known non-invasive ornamental plants. After statistically comparing the predictability of each question and the frequency the question could be answered for both invasive and non-invasive species, we eliminated questions that provided no predictive power, were irrelevant in our current model, or could not be answered reliably at a high enough percentage. We also combined many similar questions. The final 19 remaining PRE questions were further tested for accuracy using 56 additional known invasive plants and 36 known non-invasive ornamental species. The resulting evaluation demonstrated that when "needs further evaluation" classifications were not included, the accuracy of the model was 100% for both predicting invasiveness and non-invasiveness. When "needs further evaluation" classifications were included as either false positive or false negative, the model was still 93% accurate in predicting invasiveness and 97% accurate in predicting non-invasiveness, with an overall accuracy of 95%. We conclude that the PRE tool should not only provide growers with a method to accurately screen their current stock and potential new introductions, but also increase the probability of the tool being accepted for use by the industry as the basis for a nursery certification program. PMID

  17. The development of a plant risk evaluation (PRE) tool for assessing the invasive potential of ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Conser, Christiana; Seebacher, Lizbeth; Fujino, David W; Reichard, Sarah; DiTomaso, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) methods for evaluating invasiveness in plants have evolved rapidly in the last two decades. Many WRA tools exist, but none were specifically designed to screen ornamental plants prior to being released into the environment. To be accepted as a tool to evaluate ornamental plants for the nursery industry, it is critical that a WRA tool accurately predicts non-invasiveness without falsely categorizing them as invasive. We developed a new Plant Risk Evaluation (PRE) tool for ornamental plants. The 19 questions in the final PRE tool were narrowed down from 56 original questions from existing WRA tools. We evaluated the 56 WRA questions by screening 21 known invasive and 14 known non-invasive ornamental plants. After statistically comparing the predictability of each question and the frequency the question could be answered for both invasive and non-invasive species, we eliminated questions that provided no predictive power, were irrelevant in our current model, or could not be answered reliably at a high enough percentage. We also combined many similar questions. The final 19 remaining PRE questions were further tested for accuracy using 56 additional known invasive plants and 36 known non-invasive ornamental species. The resulting evaluation demonstrated that when "needs further evaluation" classifications were not included, the accuracy of the model was 100% for both predicting invasiveness and non-invasiveness. When "needs further evaluation" classifications were included as either false positive or false negative, the model was still 93% accurate in predicting invasiveness and 97% accurate in predicting non-invasiveness, with an overall accuracy of 95%. We conclude that the PRE tool should not only provide growers with a method to accurately screen their current stock and potential new introductions, but also increase the probability of the tool being accepted for use by the industry as the basis for a nursery certification program.

  18. Aliens in Your Classroom? Plants and EE in the Classroom and in the Field.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raymond, Stephanie

    1999-01-01

    Finds that many restoration projects have attempted to replace the native species, but project planners often have an imperfect understanding of the plant communities they are trying to re-create. Argues that when students join these projects, they may receive an inaccurate impression of local ecosystems. (Author/CCM)

  19. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  20. “Patterns of morphological variation of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides): from native to invasive regions”

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The damage caused by biological invasions has traditionally been thought to result from alien species taking advantage of ecological differences between the native and introduced regions. In contrast, evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process...

  1. REMOTE DETENTION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Invasive and opportunistic plant species have been associated with wetland disturbance. Increases in the abundance of plant species such as common reed (Phragmites australis) in coastal Great Lakes wetlands are hypothesized to occur with shifts toward drier hydrologic regimes, fr...

  2. Egg morphology, laying behavior and record of the host plants of Ricania speculum (Walker, 1851), a new alien species for Europe (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae).

    PubMed

    Rossi, Elisabetta; Stroiński, Adam; Lucchi, Andrea

    2015-11-17

    The exotic planthopper, Ricania speculum (Ricaniidae) was recently detected in Liguria, in northern Italy, and recorded as a first alert for Europe. The first morphological description of eggs and laying behavior are given. Eggs are inserted into the woody tissue of a wide range of different host plants in such a unique manner among native and alien planthoppers of Italy that it can be used to describe the prevalence and diffusion of the species in new environments, though in the absence of juveniles and/or adults. In addition, the paper lists the host plants utilized for egg laying and describes the eggs.

  3. Alien phytogeographic regions of southern Africa: numerical classification, possible drivers, and regional threats.

    PubMed

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J; Van Wyk, Abraham E; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  4. Alien phytogeographic regions of southern Africa: numerical classification, possible drivers, and regional threats.

    PubMed

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J; Van Wyk, Abraham E; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management.

  5. Alien Phytogeographic Regions of Southern Africa: Numerical Classification, Possible Drivers, and Regional Threats

    PubMed Central

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J.; Van Wyk, Abraham E.; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  6. Soil-mediated indirect impacts of an invasive predator on plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wardle, David A.; Bellingham, Peter J.; Fukami, Tadashi; Bonner, Karen I.

    2012-01-01

    While several studies have shown that invasive plant effects on soil biota influence subsequent plant performance, corresponding studies on how invasive animals affect plants through influencing soil biota are lacking. This is despite the fact that invasive animals often indirectly alter the below-ground subsystem. We studied 18 offshore islands in northern New Zealand, half of which have been invaded by rats that are predators of seabirds and severely reduce their densities, and half of which remain non-invaded; invasion of rats thwarts seabird transfer of resources from ocean to land. We used soil from each island in a glasshouse experiment involving soil sterilization treatments to determine whether rat invasion indirectly influences plant growth through the abiotic pathway (by impairing seabird-driven inputs to soil) or the biotic pathway (by altering the soil community). Rat invasion greatly impaired plant growth but entirely through the abiotic pathway. Plant growth was unaffected by the soil community or its response to invasion, meaning that the responses of plants and soil biota to invasion are decoupled. Our results provide experimental evidence for the powerful indirect effects that predator-instigated cascades can exert on plant and ecosystem productivity, with implications for the restoration of island ecosystems by predator removal. PMID:22496079

  7. Status Report on the "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" Symposium and Workshop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The “Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts” symposium and workshop, was held in Reno, Nevada on December 9-11, 2008. The purpose of this symposium was to synthesize the current understanding of the interactions of wildfire and invasive plants in the four U.S. deserts and the Colorado Pla...

  8. Morphological and Physiological Traits in the Success of the Invasive Plant Lespedeza Cuneata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants may use different strategies and mechanisms to become dominant in non native systems. To better understand the strategies and mechanisms of invading plants in tallgrass prairie, physiological and morphological characteristics of the invasive Lespedeza cuneata and native Ambrosia psi...

  9. Trait differences between naturalized and invasive plant species independent of residence time and phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, R V; Randall, R P; Leishman, M R

    2015-01-01

    The ability to predict which alien plants will transition from naturalized to invasive prior to their introduction to novel regions is a key goal for conservation and has the potential to increase the efficacy of weed risk assessment (WRA). However, multiple factors contribute to plant invasion success (e.g., functional traits, range characteristics, residence time, phylogeny), and they all must be taken into account simultaneously in order to identify meaningful correlates of invasion success. We compiled 146 pairs of phylogenetically paired (congeneric) naturalized and invasive plant species in Australia with similar minimum residence times (i.e., time since introduction in years). These pairs were used to test for differences in 5 functional traits (flowering duration, leaf size, maximum height, specific leaf area [SLA], seed mass) and 3 characteristics of species’ native ranges (biome occupancy, mean annual temperature, and rainfall breadth) between naturalized and invasive species. Invasive species, on average, had larger SLA, longer flowering periods, and were taller than their congeneric naturalized relatives. Invaders also exhibited greater tolerance for different environmental conditions in the native range, where they occupied more biomes and a wider breadth of rainfall and temperature conditions than naturalized congeners. However, neither seed mass nor leaf size differed between pairs of naturalized and invasive species. A key finding was the role of SLA in distinguishing between naturalized and invasive pairs. Species with high SLA values were typically associated with faster growth rates, more rapid turnover of leaf material, and shorter lifespans than those species with low SLA. This suite of characteristics may contribute to the ability of a species to transition from naturalized to invasive across a wide range of environmental contexts and disturbance regimes. Our findings will help in the refinement of WRA protocols, and we advocate the

  10. Trait differences between naturalized and invasive plant species independent of residence time and phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, R V; Randall, R P; Leishman, M R

    2015-01-01

    The ability to predict which alien plants will transition from naturalized to invasive prior to their introduction to novel regions is a key goal for conservation and has the potential to increase the efficacy of weed risk assessment (WRA). However, multiple factors contribute to plant invasion success (e.g., functional traits, range characteristics, residence time, phylogeny), and they all must be taken into account simultaneously in order to identify meaningful correlates of invasion success. We compiled 146 pairs of phylogenetically paired (congeneric) naturalized and invasive plant species in Australia with similar minimum residence times (i.e., time since introduction in years). These pairs were used to test for differences in 5 functional traits (flowering duration, leaf size, maximum height, specific leaf area [SLA], seed mass) and 3 characteristics of species’ native ranges (biome occupancy, mean annual temperature, and rainfall breadth) between naturalized and invasive species. Invasive species, on average, had larger SLA, longer flowering periods, and were taller than their congeneric naturalized relatives. Invaders also exhibited greater tolerance for different environmental conditions in the native range, where they occupied more biomes and a wider breadth of rainfall and temperature conditions than naturalized congeners. However, neither seed mass nor leaf size differed between pairs of naturalized and invasive species. A key finding was the role of SLA in distinguishing between naturalized and invasive pairs. Species with high SLA values were typically associated with faster growth rates, more rapid turnover of leaf material, and shorter lifespans than those species with low SLA. This suite of characteristics may contribute to the ability of a species to transition from naturalized to invasive across a wide range of environmental contexts and disturbance regimes. Our findings will help in the refinement of WRA protocols, and we advocate the

  11. Increased seed consumption by biological control weevil tempers positive CO2 effect on invasive plant (Centaurea diffusa) fitness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predicted increases in atmospheric CO2 and temperature may benefit some invasive plants, increasing the need for effective invasive plant management. Biological control can be an effective means of managing invasive plants, but the varied responses of plant-insect interactions to climate change make...

  12. Coevolution between Native and Invasive Plant Competitors: Implications for Invasive Species Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely...

  13. Alaska Melilotus invasions: Distribution, origin, and susceptibility of plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conn, J.S.; Beattie, K.L.; Shephard, M.A.; Carlson, M.L.; Lapina, I.; Hebert, M.; Gronquist, R.; Densmore, R.; Rasy, M.

    2008-01-01

    Melilotus alba and M. officinalis were introduced to Alaska in 1913 as potential forage crops. These species have become naturalized and are now invading large, exotic plant-free regions of Alaska. We determined distributions of M. alba and M. officinalis in Alaska from surveys conducted each summer from 2002 to 2005. Melilotus alba and M. officinalis occurred at 721 and 205 sites, respectively (39,756 total sites surveyed). The northward limit for M. alba and M. officinalis was 67.15??N and 64.87??N, respectively. Both species were strictly associated with soil disturbance. Melilotus alba extended no farther than 15 m from road edges except where M. alba on roadsides met river floodplains and dispersed downriver (Matanuska and Nenana Rivers). Melilotus has now reached the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon River. Populations on floodplains were most extensive on braided sections. On the Nenana River, soil characteristics did not differ between where M. alba was growing versus similar areas where it had not yet reached. The pH of river soils (7.9-8.3) was higher than highway soils (7.3). Upland taiga plant communities grow on acid soils which may protect them from invasion by Melilotus, which prefer alkaline soils; however, early succession communities on river floodplains are susceptible because soils are alkaline. ?? 2008 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  14. Effects of generalist herbivory on resistance and resource allocation by the invasive plant, Phytolacca americana.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Ding, Jianqing

    2016-04-01

    Successful invasions by exotic plants are often attributed to a loss of co-evolved specialists and a re-allocation of resources from defense to growth and reproduction. However, invasive plants are rarely completely released from insect herbivory because they are frequently attacked by generalists in their introduced ranges. The novel generalist community may also affect the invasive plant's defensive strategies and resource allocation. Here, we tested this hypothesis using American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.), a species that has become invasive in China, which is native to North America. We examined resistance, tolerance, growth and reproduction of plant populations from both China and the USA when plants were exposed to natural generalist herbivores in China. We found that leaf damage was greater for invasive populations than for native populations, indicating that plants from invasive ranges had lower resistance to herbivory than those from native ranges. A regression of the percentage of leaf damage against mass showed that there was no significant difference in tolerance between invasive and native populations, even though the shoot, root, fruit and total mass were larger for invasive populations than for native populations. These results suggest that generalist herbivores are important drivers mediating the defensive strategies and resource allocation of the invasive American pokeweed.

  15. Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range

    PubMed Central

    Jelbert, Kim; Stott, Iain; McDonald, Robbie A; Hodgson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    An important goal for invasive species research is to find key traits of species that predispose them to being invasive outside their native range. Comparative studies have revealed phenotypic and demographic traits that correlate with invasiveness among plants. However, all but a few previous studies have been performed in the invaded range, an approach which potentially conflates predictors of invasiveness with changes that happen during the invasion process itself. Here, we focus on wild plants in their native range to compare life-history traits of species known to be invasive elsewhere, with their exported but noninvasive relatives. Specifically, we test four hypotheses: that invasive plant species (1) are larger; (2) are more fecund; (3) exhibit higher fecundity for a given size; and (4) attempt to make seed more frequently, than their noninvasive relatives in the native range. We control for the effects of environment and phylogeny using sympatric congeneric or confamilial pairs in the native range. We find that invasive species are larger than noninvasive relatives. Greater size yields greater fecundity, but we also find that invasives are more fecund per-unit-size. Synthesis: We provide the first multispecies, taxonomically controlled comparison of size, and fecundity of invasive versus noninvasive plants in their native range. We find that invasive species are bigger, and produce more seeds, even when we account for their differences in size. Our findings demonstrate that invasive plant species are likely to be invasive as a result of both greater size and constitutively higher fecundity. This suggests that size and fecundity, relative to related species, could be used to predict which plants should be quarantined. PMID:26045946

  16. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  17. Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Alden B; Ahmed, Tania; Hildner, Abigail L G; Kuckreja, Shivani; Long, Shuangxou

    2015-11-10

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it remains virtually unstudied. This study aims to address fundamental ecological questions regarding B. tectorum in a Cape Cod dune ecosystem. (i) What is the range of variation in population dynamics and the potential for population growth? (ii) Which factors influence its local abundance and distribution? We observed substantial variation in population dynamics over 3 years, with the number of adult B. tectorum individuals increasing substantially between the first 2 years (λ = 9.24) and then decreasing (λ = 0.43). Population growth in terms of total seeds was similarly variable, but to a lesser extent (λ = 2.32 followed by λ = 0.32). Experimental soil disturbance led to a more than 10-fold increase in mean seedling emergence, and high sensitivity to differences in emergence carried this effect through the life cycle. In contrast, barriers to seed dispersal had no effect on population dynamics, suggesting limited dispersal in this system. Across the landscape, the presence of B. tectorum was associated with areas of higher plant diversity as opposed to those with a strong dominant (e.g. the foredune, dominated by Ammophila breviligulata, or low heathlands, characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Overall, we find that B. tectorum is capable of both substantial population growth and decline in a dune ecosystem, but is likely limited without disturbance and dispersal agents. Thus, management actions that restrict dune access (e.g. for nesting habitat) likely have the co-benefit of limiting the invasive potential of B. tectorum.

  18. Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, Alden B.; Ahmed, Tania; Hildner, Abigail L. G.; Kuckreja, Shivani; Long, Shuangxou

    2015-01-01

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it remains virtually unstudied. This study aims to address fundamental ecological questions regarding B. tectorum in a Cape Cod dune ecosystem. (i) What is the range of variation in population dynamics and the potential for population growth? (ii) Which factors influence its local abundance and distribution? We observed substantial variation in population dynamics over 3 years, with the number of adult B. tectorum individuals increasing substantially between the first 2 years (λ = 9.24) and then decreasing (λ = 0.43). Population growth in terms of total seeds was similarly variable, but to a lesser extent (λ = 2.32 followed by λ = 0.32). Experimental soil disturbance led to a more than 10-fold increase in mean seedling emergence, and high sensitivity to differences in emergence carried this effect through the life cycle. In contrast, barriers to seed dispersal had no effect on population dynamics, suggesting limited dispersal in this system. Across the landscape, the presence of B. tectorum was associated with areas of higher plant diversity as opposed to those with a strong dominant (e.g. the foredune, dominated by Ammophila breviligulata, or low heathlands, characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Overall, we find that B. tectorum is capable of both substantial population growth and decline in a dune ecosystem, but is likely limited without disturbance and dispersal agents. Thus, management actions that restrict dune access (e.g. for nesting habitat) likely have the co-benefit of limiting the invasive potential of B. tectorum. PMID:26558705

  19. Interactive effects of herbivory and competition intensity determine invasive plant performance.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Carrillo, Juli; Ding, Jianqing; Siemann, Evan

    2012-10-01

    Herbivory can reduce plant fitness, and its effects can be increased by competition. Though numerous studies have examined the joint effects of herbivores and competitors on plant performance, these interactive effects are seldom considered in the context of plant invasions. Here, we examined variation in plant performance within a competitive environment in response to both specialist and generalist herbivores using Chinese tallow as a model species. We combined tallow plants from native and invasive populations to form all possible pairwise combinations, and designated invasive populations as stronger neighbours and native populations as weaker neighbours. We found that when no herbivory was imposed, invasive populations always had higher total biomass than natives, regardless of their neighbours, which is consistent with our assumption of increased competitive ability. Defoliation by either generalist or specialist herbivores suppressed plant growth but the effects of specialists were generally stronger for invasive populations. Invasive populations had their lowest biomass when fed upon by specialists while simultaneously competing with stronger neighbours. The root/shoot ratios of invasive populations were lower than those of native populations under almost all conditions, and invasive plants were taller than native plants overall, especially when herbivores were present, suggesting that invasive populations may adopt an "aboveground first" strategy to cope with herbivory and competition. These results suggest that release from herbivores, especially specialists, improves an invader's performance and helps to increase its competitive ability. Therefore, increasing interspecific competition intensity by planting a stronger neighbour while simultaneously releasing a specialist herbivore may be an especially effective method of managing invasive plants.

  20. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-22

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  1. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  2. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  3. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  4. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon, Sam; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  5. Mycorrhizal Productivity Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutton, T. W.; Rowe, H. I.; Ariza, M. C.; Miller, R. M.; Filley, T. R.

    2008-12-01

    . Since woody plant invasion of grasslands is one of the most significant global land cover changes occurring today, these results have important implications for understanding how this vegetation change will influence soil carbon storage and dynamics.

  6. Direct and indirect effects of invasive plants on soil chemistry and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Weidenhamer, Jeffrey D; Callaway, Ragan M

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants have a multitude of impacts on plant communities through their direct and indirect effects on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. For example, plants modify the soil environment through root exudates that affect soil structure, and mobilize and/or chelate nutrients. The long-term impact of litter and root exudates can modify soil nutrient pools, and there is evidence that invasive plant species may alter nutrient cycles differently from native species. The effects of plants on ecosystem biogeochemistry may be caused by differences in leaf tissue nutrient stoichiometry or secondary metabolites, although evidence for the importance of allelochemicals in driving these processes is lacking. Some invasive species may gain a competitive advantage through the release of compounds or combinations of compounds that are unique to the invaded community—the “novel weapons hypothesis.” Invasive plants also can exert profound impact on plant communities indirectly through the herbicides used to control them. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, often is used to help control invasive weeds, and generally is considered to have minimal environmental impacts. Most studies show little to no effect of glyphosate and other herbicides on soil microbial communities. However, herbicide applications can reduce or promote rhizobium nodulation and mycorrhiza formation. Herbicide drift can affect the growth of non-target plants, and glyphosate and other herbicides can impact significantly the secondary chemistry of plants at sublethal doses. In summary, the literature indicates that invasive species can alter the biogeochemistry of ecosystems, that secondary metabolites released by invasive species may play important roles in soil chemistry as well as plant-plant and plant-microbe interactions, and that the herbicides used to control invasive species can impact plant chemistry and ecosystems in ways that have yet to be fully explored.

  7. A phylogenetic analysis of the British flora sheds light on the evolutionary and ecological factors driving plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Lim, Junying; Crawley, Mick J; De Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim; Savolainen, Vincent

    2014-11-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that invasive species should perform better in their novel range in the absence of close relatives in the native flora due to reduced competition. Evidence from recent taxonomic and phylogenetic-based studies, however, is equivocal. We test Darwin's naturalization hypothesis at two different spatial scales using a fossil-dated molecular phylogenetic tree of the British native and alien flora (ca. 1600 species) and extensive, fine-scale survey data from the 1998 Countryside Survey. At both landscape and local scales, invasive species were neither significantly more nor less related to the native flora than their non-invasive alien counterparts. Species invasiveness was instead correlated with higher nitrogen and moisture preference, but not other life history traits such as life-form and height. We argue that invasive species spread in Britain is hence more likely determined by changes in land use and other anthropogenic factors, rather than evolutionary history. Synthesis. The transition from non-invasive to invasive is not related to phylogenetic distinctiveness to the native community, but instead to their environmental preferences. Therefore, combating biological invasions in the Britain and other industrialized countries need entirely different strategies than in more natural environments.

  8. A phylogenetic analysis of the British flora sheds light on the evolutionary and ecological factors driving plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Junying; Crawley, Mick J; De Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim; Savolainen, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that invasive species should perform better in their novel range in the absence of close relatives in the native flora due to reduced competition. Evidence from recent taxonomic and phylogenetic-based studies, however, is equivocal. We test Darwin's naturalization hypothesis at two different spatial scales using a fossil-dated molecular phylogenetic tree of the British native and alien flora (ca. 1600 species) and extensive, fine-scale survey data from the 1998 Countryside Survey. At both landscape and local scales, invasive species were neither significantly more nor less related to the native flora than their non-invasive alien counterparts. Species invasiveness was instead correlated with higher nitrogen and moisture preference, but not other life history traits such as life-form and height. We argue that invasive species spread in Britain is hence more likely determined by changes in land use and other anthropogenic factors, rather than evolutionary history. Synthesis. The transition from non-invasive to invasive is not related to phylogenetic distinctiveness to the native community, but instead to their environmental preferences. Therefore, combating biological invasions in the Britain and other industrialized countries need entirely different strategies than in more natural environments. PMID:25540688

  9. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change.

  10. The hidden side of plant invasions: the role of genome size.

    PubMed

    Suda, Jan; Meyerson, Laura A; Leitch, Ilia J; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-02-01

    The ecological role of genome size in plant biology, biogeography, and morphology has garnered increasing attention as the methods and technology associated with measuring cytological characteristics have become more reliable and accessible. However, how plant genome size influences plant invasions and at what stage in the invasion this influence occurs have been little explored. Several large-scale analyses of published data have yielded valuable interspecific comparisons, but experimental studies that manipulate environmental factors are needed, particularly below the species level, to fully understand the role that genome size plays in plant invasion. In this review, we summarize the available knowledge, discuss the integration of genome size data into invasion research, and suggest how it can be applied to detect and manage invasive species. We also explore how global climate change could exert selective pressures on plant populations with varying genome sizes, thereby increasing the distribution range and invasiveness of some populations while decreasing others. Finally, we outline avenues for future research, including considerations of large-scale studies of intraspecific variation in genome size of invasive populations, testing the interaction of genome size with other factors in macroecological analyses of invasions, as well as the role this trait may play in plant-enemy interactions.

  11. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity-invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  12. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity–invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  13. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Richard R; Pineda, Rosana P; Barney, Jacob N; Nilsen, Erik T; Barrett, John E; Williams, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum), another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica), and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima). The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that nitrogen

  14. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Richard R; Pineda, Rosana P; Barney, Jacob N; Nilsen, Erik T; Barrett, John E; Williams, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum), another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica), and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima). The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that nitrogen

  15. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Richard R.; Pineda, Rosana P.; Barney, Jacob N.; Nilsen, Erik T.; Barrett, John E.; Williams, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum), another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica), and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima). The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that nitrogen

  16. Pathways of introduction of the invasive aquatic plant Cabomba caroliniana

    PubMed Central

    McCracken, Andrée; Bainard, Jillian D; Miller, Michelle C; Husband, Brian C

    2013-01-01

    The pathway and frequency of species' introductions can affect the extent, impact, and management of biological invasions. Here, we examine the pathway of introduction of the aquatic plant Cabomba caroliniana (fanwort) into Canada and the northern United States using plastid DNA sequence (intergenic spacers atpF-atpH, trnH-psbA, and trnL-trnF) and DNA content analyses. We test the hypothesis that the spread of fanwort is a result of commercial trade by comparing a Canadian population (Kasshabog Lake, ON) to native populations from southern U.S., introduced populations in northern U.S., and plants from commercial retailers. Thirteen plastid haplotypes were identified throughout North America, including one dominant haplotype, which was present in all C. caroliniana populations. Several rare haplotypes were used to infer shared colonization history. In particular, the Canadian population shared two rare alleles with a population from Massachusetts, suggesting range expansion of C. caroliniana from the northern U.S. However, the possibility of a commercial introduction cannot be excluded, as common alleles were shared between the Canadian population and both commercial and southern U.S. sources. Variation in C. caroliniana genome size was bimodal and populations were classified into “high” and “low” categories. The Canadian population had DNA contents similar to several northern U.S. populations (low DNA content). This may provide additional support for range expansion from these introduced populations rather than from commercial sources or populations in the southern U.S., which had high DNA content. PMID:23789056

  17. Effects of an invasive plant on population dynamics in toads.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Daniel A; Green, David M

    2013-10-01

    When populations decline in response to unfavorable environmental change, the dynamics of their population growth shift. In populations that normally exhibit high levels of variation in recruitment and abundance, as do many amphibians, declines may be difficult to identify from natural fluctuations in abundance. However, the onset of declines may be evident from changes in population growth rate in sufficiently long time series of population data. With data from 23 years of study of a population of Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus [ = Bufo] fowleri) at Long Point, Ontario (1989-2011), we sought to identify such a shift in dynamics. We tested for trends in abundance to detect a change point in population dynamics and then tested among competing population models to identify associated intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The most informative models of population growth included terms for toad abundance and the extent of an invasive marsh plant, the common reed (Phragmites australis), throughout the toads' marshland breeding areas. Our results showed density-dependent growth in the toad population from 1989 through 2002. After 2002, however, we found progressive population decline in the toads associated with the spread of common reeds and consequent loss of toad breeding habitat. This resulted in reduced recruitment and population growth despite the lack of significant loss of adult habitat. Our results underscore the value of using long-term time series to identify shifts in population dynamics coincident with the advent of population decline.

  18. Impacts of invasive nonnative plant species on the rare forest herb Scutellaria montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikkema, Jordan J.; Boyd, Jennifer N.

    2015-11-01

    Invasive plant species and overabundant herbivore populations have the potential to significantly impact rare plant species given their increased risk for local extirpation and extinction. We used interacting invasive species removal and grazer exclusion treatments replicated across two locations in an occurrence of rare Scutellaria montana (large-flowered skullcap) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, to assess: 1) competition by invasive Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet) and Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) and 2) the role of invasive species in mediating Oedocoilus virginianus (white-tailed deer) grazing of S. montana. Contrary to our hypothesis that invasive species presence would suppress S. montana directly via competition, S. montana individuals experienced a seasonal increase in stem height when invasive species were intact but not when invasive species were removed. Marginally significant results indicated that invasive species may afford S. montana protection from grazers, and we suggest that invasive species also could protect S. montana from smaller herbivores and/or positively influence abiotic conditions. In contrast to growth responses, S. montana individuals protected from O. virginianus exhibited a decrease in flowering between seasons relative to unprotected plants, but invasive species did not affect this variable. Although it has been suggested that invasive plant species may negatively influence S. montana growth and fecundity, our findings do not support related concerns. As such, we suggest that invasive species eradication efforts in S. montana habitat could be more detrimental than positive due to associated disturbance. However, the low level of invasion of our study site may not be representative of potential interference in more heavily infested habitat.

  19. Comparative water use of native and invasive plants at multiple scales: a global meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Cavaleri, Molly A; Sack, Lawren

    2010-09-01

    Ecohydrology and invasive ecology have become increasingly important in the context of global climate change. This study presents the first in-depth analysis of the water use of invasive and native plants of the same growth form at multiple scales: leaf, plant, and ecosystem. We reanalyzed data for several hundred native and invasive species from over 40 published studies worldwide to glean global trends and to highlight how patterns vary depending on both scale and climate. We analyzed all pairwise combinations of co-occurring native and invasive species for higher comparative resolution of the likelihood of an invasive species using more water than a native species and tested for significance using bootstrap methods. At each scale, we found several-fold differences in water use between specific paired invasive and native species. At the leaf scale, we found a strong tendency for invasive species to have greater stomatal conductance than native species. At the plant scale, however, natives and invasives were equally likely to have the higher sap flow rates. Available data were much fewer for the ecosystem scale; nevertheless, we found that invasive-dominated ecosystems were more likely to have higher sap flow rates per unit ground area than native-dominated ecosystems. Ecosystem-scale evapotranspiration, on the other hand, was equally likely to be greater for systems dominated by invasive and native species of the same growth form. The inherent disconnects in the determination of water use when changing scales from leaf to plant to ecosystem reveal hypotheses for future studies and a critical need for more ecosystem-scale water use measurements in invasive- vs. native-dominated systems. The differences in water use of native and invasive species also depended strongly on climate, with the greater water use of invasives enhanced in hotter, wetter climates at the coarser scales.

  20. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  1. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Larson, Diane L.; Huerd, Sheri C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  2. Distribution of endemic and alien plants along Mediterranean rivers: a useful tool to identify areas in need of protection?

    PubMed

    Angiolini, Claudia; Nucci, Alessia; Landi, Marco; Bacchetta, Gianluigi

    2013-08-01

    The main aim was to obtain information about the more critical sectors of Mediterranean-type rivers, especially in the islands where the percentage of endemic species is high, even in riparian habitats. Our hypothesis was that endemic and alien species, considered important in defining conservation priorities along rivers, have different patterns of distribution and their coexistence indicates human impacts on fluvial systems, which can cause natural habitat loss. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the distribution patterns of endemic and alien species along the longitudinal gradient. They showed that endemic species were linked to the most natural areas in the middle and upper sections of the rivers, whereas the distribution of aliens in middle and lower sections can be regarded as a consequence of human impact. This finding underlined the presence in the middle sections of the rivers of areas with important floristic features that are also affected by alien species. What currently seems a situation of equilibrium turns out to call for careful control, first and foremost, by maintaining riparian vegetation. Our results highlighted the utility of our method for rapidly obtaining information about the criticalities of rivers in Mediterranean biodiversity hotspots.

  3. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders.

  4. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  5. Interactions between abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance regulate plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Byun, Chaeho; de Blois, Sylvie; Brisson, Jacques

    2015-05-01

    With multiple species introductions and rapid global changes, there is a need for comprehensive invasion models that can predict community responses. Evidence suggests that abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance of resident species each determine plant invasion success, yet their interactions are rarely tested. To understand these interactions, we conducted community assembly experiments simulating situations in which seeds of the invasive grass species Phragmites australis (Poaceae) land on bare soil along with seeds of resident wetland plant species. We used structural equation models to measure both direct abiotic constraint (here moist vs. flooded conditions) on invasion success and indirect constraint on the abundance and, therefore, biotic resistance of resident plant species. We also evaluated how propagule supply of P. australis interacts with the biotic resistance of resident species during invasion. We observed that flooding always directly reduced invasion success but had a synergistic or antagonistic effect on biotic resistance depending on the resident species involved. Biotic resistance of the most diverse resident species mixture remained strong even when abiotic conditions changed. Biotic resistance was also extremely effective under low propagule pressure of the invader. Moreover, the presence of a dense resident plant cover appeared to lower the threshold at which invasion success became stable even when propagule supply increased. Our study not only provides an analytical framework to quantify the effect of multiple interactions relevant to community assembly and species invasion, but it also proposes guidelines for innovative invasion management strategies based on a sound understanding of ecological processes.

  6. Long-distance dispersal of plants by vehicles as a driver of plant invasions.

    PubMed

    von der Lippe, Moritz; Kowarik, Ingo

    2007-08-01

    Roadsides are preferential migration corridors for invasive plant species and can act as starting points for plant invasions into adjacent habitats. Rapid spread and interrupted distribution patterns of introduced plant species indicate long-distance dispersal along roads. The extent to which this process is due to species' migration along linear habitats or, alternatively, to seed transport by vehicles has not yet been tested systematically. We tested this by sampling seeds inside long motorway tunnels to exclude nontraffic dispersal. Vehicles transported large amounts of seeds. The annual seed rain caused by vehicles on the roadsides of five different tunnel lanes within three tunnels along a single urban motorway in Berlin, Germany, ranged from 635 to 1579 seeds/m(2)/year. Seeds of non-native species accounted for 50.0% of the 204 species and 54.4% of the total 11,818 seeds trapped inside the tunnels. Among the samples were 39 (19.1%) highly invasive species that exhibit detrimental effects on native biodiversity in some parts of the world. By comparing the flora in the tunnel with that adjacent to the tunnel entrances we confirmed long-distance dispersal events (>250 m) for 32.3% of the sampled species. Seed sources in a radius of 100 m around the entrances of the tunnels had no significant effect on species richness and species composition of seed samples from inside the tunnels, indicating a strong effect of long-distance dispersal by vehicles. Consistently, the species composition of the tunnel seeds was more similar to the regional roadside flora of Berlin than to the local flora around the tunnel entrances. Long-distance dispersal occurred significantly more frequently in seeds of non-native (mean share 38.5%) than native species (mean share 4.1%). Our results showed that long-distance dispersal by vehicles was a routine rather than an occasional mechanism. Dispersal of plants by vehicles will thus accelerate plant invasions and induce rapid changes in

  7. Linking concepts in the ecology and evolution of invasive plants: network analysis shows what has been most studied and identifies knowledge gaps

    PubMed Central

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Brown, Cynthia S; Tepolt, Carolyn K; Tsutsui, Neil D; Vanparys, Valérie; Atkinson, Sheryl; Mahy, Grégory; Monty, Arnaud

    2010-01-01

    In recent decades, a growing number of studies have addressed connections between ecological and evolutionary concepts in biologic invasions. These connections may be crucial for understanding the processes underlying invaders’ success. However, the extent to which scientists have worked on the integration of the ecology and evolution of invasive plants is poorly documented, as few attempts have been made to evaluate these efforts in invasion biology research. Such analysis can facilitate recognize well-documented relationships and identify gaps in our knowledge. In this study, we used a network-based method for visualizing the connections between major aspects of ecology and evolution in the primary research literature. Using the family Poaceae as an example, we show that ecological concepts were more studied and better interconnected than were evolutionary concepts. Several possible connections were not documented at all, representing knowledge gaps between ecology and evolution of invaders. Among knowledge gaps, the concepts of plasticity, gene flow, epigenetics and human influence were particularly under-connected. We discuss five possible research avenues to better understand the relationships between ecology and evolution in the success of Poaceae, and of alien plants in general. PMID:25567919

  8. Linking concepts in the ecology and evolution of invasive plants: network analysis shows what has been most studied and identifies knowledge gaps.

    PubMed

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Brown, Cynthia S; Tepolt, Carolyn K; Tsutsui, Neil D; Vanparys, Valérie; Atkinson, Sheryl; Mahy, Grégory; Monty, Arnaud

    2010-03-01

    In recent decades, a growing number of studies have addressed connections between ecological and evolutionary concepts in biologic invasions. These connections may be crucial for understanding the processes underlying invaders' success. However, the extent to which scientists have worked on the integration of the ecology and evolution of invasive plants is poorly documented, as few attempts have been made to evaluate these efforts in invasion biology research. Such analysis can facilitate recognize well-documented relationships and identify gaps in our knowledge. In this study, we used a network-based method for visualizing the connections between major aspects of ecology and evolution in the primary research literature. Using the family Poaceae as an example, we show that ecological concepts were more studied and better interconnected than were evolutionary concepts. Several possible connections were not documented at all, representing knowledge gaps between ecology and evolution of invaders. Among knowledge gaps, the concepts of plasticity, gene flow, epigenetics and human influence were particularly under-connected. We discuss five possible research avenues to better understand the relationships between ecology and evolution in the success of Poaceae, and of alien plants in general.

  9. Invasive grasses consistently create similar plant-soil feedback types in soils collected from geographically distant locations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive PSF is limited by soil type. Most, but not all, plant species exhibit negative plant soil feedback (PSF), wherein plants perform poorly in soils formerly occupied (conditioned) by conspecifics. This dynamic has led to the Plant-Soil Feedback Hypothesis of Invasion which posits that plant sp...

  10. Spatial scale and species identity influence the indigenous-alien diversity relationship in springtails.

    PubMed

    Terauds, Aleks; Chown, Steven L; Bergstrom, Dana M

    2011-07-01

    Although theory underlying the invasion paradox, or the change in the relationship between the richness of alien and indigenous species from negative to positive with increasing spatial scale, is well developed and much empirical work on the subject has been undertaken, most of the latter has concerned plants and to a lesser extent marine invertebrates. Here we therefore examine the extent to which the relationships between indigenous and alien species richness change from the local metacommunity to the interaction neighborhood scales, and the influences of abundance, species identity, and environmental favorability thereon, in springtails, a significant component of the soil fauna. Using a suite of modeling techniques, including generalized least squares and geographically weighted regressions to account for spatial autocorrelation or nonstationarity of the data, we show that the abundance and species richness of both indigenous and alien species at the metacommunity scale respond strongly to declining environmental favorability, represented here by altitude. Consequently, alien and indigenous diversity covary positively at this scale. By contrast, relationships are more complex at the interaction neighborhood scale, with the relationship among alien species richness and/or density and the density of indigenous species varying between habitats, being negative in some, but positive in others. Additional analyses demonstrated a strong influence of species identity, with negative relationships identified at the interaction neighborhood scale involving alien hypogastrurid springtails, a group known from elsewhere to have negative effects on indigenous species in areas where they have been introduced. By contrast, diversity relationships were positive with the other alien species. These results are consistent with both theory and previous empirical findings for other taxa, that interactions among indigenous and alien species change substantially with spatial scale and

  11. Spatial scale and species identity influence the indigenous-alien diversity relationship in springtails.

    PubMed

    Terauds, Aleks; Chown, Steven L; Bergstrom, Dana M

    2011-07-01

    Although theory underlying the invasion paradox, or the change in the relationship between the richness of alien and indigenous species from negative to positive with increasing spatial scale, is well developed and much empirical work on the subject has been undertaken, most of the latter has concerned plants and to a lesser extent marine invertebrates. Here we therefore examine the extent to which the relationships between indigenous and alien species richness change from the local metacommunity to the interaction neighborhood scales, and the influences of abundance, species identity, and environmental favorability thereon, in springtails, a significant component of the soil fauna. Using a suite of modeling techniques, including generalized least squares and geographically weighted regressions to account for spatial autocorrelation or nonstationarity of the data, we show that the abundance and species richness of both indigenous and alien species at the metacommunity scale respond strongly to declining environmental favorability, represented here by altitude. Consequently, alien and indigenous diversity covary positively at this scale. By contrast, relationships are more complex at the interaction neighborhood scale, with the relationship among alien species richness and/or density and the density of indigenous species varying between habitats, being negative in some, but positive in others. Additional analyses demonstrated a strong influence of species identity, with negative relationships identified at the interaction neighborhood scale involving alien hypogastrurid springtails, a group known from elsewhere to have negative effects on indigenous species in areas where they have been introduced. By contrast, diversity relationships were positive with the other alien species. These results are consistent with both theory and previous empirical findings for other taxa, that interactions among indigenous and alien species change substantially with spatial scale and

  12. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; James, Jeremy J; Monaco, Thomas A; Sheley, Roger L

    2014-02-01

    Functional differences between native and exotic species potentially constitute one factor responsible for plant invasion. Differences in trait values between native and exotic invasive species, however, should not be considered fixed and may depend on the context of the comparison. Furthermore, the magnitude of difference between native and exotic species necessary to trigger invasion is unknown. We propose a criterion that differences in trait values between a native and exotic invasive species must be greater than differences between co-occurring natives for this difference to be ecologically meaningful and a contributing factor to plant invasion. We used a meta-analysis to quantify the difference between native and exotic invasive species for various traits examined in previous studies and compared this value to differences among native species reported in the same studies. The effect size between native and exotic invasive species was similar to the effect size between co-occurring natives except for studies conducted in the field; in most instances, our criterion was not met although overall differences between native and exotic invasive species were slightly larger than differences between natives. Consequently, trait differences may be important in certain contexts, but other mechanisms of invasion are likely more important in most cases. We suggest that using trait values as predictors of invasion will be challenging.

  13. [The spectrum characteristics of an invasion plant: Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng].

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Quan, Wen-ting; Zhou, Guan-hua; Wen, Zhen-he

    2010-07-01

    Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng. (EAS) is a toxic invasion plant and has caused significant economic and environmental impacts in China. The EAS has the characteristics of widely distributing and quickly spreading. The traditional detecting and supervising methods become invalid when applied for managing the spatial distribution of EAS. Based on the analyzing results of the spectrum features of EAS, the present paper tried to structure the identifying models by remote sensing. The main objective of this paper is to develop an available method for detecting and mapping the spatial distribution of EAS. The study shows that the spectrum of EAS has two reflecting peaks and one absorbing trough. The corresponding wavelengths of those peaks are 560, 730 and 674 nm, respectively. The absorption characteristics of EAS at 647 nm are that the absorbing depth is 0.504 3-1.910 3, the absorbing width is 13.778 9-17.251 8 nm and the area at the left absorption band is greater than the right, and the corresponding area ratio of left to right is 1.771 9-2.444 1. The white flowers of EAS make the reflectance higher at visible bands, and the first-order derivatives of EAS spectral show a wave peak at 420 nm. Compared with the spectral feature of other representative materials, the absorbing characteristics at 647 nm, such as absorption width and absorption depth, and the peak at 420 nm of derivatives spectral are special features of EAS spectral, which can be used as remotely sensed parameters for detecting and mapping the EAS at florescence. PMID:20827985

  14. 76 FR 36896 - Salmon-Challis National Forest, ID; Forestwide Invasive Plant Treatment Environmental Impact...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-23

    ... invasive, non-native, and/or State-listed noxious weeds. These invasive plant infestations have a high... Weeds, 1987 Challis National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, 1988 Salmon National Forest Land... weed-free hay; biological control agents, such as pathogens, insects, and controlled grazing;...

  15. Race to Displace: A Game to Model the Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopwood, Jennifer L.; Flowers, Susan K.; Seidler, Katie J.; Hopwood, Erica L.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are a substantial threat to biodiversity. Educating students about invasive species introduces fundamental concepts in biology, ecology, and environmental science. In the Race to Displace game, students assume the characteristics of select native or introduced plants and experience first hand the influences of species interactions…

  16. Twelve invasive plant taxa in U.S. western riparian ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessments of stream ecosystems often include an evaluation of riparian condition; a key stressor in riparian ecosystems is the presence of invasive plants. We analyzed the distribution of 12 invasive taxa (common burdock [Arctium minus], giant reed [Arundo donax], cheatgrass [B...

  17. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Functional differences between native and exotic species are often presumed to be one factor responsible for plant invasion. Accordingly, invasion occurs when a niche is vacated and an exotic species enters the community that is able to exploit available resources. Differences in trait values betw...

  18. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species and climate change, each of which is likely to influence agricultural productivity and biological diversity, are also likely to interact. This chapter explores characteristics of both invasive plants and invaded ecosystems to search for generalizations that may allow us to predict w...

  19. Cooperative prevention systems to protect rangelands from the spread of invasive plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants continue to spread and impact rangelands in the western United States. Fortunately, many rangeland ecosystems still remain invasive weed-free.Cooperative prevention systems can safeguard these remaining areas. Local-level weed prevention areas (WPAs) prioritize prevention in the larg...

  20. Recognition of pyrrolizidine alkaloid esters in the invasive aquatic plant Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Asteraceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction – The freshwater aquatic plant Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Senegal tea plant, jazmín del bañado, Falscher Wasserfreund) is an invasive plant in many countries. Behavioural observations of pyrrolizidine alkaloid-pharmacophagous butterflies suggested the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloid...

  1. The rhizosphere microbiota of plant invaders: an overview of recent advances in the microbiomics of invasive plants

    PubMed Central

    Coats, Vanessa C.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2014-01-01

    Plants in terrestrial systems have evolved in direct association with microbes functioning as both agonists and antagonists of plant fitness and adaptability. As such, investigations that segregate plants and microbes provide only a limited scope of the biotic interactions that dictate plant community structure and composition in natural systems. Invasive plants provide an excellent working model to compare and contrast the effects of microbial communities associated with natural plant populations on plant fitness, adaptation, and fecundity. The last decade of DNA sequencing technology advancements opened the door to microbial community analysis, which has led to an increased awareness of the importance of an organism’s microbiome and the disease states associated with microbiome shifts. Employing microbiome analysis to study the symbiotic networks associated with invasive plants will help us to understand what microorganisms contribute to plant fitness in natural systems, how different soil microbial communities impact plant fitness and adaptability, specificity of host–microbe interactions in natural plant populations, and the selective pressures that dictate the structure of above-ground and below-ground biotic communities. This review discusses recent advances in invasive plant biology that have resulted from microbiome analyses as well as the microbial factors that direct plant fitness and adaptability in natural systems. PMID:25101069

  2. Response to enemies in the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria is genetically determined

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Srijana; Tielbörger, Katja

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The enemy release hypothesis assumes that invasive plants lose their co-evolved natural enemies during introduction into the new range. This study tested, as proposed by the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis, whether escape from enemies results in a decrease in defence ability in plants from the invaded range. Two straightforward aspects of the EICA are examined: (1) if invasives have lost their enemies and their defence, they should be more negatively affected by their full natural pre-invasion herbivore spectrum than their native conspecifics; and (2) the genetic basis of evolutionary change in response to enemy release in the invasive range has not been taken sufficiently into account. Methods Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) from several populations in its native (Europe) and invasive range (North America) was exposed to all above-ground herbivores in replicated natural populations in the native range. The experiment was performed both with plants raised from field-collected seeds as well as with offspring of these where maternal effects were removed. Key Results Absolute and relative leaf damage was higher for introduced than for native plants. Despite having smaller height growth rate, invasive plants attained a much larger final size than natives irrespective of damage, indicating large tolerance rather than effective defence. Origin effects on response to herbivory and growth were stronger in second-generation plants, suggesting that invasive potential through enemy release has a genetic basis. Conclusions The findings support two predictions of the EICA hypothesis – a genetically determined difference between native and invasive plants in plant vigour and response to enemies – and point to the importance of experiments that control for maternal effects and include the entire spectrum of native range enemies. PMID:22492331

  3. INVASIVE PLANTS HARBOR HUNGRY DETRITIVORES THAT ALTER ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  4. Responses of Two Invasive Plants Under Various Microclimate Conditions in the Seoul Metropolitan Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Uhram; Mun, Saeromi; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Lee, Eun Ju

    2012-06-01

    The possible consequences of global warming on plant communities and ecosystems have wide-ranging ramifications. We examined how environmental change affects plant growth as a function of the variations in the microclimate along an urban-suburban climate gradient for two allergy-inducing, invasive plants, Humulus japonicus and Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior. The environmental factors and plant growth responses were measured at two urban sites (Gangbuk and Seongbuk) and two suburban sites (Goyang and Incheon) around Seoul, South Korea. The mean temperatures and CO2 concentrations differed significantly between the urban (14.8 °C and 439 ppm CO2) and suburban (13.0 °C and 427 ppm CO2) sites. The soil moisture and nitrogen contents of the suburban sites were higher than those at the urban sites, especially for the Goyang site. The two invasive plants showed significantly higher biomasses and nitrogen contents at the two urban sites. We conducted experiments in a greenhouse to confirm the responses of the plants to increased temperatures, and we found consistently higher growth rates under conditions of higher temperatures. Because we controlled the other factors, the better performance of the two invasive plants appears to be primarily attributable to their responses to temperature. Our study demonstrates that even small temperature changes in the environment can confer significant competitive advantages to invasive species. As habitats become urbanized and warmer, these invasive plants should be able to displace native species, which will adversely affect people living in these areas.

  5. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. . PMID:27008777

  6. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  7. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Holly M; Bergmann, Erik J; Venugopal, P Dilip; Riley, Christopher B; Shrewsbury, Paula M; Raupp, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests. PMID:27581756

  8. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments

    PubMed Central

    Martinson, Holly M.; Bergmann, Erik J.; Venugopal, P. Dilip; Riley, Christopher B.; Shrewsbury, Paula M.; Raupp, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests. PMID:27581756

  9. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Holly M; Bergmann, Erik J; Venugopal, P Dilip; Riley, Christopher B; Shrewsbury, Paula M; Raupp, Michael J

    2016-09-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests.

  10. Linking remote sensing and ecosystem modeling for management of invasive plants in the Western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, David; Potter, Christopher; Carruthers, Raymond; Johnson, Lee

    A combination of remote sensing, mapping, modeling, and visualization technology is being adapted to quantify the impact of invasive species on ecosystems. Several prominent invasive species such as saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and important aquatic weeds, such as waterprimrose (Ludwigia hexapetala), are targeted due to their environmental, social and economic importance in the Western United States. Remote sensing imagery (both airborne and satellite) is being used to assess invasive species distribution and spread, as well as to determine biological control agent impact and control success. Linking the remote sensing with ecosystem simulation models such as the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and NASA-CASA provides significant improvement in representation of important ecosystem processes. Current emphasis is placed on characterizing cover and spread of invasive plant species and predicting potential ecosystem impact, and quantifying the impact and effectiveness of conservation practices aimed at reducing ecosystem vulnerability to invasive plant species.

  11. Greater sexual reproduction contributes to differences in demography of invasive plants and their noninvasive relatives.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jean H; Pardini, Eleanor A; Schutzenhofer, Michele R; Chung, Y Anny; Seidler, Katie J; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-05-01

    An understanding of the demographic processes contributing to invasions would improve our mechanistic understanding of the invasion process and improve the efficiency of prevention and control efforts. However, field comparisons of the demography of invasive and noninvasive species have not previously been conducted. We compared the in situ demography of 17 introduced plant species in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to contrast the demographic patterns of invasive species with their less invasive relatives across a broad sample of angiosperms. Using herbarium records to estimate spread rates, we found higher maximum spread rates in the landscape for species classified a priori as invasive than for noninvasive introduced species, suggesting that expert classifications are an accurate reflection of invasion rate. Across 17 species, projected population growth was not significantly greater in invasive than in noninvasive introduced species. Among five taxonomic pairs of close relatives, however, four of the invasive species had higher projected population growth rates compared with their noninvasive relative. A Life Table Response Experiment suggested that the greater projected population growth rate of some invasive species relative to their noninvasive relatives was primarily a result of sexual reproduction. The greater sexual reproduction of invasive species is consistent with invaders having a life history strategy more reliant on fecundity than survival and is consistent with a large role of propagule pressure in invasion. Sexual reproduction is a key demographic correlate of invasiveness, suggesting that local processes influencing sexual reproduction, such as enemy escape, might be of general importance. However, the weak correlation of projected population growth with spread rates in the landscape suggests that regional processes, such as dispersal, may be equally important in determining invasion rate.

  12. Predicting the presence and cover of management relevant invasive plant species on protected areas.

    PubMed

    Iacona, Gwenllian; Price, Franklin D; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-01-15

    Invasive species are a management concern on protected areas worldwide. Conservation managers need to predict infestations of invasive plants they aim to treat if they want to plan for long term management. Many studies predict the presence of invasive species, but predictions of cover are more relevant for management. Here we examined how predictors of invasive plant presence and cover differ across species that vary in their management priority. To do so, we used data on management effort and cover of invasive plant species on central Florida protected areas. Using a zero-inflated multiple regression framework, we showed that protected area features can predict the presence and cover of the focal species but the same features rarely explain both. There were several predictors of either presence or cover that were important across multiple species. Protected areas with three days of frost per year or fewer were more likely to have occurrences of four of the six focal species. When invasive plants were present, their proportional cover was greater on small preserves for all species, and varied with surrounding household density for three species. None of the predictive features were clearly related to whether species were prioritized for management or not. Our results suggest that predictors of cover and presence can differ both within and across species but do not covary with management priority. We conclude that conservation managers need to select predictors of invasion with care as species identity can determine the relationship between predictors of presence and the more management relevant predictors of cover.

  13. Species-driven changes in nitrogen cycling can provide a mechanism for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Laungani, Ramesh; Knops, Johannes M H

    2009-07-28

    Traits that permit successful invasions have often seemed idiosyncratic, and the key biological traits identified vary widely among species. This fundamentally limits our ability to determine the invasion potential of a species. However, ultimately, successful invaders must have positive growth rates that longer term result in higher biomass accumulation than competing established species. In many terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen limits plant growth, and is a key factor determining productivity and the outcome of competition among species. Plant nitrogen use may provide a powerful framework to evaluate the invasive potential of a species in nitrogen-limiting ecosystems. Six mechanisms influence plant nitrogen use or acquisition: photosynthetic tissue allocation, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-leaching losses, gross nitrogen mineralization, and plant nitrogen residence time. Here we show that among these alternatives, the key mechanism allowing invasion for Pinus strobus into nitrogen limited grasslands was its higher nitrogen residence time. This higher nitrogen residence time created a positive feedback that redistributed nitrogen from the soil into the plant. This positive feedback allowed P. strobus to accumulate twice as much nitrogen in its tissues and four times as much nitrogen to photosynthetic tissues, as compared with other plant species. In turn, this larger leaf nitrogen pool increased total plant carbon gain of P. strobus two- to sevenfold as compared with other plant species. Thus our data illustrate that plant species can change internal ecosystem nitrogen cycling feedbacks and this mechanism can allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other plant species. PMID:19592506

  14. Species-driven changes in nitrogen cycling can provide a mechanism for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Laungani, Ramesh; Knops, Johannes M H

    2009-07-28

    Traits that permit successful invasions have often seemed idiosyncratic, and the key biological traits identified vary widely among species. This fundamentally limits our ability to determine the invasion potential of a species. However, ultimately, successful invaders must have positive growth rates that longer term result in higher biomass accumulation than competing established species. In many terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen limits plant growth, and is a key factor determining productivity and the outcome of competition among species. Plant nitrogen use may provide a powerful framework to evaluate the invasive potential of a species in nitrogen-limiting ecosystems. Six mechanisms influence plant nitrogen use or acquisition: photosynthetic tissue allocation, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-leaching losses, gross nitrogen mineralization, and plant nitrogen residence time. Here we show that among these alternatives, the key mechanism allowing invasion for Pinus strobus into nitrogen limited grasslands was its higher nitrogen residence time. This higher nitrogen residence time created a positive feedback that redistributed nitrogen from the soil into the plant. This positive feedback allowed P. strobus to accumulate twice as much nitrogen in its tissues and four times as much nitrogen to photosynthetic tissues, as compared with other plant species. In turn, this larger leaf nitrogen pool increased total plant carbon gain of P. strobus two- to sevenfold as compared with other plant species. Thus our data illustrate that plant species can change internal ecosystem nitrogen cycling feedbacks and this mechanism can allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other plant species.

  15. Multidimensional spatial characterization of plant invasions in 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez Flores, Erick

    Invasive species are considered an agent of ecological change with more significant effects than global warming. Exotic plant invasions threaten biodiversity and ecosystem viability worldwide. Their effects in the Sonoran Desert ecosystems are a growing concern among ecologists and land managers. We hypothesized that highly dynamic desert environments are unstable, therefore more vulnerable to invasion by exotic plant species. To test this hypothesis we used a multidimensional approach to assess the spatial distribution of two exotic species: Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard) and Schismus arabicus (Arabian grass), in a portion of 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve (PBR) in northwestern Sonora, Mexico. This approach combined genetic algorithms, geographic information systems, field methods, statistical analysis, and remote sensing modeling at multiple spatial and temporal scales to predict and test the current and potential distribution of the invasives over dynamic landscapes. Predicted probability of invasion was influenced strongly by human factors: Road networks were the strongest predictors of presence, revealing the potential importance of humans as vectors of invasiveness. Dynamic landscapes, associated mostly with vegetation losses, were detected spectrally in the eastern portion of the study area, very likely associated with past agricultural and current grazing activity. Combined models of high probability for invasion by B. tournefortii and S. arabicus over dynamic landscapes were tested against confirmed locations of the invasives and land cover types associated with invasion. Results confirmed the hypothesis of the study and suggest that more dynamic landscapes are more prone to invasion by these two exotic plants in the PBR. B. tournefortii was found associated mostly with landscapes occupied by microphyllous desert scrub and grassland, as well as sarcocaulescent desert scrub. S. arabicus was found more abundantly in the

  16. Modeling Hawaiian Ecosystem Degradation due to Invasive Plants under Current and Future Climates

    PubMed Central

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; Gon, Sam 'Ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions. PMID:24805254

  17. Different Traits Determine Introduction, Naturalization and Invasion Success In Woody Plants: Proteaceae as a Test Case

    PubMed Central

    Moodley, Desika; Geerts, Sjirk; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.

    2013-01-01

    A major aim of invasion ecology is to identify characteristics of successful invaders. However, most plant groups studied in detail (e.g. pines and acacias) have a high percentage of invasive taxa. Here we examine the global introduction history and invasion ecology of Proteaceae—a large plant family with many taxa that have been widely disseminated by humans, but with few known invaders. To do this we compiled a global list of species and used boosted regression tree models to assess which factors are important in determining the status of a species (not introduced, introduced, naturalized or invasive). At least 402 of 1674 known species (24%) have been moved by humans out of their native ranges, 58 species (14%) have become naturalized but not invasive, and 8 species (2%) are invasive. The probability of naturalization was greatest for species with large native ranges, low susceptibility to Phytophthora root-rot fungus, large mammal-dispersed seeds, and with the capacity to resprout. The probability of naturalized species becoming invasive was greatest for species with large native ranges, those used as barrier plants, tall species, species with small seeds, and serotinous species. The traits driving invasiveness of Proteaceae were similar to those for acacias and pines. However, while some traits showed a consistent influence at introduction, naturalization and invasion, others appear to be influential at one stage only, and some have contrasting effects at different stages. Trait-based analyses therefore need to consider different invasion stages separately. On their own, these observations provide little predictive power for risk assessment, but when the causative mechanisms are understood (e.g. Phytophthora susceptibility) they provide valuable insights. As such there is considerable value in seeking the correlates and mechanisms underlying invasions for particular taxonomic or functional groups. PMID:24086442

  18. Different traits determine introduction, naturalization and invasion success in woody plants: Proteaceae as a test case.

    PubMed

    Moodley, Desika; Geerts, Sjirk; Richardson, David M; Wilson, John R U

    2013-01-01

    A major aim of invasion ecology is to identify characteristics of successful invaders. However, most plant groups studied in detail (e.g. pines and acacias) have a high percentage of invasive taxa. Here we examine the global introduction history and invasion ecology of Proteaceae--a large plant family with many taxa that have been widely disseminated by humans, but with few known invaders. To do this we compiled a global list of species and used boosted regression tree models to assess which factors are important in determining the status of a species (not introduced, introduced, naturalized or invasive). At least 402 of 1674 known species (24%) have been moved by humans out of their native ranges, 58 species (14%) have become naturalized but not invasive, and 8 species (2%) are invasive. The probability of naturalization was greatest for species with large native ranges, low susceptibility to Phytophthora root-rot fungus, large mammal-dispersed seeds, and with the capacity to resprout. The probability of naturalized species becoming invasive was greatest for species with large native ranges, those used as barrier plants, tall species, species with small seeds, and serotinous species. The traits driving invasiveness of Proteaceae were similar to those for acacias and pines. However, while some traits showed a consistent influence at introduction, naturalization and invasion, others appear to be influential at one stage only, and some have contrasting effects at different stages. Trait-based analyses therefore need to consider different invasion stages separately. On their own, these observations provide little predictive power for risk assessment, but when the causative mechanisms are understood (e.g. Phytophthora susceptibility) they provide valuable insights. As such there is considerable value in seeking the correlates and mechanisms underlying invasions for particular taxonomic or functional groups.

  19. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    PubMed

    Vorsino, Adam E; Fortini, Lucas B; Amidon, Fred A; Miller, Stephen E; Jacobi, James D; Price, Jonathan P; Gon, Sam 'ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions. PMID:24805254

  20. Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As global changes reshuffle plant communities, invasive plants may benefit. Unfortunately, potential interactions among global changes and limited mechanistic understanding make it difficult to predict invasions in future environments. Here we show that elevated CO2 can strongly promote invasion by ...

  1. Resolving whether botanic gardens are on the road to conservation or a pathway for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2015-06-01

    A global conservation goal is to understand the pathways through which invasive species are introduced into new regions. Botanic gardens are a pathway for the introduction of invasive non-native plants, but a quantitative assessment of the risks they pose has not been performed. I analyzed data on the living collections of over 3000 botanic gardens worldwide to quantify the temporal trend in the representation of non-native species; the relative composition of threatened, ornamental, or invasive non-native plant species; and the frequency with which botanic gardens implement procedures to address invasive species. While almost all of the world's worst invasive non-native plants occurred in one or more living collections (99%), less than one-quarter of red-listed threatened species were cultivated (23%). Even when cultivated, individual threatened species occurred in few living collections (7.3), while non-native species were on average grown in 6 times as many botanic gardens (44.3). As a result, a botanic garden could, on average, cultivate four times as many invasive non-native species (20) as red-listed threatened species (5). Although the risk posed by a single living collection is small, the probability of invasion increases with the number of botanic gardens within a region. Thus, while both the size of living collections and the proportion of non-native species cultivated have declined during the 20th century, this reduction in risk is offset by the 10-fold increase in the number of botanic gardens established worldwide. Unfortunately, botanic gardens rarely implement regional codes of conduct to prevent plant invasions, few have an invasive species policy, and there is limited monitoring of garden escapes. This lack of preparedness is of particular concern given the rapid increase in living collections worldwide since 1950, particularly in South America and Asia, and highlights past patterns of introduction will be a poor guide to determining future

  2. Resolving whether botanic gardens are on the road to conservation or a pathway for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2015-06-01

    A global conservation goal is to understand the pathways through which invasive species are introduced into new regions. Botanic gardens are a pathway for the introduction of invasive non-native plants, but a quantitative assessment of the risks they pose has not been performed. I analyzed data on the living collections of over 3000 botanic gardens worldwide to quantify the temporal trend in the representation of non-native species; the relative composition of threatened, ornamental, or invasive non-native plant species; and the frequency with which botanic gardens implement procedures to address invasive species. While almost all of the world's worst invasive non-native plants occurred in one or more living collections (99%), less than one-quarter of red-listed threatened species were cultivated (23%). Even when cultivated, individual threatened species occurred in few living collections (7.3), while non-native species were on average grown in 6 times as many botanic gardens (44.3). As a result, a botanic garden could, on average, cultivate four times as many invasive non-native species (20) as red-listed threatened species (5). Although the risk posed by a single living collection is small, the probability of invasion increases with the number of botanic gardens within a region. Thus, while both the size of living collections and the proportion of non-native species cultivated have declined during the 20th century, this reduction in risk is offset by the 10-fold increase in the number of botanic gardens established worldwide. Unfortunately, botanic gardens rarely implement regional codes of conduct to prevent plant invasions, few have an invasive species policy, and there is limited monitoring of garden escapes. This lack of preparedness is of particular concern given the rapid increase in living collections worldwide since 1950, particularly in South America and Asia, and highlights past patterns of introduction will be a poor guide to determining future

  3. Massively parallel sequencing and analysis of expressed sequence tags in a successful invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Prentis, Peter J.; Woolfit, Megan; Thomas-Hall, Skye R.; Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel; Pavasovic, Ana; Lowe, Andrew J.; Schenk, Peer M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Invasive species pose a significant threat to global economies, agriculture and biodiversity. Despite progress towards understanding the ecological factors associated with plant invasions, limited genomic resources have made it difficult to elucidate the evolutionary and genetic factors responsible for invasiveness. This study presents the first expressed sequence tag (EST) collection for Senecio madagascariensis, a globally invasive plant species. Methods We used pyrosequencing of one normalized and two subtractive libraries, derived from one native and one invasive population, to generate an EST collection. ESTs were assembled into contigs, annotated by BLAST comparison with the NCBI non-redundant protein database and assigned gene ontology (GO) terms from the Plant GO Slim ontologies. Key Results Assembly of the 221 746 sequence reads resulted in 12 442 contigs. Over 50 % (6183) of 12 442 contigs showed significant homology to proteins in the NCBI database, representing approx. 4800 independent transcripts. The molecular transducer GO term was significantly over-represented in the native (South African) subtractive library compared with the invasive (Australian) library. Based on NCBI BLAST hits and literature searches, 40 % of the molecular transducer genes identified in the South African subtractive library are likely to be involved in response to biotic stimuli, such as fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens. Conclusions This EST collection is the first representation of the S. madagascariensis transcriptome and provides an important resource for the discovery of candidate genes associated with plant invasiveness. The over-representation of molecular transducer genes associated with defence responses in the native subtractive library provides preliminary support for aspects of the enemy release and evolution of increased competitive ability hypotheses in this successful invasive. This study highlights the contribution of next-generation sequencing

  4. A comprehensive test of evolutionarily increased competitive ability in a highly invasive plant species

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Srijana; Gruntman, Michal; Bilton, Mark; Seifan, Merav; Tielbörger, Katja

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims A common hypothesis to explain plants' invasive success is that release from natural enemies in the introduced range selects for reduced allocation to resistance traits and a subsequent increase in resources available for growth and competitive ability (evolution of increased competitive ability, EICA). However, studies that have investigated this hypothesis have been incomplete as they either did not test for all aspects of competitive ability or did not select appropriate competitors. Methods Here, the prediction of increased competitive ability was examined with the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) in a set of common-garden experiments that addressed these aspects by carefully distinguishing between competitive effect and response of invasive and native plants, and by using both intraspecific and interspecific competition settings with a highly vigorous neighbour, Urtica dioica (stinging nettle), which occurs in both ranges. Key Results While the intraspecific competition results showed no differences in competitive effect or response between native and invasive plants, the interspecific competition experiment revealed greater competitive response and effect of invasive plants in both biomass and seed production. Conclusions The use of both intra- and interspecific competition experiments in this study revealed opposing results. While the first experiment refutes the EICA hypothesis, the second shows strong support for it, suggesting evolutionarily increased competitive ability in invasive populations of L. salicaria. It is suggested that the use of naturally co-occurring heterospecifics, rather than conspecifics, may provide a better evaluation of the possible evolutionary shift towards greater competitive ability. PMID:25301818

  5. Sampling and Complementarity Effects of Plant Diversity on Resource Use Increases the Invasion Resistance of Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Dan H.; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Wei Z.; Yuan, Yue; Li, Bin; Wang, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Background Although plant diversity is postulated to resist invasion, studies have not provided consistent results, most of which were ascribed to the influences of other covariate environmental factors. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore the mechanisms by which plant diversity influences community invasibility, an experiment was conducted involving grassland sites varying in their species richness (one, two, four, eight, and sixteen species). Light interception efficiency and soil resources (total N, total P, and water content) were measured. The number of species, biomass, and the number of seedlings of the invading species decreased significantly with species richness. The presence of Patrinia scabiosaefolia Fisch. ex Trev. and Mosla dianthera (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxburgh) Maxim. significantly increased the resistance of the communities to invasion. A structural equation model showed that the richness of planted species had no direct and significant effect on invasion. Light interception efficiency had a negative effect on the invasion whereas soil water content had a positive effect. In monocultures, Antenoron filiforme (Thunb.) Rob. et Vaut. showed the highest light interception efficiency and P. scabiosaefolia recorded the lowest soil water content. With increased planted-species richness, a greater percentage of pots showed light use efficiency higher than that of A. filiforme and a lower soil water content than that in P. scabiosaefolia. Conclusions/Significance The results of this study suggest that plant diversity confers resistance to invasion, which is mainly ascribed to the sampling effect of particular species and the complementarity effect among species on resources use. PMID:26556713

  6. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats.

  7. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats. PMID:20067493

  8. A spatially explicit multi-isotope approach to map influence regions of plant-plant interactions after exotic plant invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellmann, Christine; Oldeland, Jens; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions impose profound alterations to native ecosystems, including changes of water, carbon and nutrient cycles. However, explicitly quantifying these impacts remains a challenge. Stable isotopes, by providing natural tracers of biogeochemical processes, can help to identify and measure such alterations in space and time. Recently, δ15N isoscapes, i.e. spatially continuous representations of isotopic values, derived from native plant foliage, enabled to accurately trace nitrogen introduced by the N2-fixing invasive Acacia longifolia into a native Portuguese dune system. It could be shown that the area of the system which was altered by the invasive species exceeded the area which was covered by the invader by far. But still, definition of clear regions of influence is to some extent ambiguous. Here, we present an approach using multiple isoscapes derived from measured foliar δ13C and δ15N values of a native, non-fixing species, Corema album. By clustering isotopic information, we obtained an objective classification of the study area. Properties and spatial position of clusters could be interpreted to distinguish areas that were or were not influenced by A. longifolia. Spatial clusters at locations where A. longifolia was present had δ15N values that were enriched, i.e. close to the atmospheric signal of 0 o compared to the depleted values of the uninvaded system (ca. -11 o). Furthermore, C. album individuals in these clusters were characterized by higher foliar N content and enriched δ13C. These results indicate that the N2-fixing A. longifolia added nitrogen to the system which originated from the atmosphere and was used by the native C. album, inducing functional changes, i.e. an increase in WUE. Additionally, clusters were identified that were presumably determined by inherent properties of the native system. Thus, combining isotope ecology with geostatistical methods is a promising approach for mapping regions of influence in multi

  9. Buffelgrass-Integrated modeling of an invasive plant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holcombe, Tracy R.

    2011-01-01

    Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) poses a problem in the deserts of the United States, growing in dense stands and introducing a wildfire risk in an ecosystem not adapted to fire. The Invasive Species Science Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center has worked with many partners to develop a decision support model and a data management system to address the problem. The decision support model evaluates potential strategies for resource use and allocation. The data management system is a portal where users can submit, view, and download buffelgrass data. These tools provide a case study showcasing how the FORT is working to address the urgent issue of invasive species in the United States.

  10. Differential plant invasiveness is not always driven by host promiscuity with bacterial symbionts

    PubMed Central

    Klock, Metha M.; Barrett, Luke G.; Thrall, Peter H.; Harms, Kyle E.

    2016-01-01

    Identification of mechanisms that allow some species to outcompete others is a fundamental goal in ecology and invasive species management. One useful approach is to examine congeners varying in invasiveness in a comparative framework across native and invaded ranges. Acacia species have been widely introduced outside their native range of Australia, and a subset of these species have become invasive in multiple parts of the world. Within specific regions, the invasive status of these species varies. Our study examined whether a key mechanism in the life history of Acacia species, the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, influences acacia invasiveness on a regional scale. To assess the extent to which species varying in invasiveness correspondingly differ with regard to the diversity of rhizobia they associate with, we grew seven Acacia species ranging in invasiveness in California in multiple soils from both their native (Australia) and introduced (California) ranges. In particular, the aim was to determine whether more invasive species formed symbioses with a wider diversity of rhizobial strains (i.e. are more promiscuous hosts). We measured and compared plant performance, including aboveground biomass, survival, and nodulation response, as well as rhizobial community composition and richness. Host promiscuity did not differ among invasiveness categories. Acacia species that varied in invasiveness differed in aboveground biomass for only one soil and did not differ in survival or nodulation within individual soils. In addition, acacias did not differ in rhizobial richness among invasiveness categories. However, nodulation differed between regions and was generally higher in the native than introduced range. Our results suggest that all Acacia species introduced to California are promiscuous hosts and that host promiscuity per se does not explain the observed differences in invasiveness within this region. Our study also highlights the utility of assessing potential

  11. Differential plant invasiveness is not always driven by host promiscuity with bacterial symbionts.

    PubMed

    Klock, Metha M; Barrett, Luke G; Thrall, Peter H; Harms, Kyle E

    2016-01-01

    Identification of mechanisms that allow some species to outcompete others is a fundamental goal in ecology and invasive species management. One useful approach is to examine congeners varying in invasiveness in a comparative framework across native and invaded ranges. Acacia species have been widely introduced outside their native range of Australia, and a subset of these species have become invasive in multiple parts of the world. Within specific regions, the invasive status of these species varies. Our study examined whether a key mechanism in the life history of Acacia species, the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, influences acacia invasiveness on a regional scale. To assess the extent to which species varying in invasiveness correspondingly differ with regard to the diversity of rhizobia they associate with, we grew seven Acacia species ranging in invasiveness in California in multiple soils from both their native (Australia) and introduced (California) ranges. In particular, the aim was to determine whether more invasive species formed symbioses with a wider diversity of rhizobial strains (i.e. are more promiscuous hosts). We measured and compared plant performance, including aboveground biomass, survival, and nodulation response, as well as rhizobial community composition and richness. Host promiscuity did not differ among invasiveness categories. Acacia species that varied in invasiveness differed in aboveground biomass for only one soil and did not differ in survival or nodulation within individual soils. In addition, acacias did not differ in rhizobial richness among invasiveness categories. However, nodulation differed between regions and was generally higher in the native than introduced range. Our results suggest that all Acacia species introduced to California are promiscuous hosts and that host promiscuity per se does not explain the observed differences in invasiveness within this region. Our study also highlights the utility of assessing potential

  12. A Spatially Explicit Dual-Isotope Approach to Map Regions of Plant-Plant Interaction after Exotic Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Hellmann, Christine; Werner, Christiane; Oldeland, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Understanding interactions between native and invasive plant species in field settings and quantifying the impact of invaders in heterogeneous native ecosystems requires resolving the spatial scale on which these processes take place. Therefore, functional tracers are needed that enable resolving the alterations induced by exotic plant invasion in contrast to natural variation in a spatially explicit way. 15N isoscapes, i.e., spatially referenced representations of stable nitrogen isotopic signatures, have recently provided such a tracer. However, different processes, e.g. water, nitrogen or carbon cycles, may be affected at different spatial scales. Thus multi-isotope studies, by using different functional tracers, can potentially return a more integrated picture of invader impact. This is particularly true when isoscapes are submitted to statistical methods suitable to find homogeneous subgroups in multivariate data such as cluster analysis. Here, we used model-based clustering of spatially explicit foliar δ15N and δ13C isoscapes together with N concentration of a native indicator species, Corema album, to map regions of influence in a Portuguese dune ecosystem invaded by the N2-fixing Acacia longifolia. Cluster analysis identified regions with pronounced alterations in N budget and water use efficiency in the native species, with a more than twofold increase in foliar N, and δ13C and δ15N enrichment of up to 2‰ and 8‰ closer to the invader, respectively. Furthermore, clusters of multiple functional tracers indicated a spatial shift from facilitation through N addition in the proximity of the invader to competition for resources other than N in close contact. Finding homogeneous subgroups in multi-isotope data by means of model-based cluster analysis provided an effective tool for detecting spatial structure in processes affecting plant physiology and performance. The proposed method can give an objective measure of the spatial extent of influence of

  13. A Spatially Explicit Dual-Isotope Approach to Map Regions of Plant-Plant Interaction after Exotic Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Hellmann, Christine; Werner, Christiane; Oldeland, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Understanding interactions between native and invasive plant species in field settings and quantifying the impact of invaders in heterogeneous native ecosystems requires resolving the spatial scale on which these processes take place. Therefore, functional tracers are needed that enable resolving the alterations induced by exotic plant invasion in contrast to natural variation in a spatially explicit way. 15N isoscapes, i.e., spatially referenced representations of stable nitrogen isotopic signatures, have recently provided such a tracer. However, different processes, e.g. water, nitrogen or carbon cycles, may be affected at different spatial scales. Thus multi-isotope studies, by using different functional tracers, can potentially return a more integrated picture of invader impact. This is particularly true when isoscapes are submitted to statistical methods suitable to find homogeneous subgroups in multivariate data such as cluster analysis. Here, we used model-based clustering of spatially explicit foliar δ15N and δ13C isoscapes together with N concentration of a native indicator species, Corema album, to map regions of influence in a Portuguese dune ecosystem invaded by the N2-fixing Acacia longifolia. Cluster analysis identified regions with pronounced alterations in N budget and water use efficiency in the native species, with a more than twofold increase in foliar N, and δ13C and δ15N enrichment of up to 2‰ and 8‰ closer to the invader, respectively. Furthermore, clusters of multiple functional tracers indicated a spatial shift from facilitation through N addition in the proximity of the invader to competition for resources other than N in close contact. Finding homogeneous subgroups in multi-isotope data by means of model-based cluster analysis provided an effective tool for detecting spatial structure in processes affecting plant physiology and performance. The proposed method can give an objective measure of the spatial extent of influence of

  14. A theoretical analysis of the Allee effect in wind-pollinated cordgrass plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Murphy, James T; Johnson, Mark P

    2015-12-01

    A new individual-based model is presented for investigating an important group of invasive plant species, from the genus Spartina, that threaten biodiversity in coastal and intertidal habitats around the world. The role of pollen limitation in influencing the early development of an invasion is explored in order to gain a greater understanding of the mechanistic basis for an apparent Allee effect (causal relationship between population size/density and mean individual fitness) observed in populations of invasive Spartina species. The model is used to explore how various factors such as atmospheric stability, wind direction/speed, pollen characteristics and spatial structure of the population affect the overall invasion dynamics and reproductive success. Comparisons were also made between invasive species of Spartina (S. alterniflora, S. anglica) and a non-invasive species (S. foliosa), showing a reduced Allee effect was associated with invasion success. Furthermore, the conclusions drawn here may give insights into some of the fundamental processes affecting the growth and population dynamics of other invasive wind-pollinated plants.

  15. Cross-scale modelling of alien and native vascular plant species richness in Great Britain: where is geodiversity information most relevant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Joseph; Field, Richard; Boyd, Doreen

    2016-04-01

    We assess the scale-dependency of the relationship between biodiversity and novel geodiversity information by studying spatial patterns of native and alien (archaeophytes and neophytes) vascular plant species richness at varying spatial scales across Great Britain. Instead of using a compound geodiversity metric, we study individual geodiversity components (GDCs) to advance our understanding of which aspects of 'geodiversity' are most important and at what scale. Terrestrial native (n = 1,490) and alien (n = 1,331) vascular plant species richness was modelled across the island of Great Britain at two grain sizes and several extent radii. Various GDCs (landforms, hydrology, geology) were compiled from existing national datasets and automatically extracted landform coverage information (e.g. hollows, valleys, peaks), the latter using a digital elevation model (DEM) and geomorphometric techniques. More traditional predictors of species richness (climate, widely-used topography metrics, land cover diversity, and human population) were also incorporated. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models were produced at all grain sizes and extents for each species group and the dominant predictors were assessed. Models with and without geodiversity data were compared. Overarching patterns indicated a clear dominance of geodiversity information at the smallest study extent (12.5km radius) and finest grain size (1x1km), which substantially decreased for each increase in extent as the contribution of climatic variables increased. The contribution of GDCs to biodiversity models was chiefly driven by landform information from geomorphometry, but hydrology (rivers and lakes), and to a lesser extent materials (soil, superficial deposits, and geology), were important, also. GDCs added significantly to vascular plant biodiversity models in Great Britain, independently of widely-used topographic metrics, particularly for native species. The wider consideration of geodiversity alongside

  16. Links between Plant Invasion, Anthropogenic Nitrogen Enrichment, and Wildfires: A Systematic Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felker-Quinn, E.; Gooding Lassiter, M.; Maxwell, A.; Housego, R.; Young, B.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires can become positive feedbacks in climate change scenarios, because wildfires release large amounts of carbon sequestered in plants and soil to the atmosphere, and because their frequency increases with increasing temperatures. Invasive plants represent an important biotic link between anthropogenic activity and wildfire, as many of these species benefit from human disturbance while increasing fire frequency and severity. A robust body of literature addresses the response of invasive species to nitrogen enrichment, and a separate body of research assesses the feedbacks between invasive plant species and wildfire. We have undertaken a systematic review of these fields in order to evaluate the hypothesis that anthropogenic nitrogen loading contributes to increasing wildfires by promoting the growth and spread of fire-adapted invasive plant species. We identified invasive plant species using the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS), a Forest Service database that evaluates fire ecology of species identified as being of concern by land managers. We used information contained in the FEIS as well as more recent studies to characterize species on a continuum from fire-adapted to fire-intolerant based on traits related to interactions of fire with survival, reproduction, and spread. Of the 107 invasive plant species with fire ecology reports in the FEIS, we have initially classified 18 as fire-adapted, possessing traits that intensify fire regimes. Additionally, 33 species are fire-tolerant, benefiting from fire primarily because it creates a high-resource, low-competition environment. In continuing work, we are evaluating the responses of the invasive plant species to increased anthropogenic nitrogen with a focus on traits such as germination, productivity, and survival, as these traits contribute to wildfire frequency and severity. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U

  17. Improving methods to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions: lessons from 40 years of research.

    PubMed

    Stricker, Kerry Bohl; Hagan, Donald; Flory, S Luke

    2015-03-30

    Methods used to evaluate the ecological impacts of biological invasions vary widely from broad-scale observational studies to removal experiments in invaded communities and experimental additions in common gardens and greenhouses. Different methods provide information at diverse spatial and temporal scales with varying levels of reliability. Thus, here we provide a synthetic and critical review of the methods used to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions and provide recommendations for future research. We review the types of methods available and report patterns in methods used, including the duration and spatial scale of studies and plant functional groups examined, from 410 peer-reviewed papers published between 1971 and 2011. We found that there has been a marked increase in papers published on plant invasion impacts since 2003 and that more than half of all studies employed observational methods while <5 % included predictive modelling. Most of the studies were temporally and spatially restricted with 51 % of studies lasting <1 year and almost half of all studies conducted in plots or mesocosms <1 m(2). There was also a bias in life form studied: more than 60 % of all studies evaluated impacts of invasive forbs and graminoids while <16 % focused on invasive trees. To more effectively quantify invasion impacts, we argue that longer-term experimental research and more studies that use predictive modelling and evaluate impacts of invasions on ecosystem processes and fauna are needed. Combining broad-scale observational studies with experiments and predictive modelling may provide the most insight into invasion impacts for policy makers and land managers seeking to reduce the effects of plant invasions.

  18. Alien insects in Italy: comparing patterns from the regional to European level.

    PubMed

    Inghilesi, Alberto F; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of species outside their native range contributes to the loss of biodiversity, alters the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and damages economy and human health. Insects are one of the taxa with the highest frequency of introduction due to their high diversity, biological properties, and close association with human activities. Here, the allodiversity of Italian entomofauna was analyzed, with a focus on Tuscany (Central Italy). A list of alien insects in Tuscany is included. The status of the alien entomofauna in Italy was updated. The number of alien insects amounts to 122 in Tuscany and 923 in Italy. An introduction rate of 98 species per decade was estimated in Italy. In Tuscany, alien insects belong to 10 orders, mostly Coleoptera (38%), Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha) (23%), and Hymenoptera (13%). They have been most often introduced through vegetable items (ornamental plants or crops). Most species come from the Nearctic region (26%) and are both phytophagous (63%) and amphigonic (80%). Differences and similarities in introduction patterns and in insect abundances across orders among regional, national, and European scales, also considering worldwide abundances, are discussed. Finally, a paucity of information regarding the negative impacts of many species, except for economic pests, phytosanitary threats, and vectors of disease, is underlined. A deeper understanding of the alien insects' ecological impact might help designate policies aimed at preventing further introductions and control the invasive populations of already established species.

  19. Alien Insects in Italy: Comparing Patterns from the Regional to European Level

    PubMed Central

    Inghilesi, Alberto F.; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of species outside their native range contributes to the loss of biodiversity, alters the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and damages economy and human health. Insects are one of the taxa with the highest frequency of introduction due to their high diversity, biological properties, and close association with human activities. Here, the allodiversity of Italian entomofauna was analyzed, with a focus on Tuscany (Central Italy). A list of alien insects in Tuscany is included. The status of the alien entomofauna in Italy was updated. The number of alien insects amounts to 122 in Tuscany and 923 in Italy. An introduction rate of 98 species per decade was estimated in Italy. In Tuscany, alien insects belong to 10 orders, mostly Coleoptera (38%), Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha) (23%), and Hymenoptera (13%). They have been most often introduced through vegetable items (ornamental plants or crops). Most species come from the Nearctic region (26%) and are both phytophagous (63%) and amphigonic (80%). Differences and similarities in introduction patterns and in insect abundances across orders among regional, national, and European scales, also considering worldwide abundances, are discussed. Finally, a paucity of information regarding the negative impacts of many species, except for economic pests, phytosanitary threats, and vectors of disease, is underlined. A deeper understanding of the alien insects' ecological impact might help designate policies aimed at preventing further introductions and control the invasive populations of already established species. PMID:24219427

  20. Adaptive management in EBIPM: A key to success in invasive plant management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    EBIPM is an important advancement in management of invasive plants. EBIPM puts land management decisions on a sound-footing based on