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Sample records for alien invasive plants

  1. Mycorrhizal status helps explain invasion success of alien plant species.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Andreas; Hempel, Stefan; Klotz, Stefan; Moora, Mari; Pyšek, Petr; Rillig, Matthias C; Zobel, Martin; Kühn, Ingolf

    2017-01-01

    It is still debated whether alien plants benefit from being mycorrhizal, or if engaging in the symbiosis constrains their establishment and spread in new regions. We analyzed the association between mycorrhizal status of alien plant species in Germany and their invasion success. We compared whether the representation of species with different mycorrhizal status (obligate, facultative, or non-mycorrhizal) differed at several stages of the invasion process. We used generalized linear models to explain the occupied geographical range of alien plants, incorporating interactions of mycorrhizal status with plant traits related to morphology, reproduction, and life-history. Non-naturalized aliens did not differ from naturalized aliens in the relative frequency of different mycorrhizal status categories. Mycorrhizal status significantly explained the occupied range of alien plants; with facultative mycorrhizal species inhabiting a larger range than non-mycorrhizal aliens and obligate mycorrhizal plant species taking an intermediate position. Aliens with storage organs, shoot metamorphoses, or specialized structures promoting vegetative dispersal occupied a larger range when being facultative mycorrhizal. We conclude that being mycorrhizal is important for the persistence of aliens in Germany and constitutes an advantage compared to being non-mycorrhizal. Being facultative mycorrhizal seems to be especially advantageous for successful spread, as the flexibility of this mycorrhizal status may enable plants to use a broader set of ecological strategies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Congyan; Liu, Jun; Xiao, Hongguang; Zhou, Jiawei; DU, Daolin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine the floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species (AISPS) in China. There are a total of five hundred and thirteen AISPS, belonging to seventy families and two hundred and eighty-three genera. Seventy families were classified into nine areal types at the family level, and "Cosmopolitan" and "Pantropic" are the two main types. Two hundred and eighty-three genera were classified into twelve areal types at the genus level, and "Pantropic", "Trop. Asia & Amer. disjuncted", and "Cosmopolitan" are the three main types. These results reveal a certain degree of diversity among AISPS in China. The floristic characteristics at the family level exhibit strong pantropic characteristics. Two possible reasons for this are as follows. Firstly, southeastern China is heavily invaded by alien invasive plant species and this region has a mild climate. Secondly, southeastern China is more disturbed by human activities than other regions in China. The floristic characteristics at the genus level display strong pantropic but with abundant temperate characteristics. This may be due to that China across five climatic zones and the ecosystems in which the most alien invasive plant species occur have the same or similar climate with their natural habitat.

  5. 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

  6. Do invasive alien plants benefit more from global environmental change than native plants?

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanjie; Oduor, Ayub M O; Zhang, Zhen; Manea, Anthony; Tooth, Ifeanna M; Leishman, Michelle R; Xu, Xingliang; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-11-26

    Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions and can cause large economic damage. Plant invasions have been predicted to further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Numerous case studies have compared the performance of invasive and native plant species in response to global environmental change components (i.e. changes in mean levels of precipitation, temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration or nitrogen deposition). Individually, these studies usually involve low numbers of species and therefore the results cannot be generalized. Therefore, we performed a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis to assess whether there is a general pattern of differences in invasive and native plant performance under each component of global environmental change. We compiled a database of studies that reported performance measures for 74 invasive alien plant species and 117 native plant species in response to one of the above-mentioned global environmental change components. We found that elevated temperature and CO2 enrichment increased the performance of invasive alien plants more strongly than was the case for native plants. Invasive alien plants tended to also have a slightly stronger positive response to increased N deposition and increased precipitation than native plants, but these differences were not significant (N deposition: P = 0.051; increased precipitation: P = 0.679). Invasive alien plants tended to have a slightly stronger negative response to decreased precipitation than native plants, although this difference was also not significant (P = 0.060). So while drought could potentially reduce plant invasion, increases in the four other components of global environmental change considered, particularly global warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment, may further increase the spread of invasive plants in the future.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2013-01-07

    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.

  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. 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

  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.

  14. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type, stochiasticity, and anthropogenic disturbance in two park units

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Newton, Wesley E.

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Sentinel trees as a tool to forecast invasions of alien plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Flowering phenology of invasive alien plant species compared with native species in three Mediterranean-type ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Oscar; Richardson, David M.; Valladares, Fernando; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Flowering phenology is a potentially important component of success of alien species, since elevated fecundity may enhance invasiveness. The flowering patterns of invasive alien plant species and related natives were studied in three regions with Mediterranean-type climate: California, Spain and South Africa's Cape region. Methods A total of 227 invasive–native pairs were compared for seven character types across the regions, with each pair selected on the basis that they shared the same habitat type within a region, had a common growth form and pollination type, and belonged to the same family or genus. Key Results Invasive alien plant species have different patterns of flowering phenology from native species in the three regions. Whether the alien species flower earlier, later or at the same time as natives depends on the climatic regime in the native range of the aliens and the proportion of species in the invasive floras originating from different regions. Species invading at least two of the regions displayed the same flowering pattern, showing that flowering phenology is a conservative trait. Invasive species with native ranges in temperate climates flower earlier than natives, those from Mediterranean-type climates at the same time, and species from tropical climates flower later. In California, where the proportion of invaders from the Mediterranean Basin is high, the flowering pattern did not differ between invasive and native species, whereas in Spain the high proportion of tropical species results in a later flowering than natives, and in the Cape region early flowering than natives was the result of a high proportion of temperate invaders. Conclusions Observed patterns are due to the human-induced sympatry of species with different evolutionary histories whose flowering phenology evolved under different climatic regimes. The severity of the main abiotic filters imposed by the invaded regions (e.g. summer drought) has not been

  10. 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.

  11. No evidence for local adaptation in an invasive alien plant: field and greenhouse experiments tracing a colonization sequence

    PubMed Central

    Pahl, Anna T.; Kollmann, Johannes; Mayer, Andreas; Haider, Sylvia

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Local adaptation enables plant species to persist under different environmental conditions. Evolutionary change can occur rapidly in invasive annual species and has been shown to lead to local adaptation. However, the patterns and mechanisms of local adaptation in invasive species along colonization sequences are not yet understood. Thus, in this study the alien annual Impatiens glandulifera was used to investigate local adaptation to distinct habitats that have been consecutively invaded in central Europe. Methods A reciprocal transplant experiment was performed using 15 populations from alluvial deciduous forests, fallow meadows and coniferous upland forests, and a greenhouse experiment was performed in which plants from these habitats were grown under treatments reflecting the main habitat differentiators (shade, soil acidity, competition). Key Results Biomass production, specific leaf area, plant height and relative growth rate differed between habitats in the field experiment and between treatments in the greenhouse, but not between seed origins. Overall, there was no indication of local adaptation in either experiment. Conclusions Since I. glandulifera is a successful invader in many habitats without showing local adaptation, it is suggested that the species is coping with environmental variation by means of high phenotypic plasticity. The species seems to follow a ‘jack-and-master’ strategy, i.e. it is able to maintain high fitness under a wide range of environmental conditions, but performs particularly well in favourable habitats. Therefore, the proposed colonization sequence is likely to be based primarily on changes in propagule pressure. It is concluded that invasive alien plants can become dominant in distinct habitats without local adaptation. PMID:24214934

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Root-inhabiting fungi in alien plant species in relation to invasion status and soil chemical properties.

    PubMed

    Majewska, Marta L; Błaszkowski, Janusz; Nobis, Marcin; Rola, Kaja; Nobis, Agnieszka; Łakomiec, Daria; Czachura, Paweł; Zubek, Szymon

    In order to recognize interactions between alien vascular plants and soil microorganisms and thus better understand the mechanisms of plant invasions, we examined the mycorrhizal status, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonization rate, arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) morphology and presence of fungal root endophytes in 37 non-native species in Central Europe. We also studied the AMF diversity and chemical properties of soils from under these species. The plant and soil materials were collected in southern Poland. We found that 35 of the species formed AM and their mycorrhizal status depended on species identity. Thirty-three taxa had AM of Arum-type alone. Lycopersicon esculentum showed intermediate AM morphology and Eragrostis albensis developed both Arum and Paris. The mycelia of dark septate endophytes (DSE) were observed in 32 of the species, while sporangia of Olpidium spp. were found in the roots of 10. Thirteen common and worldwide occurring AMF species as well as three unidentified spore morphotypes were isolated from trap cultures established with the soils from under the plant species. Claroideoglomus claroideum, Funneliformis mosseae and Septoglomus constrictum were found the most frequently. The presence of root-inhabiting fungi and the intensity of their colonization were not correlated with soil chemical properties, plant invasion status, their local abundance and habitat type. No relationships were also found between the presence of AMF, DSE and Olpidium spp. These suggest that other edaphic conditions, plant and fungal species identity or the abundance of these fungi in soils might have an impact on the occurrence and intensity of fungal root colonization in the plants under study.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Do David and Goliath Play the Same Game? Explanation of the Abundance of Rare and Frequent Invasive Alien Plants in Urban Woodlands in Warsaw, Poland

    PubMed Central

    Mędrzycki, Piotr; Kołaczkowska, Ewa; Ciurzycki, Wojciech; Marciszewska, Katarzyna

    2016-01-01

    Invasive Alien Plants occur in numbers differing by orders of magnitude at subsequent invasion stages. Effective sampling and quantifying niches of rare invasive plants are quite problematic. The aim of this paper is an estimation of the influence of invasive plants frequency on the explanation of their local abundance. We attempted to achieve it through: (1) assessment of occurrence of self-regenerating invasive plants in urban woodlands, (2) comparison of Random Forest modelling results for frequent and rare species. We hypothesized that the abundance of frequent species would be explained better than that of rare ones and that both rare and frequent species share a common hierarchy of the most important determinants. We found 15 taxa in almost two thirds of 1040 plots with a total number of 1068 occurrences. There were recorded 6 taxa of high frequency–Prunus serotina, Quercus rubra, Acer negundo, Robinia pseudoacacia, Impatiens parviflora and Solidago spp.–and 9 taxa of low frequency: Acer saccharinum, Amelanchier spicata, Cornus spp., Fraxinus spp., Parthenocissus spp., Syringa vulgaris, Echinocystis lobata, Helianthus tuberosus, Reynoutria spp. Random Forest’s models’ quality grows with the number of occurrences of frequent taxa but not of the rare ones. Both frequent and rare taxa share a similar hierarchy of predictors’ importance: Land use > Tree stand > Seed source and, for frequent taxa, Forest properties as well. We conclude that there is an ‘explanation jump’ at higher species frequencies, but rare species are surprisingly similar to frequent ones in their determinant’s hierarchy, with differences conforming with their respective stages of invasion. PMID:27992516

  2. Do David and Goliath Play the Same Game? Explanation of the Abundance of Rare and Frequent Invasive Alien Plants in Urban Woodlands in Warsaw, Poland.

    PubMed

    Obidziński, Artur; Mędrzycki, Piotr; Kołaczkowska, Ewa; Ciurzycki, Wojciech; Marciszewska, Katarzyna

    2016-01-01

    Invasive Alien Plants occur in numbers differing by orders of magnitude at subsequent invasion stages. Effective sampling and quantifying niches of rare invasive plants are quite problematic. The aim of this paper is an estimation of the influence of invasive plants frequency on the explanation of their local abundance. We attempted to achieve it through: (1) assessment of occurrence of self-regenerating invasive plants in urban woodlands, (2) comparison of Random Forest modelling results for frequent and rare species. We hypothesized that the abundance of frequent species would be explained better than that of rare ones and that both rare and frequent species share a common hierarchy of the most important determinants. We found 15 taxa in almost two thirds of 1040 plots with a total number of 1068 occurrences. There were recorded 6 taxa of high frequency-Prunus serotina, Quercus rubra, Acer negundo, Robinia pseudoacacia, Impatiens parviflora and Solidago spp.-and 9 taxa of low frequency: Acer saccharinum, Amelanchier spicata, Cornus spp., Fraxinus spp., Parthenocissus spp., Syringa vulgaris, Echinocystis lobata, Helianthus tuberosus, Reynoutria spp. Random Forest's models' quality grows with the number of occurrences of frequent taxa but not of the rare ones. Both frequent and rare taxa share a similar hierarchy of predictors' importance: Land use > Tree stand > Seed source and, for frequent taxa, Forest properties as well. We conclude that there is an 'explanation jump' at higher species frequencies, but rare species are surprisingly similar to frequent ones in their determinant's hierarchy, with differences conforming with their respective stages of invasion.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Acosta, André L; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Saraiva, Antonio M

    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.

  11. Incorporating stakeholder preferences in the selection of technologies for using invasive alien plants as a bio-energy feedstock: applying the analytical hierarchy process.

    PubMed

    De Lange, W J; Stafford, W H L; Forsyth, G G; Le Maitre, D C

    2012-05-30

    Invasive alien plants (IAPs) impose significant social costs on the population of the Agulhas Plain region in South Africa due to their adverse impacts on ecosystem goods and services (decreased water supply and increased fire risk). While the cost of clearing IAPs is considerable, this paper assesses opportunities to reduce some of the social and environmental burdens (e.g. disruptions of ecosystems which have negative impacts on livelihoods) by using IAP biomass to produce bio-energy. However, such an initiative could increase financial dependency on these plants and is thus considered to be a major risk factor which could create adverse incentives to illegally grow these plants. A participatory decision-making process with active stakeholder participation is a key element in managing such an initiative. We used a multi-stakeholder engagement process and the analytical hierarchy process to define and weigh suitable criteria for the assessment of different "IAP biomass to bio-energy" technology scenarios on the Agulhas Plain. Feasible scenarios were constructed by means of an expert panel which were then ranked according to stakeholder preference. The six criteria were: minimising impacts on natural resources; job creation; certainty of benefits to local people in the study area; development of skills for life; technology performance and cost efficiency. This ranking was largely determined by the preference for resource efficiency in terms of minimising impacts on natural ecosystems and the localisation of benefits. The smaller, modular technologies were consequently preferred since these realise direct local benefits while developing local skills and capacity in their manufacture, sales and maintenance. The rankings as obtained in this study are context-bound, which implies that the findings only have limited application to areas with similar biophysical and socio-economic characteristics. However, the method itself is fully generalisable, and the same

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Origin matters: diversity affects the performance of alien invasive species but not of native species.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Maron, John L; Schaffner, Urs

    2015-06-01

    At local scales, it has often been found that invasibility decreases with increasing resident plant diversity. However, whether resident community diversity similarly resists invasion by alien versus native species is seldom studied. We examined this issue by invading constructed native plant assemblages that varied in species and functional richness with invasive alien or native Asteraceae species. Assemblages were also invaded with spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe, a native European aster that has been previously used in diversity-invasibility experiments in North America. We also conducted a field survey to explore the generality of the patterns generated from our experimental study. Both experimental and observational work revealed that increasing diversity reduced the performance of alien but not native invaders. Centaurea stoebe invading its native community performed poorly regardless of resident diversity, whereas in a parallel, previously published study conducted in North America, C. stoebe easily invaded low-diversity but not high-diversity assemblages. Our results suggest that diversity is an attribute of resident communities that makes them more or less susceptible to invasion by novel invasive alien but not native plant species.

  16. How can alien species inventories and interception data help us prevent insect invasions?

    PubMed

    Kenis, M; Rabitsch, W; Auger-Rozenberg, M-A; Roques, A

    2007-10-01

    Information relevant to invasion processes and invasive alien insect species management in Central Europe was extracted from two databases: a compilation of two inventories of alien insects in Austria and Switzerland, and a list of interceptions of non-indigenous plant pests in Europe gathered by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) for the period 1995-2004. For one-third of the insects established in Switzerland and Austria, the region of origin is unclear. Others come mainly from North America, Asia and the Mediterranean region. Among the intercepted insects, 40% were associated with commodities from Asia, 32% from Europe and only 2% from North America. Sternorrhyncha, Coleoptera and Psocoptera were particularly well represented in the alien fauna compared to the native fauna. In the interception database, Sternorrhyncha were also well represented but Diptera accounted for the highest number of records. Sap feeders and detritivores were the dominant feeding niches in the alien insect fauna. In contrast, external defoliators, stem borers, gall makers, root feeders, predators and parasitoids were underrepresented. Nearly 40% of the alien insects in Switzerland and Austria live only indoors. Another 15% live outdoors but exclusively or predominantly on exotic plants. Less than 20% are found mainly in 'natural' environments. The majority of introductions of alien insects in Europe are associated with the international trade in ornamental plants. An economic impact was found for 40% of the alien insects in Switzerland and Austria, whereas none is known to have an ecological impact. The implications of these observations for further studies and the management of alien species in Europe are discussed.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, Annie; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Madsen, John; Westbrooks, Randy G.; Fournier, Christine; Mehrhoff, Les; Browne, Michael; Graham, Jim; Sellers, Elizabeth A.

    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

  18. Are soil mite assemblages structured by the identity of native and invasive alien grasses?

    PubMed

    St John, Mark G; Wall, Diana H; Hunt, H William

    2006-05-01

    Associations between plants and animals in aboveground communities are often predictable and specific. This has been exploited for the purposes of estimating the diversity of animal species based on the diversity of plant species. The introduction of invasive alien plants into an ecosystem can result in dramatic changes in both the native plant and animal assemblages. Few data exist at the species level to determine whether belowground animal assemblages share the same degree of association to plants. The hypotheses that soil mites (Acari) form assemblages specifically associated with different native grass species in an unmanipulated natural ecosystem and that invasive alien grasses will impact soil mite assemblage composition in this setting were tested. Soil mites sampled beneath five native and two invasive alien species of grasses at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA, were similarly abundant, species rich, diverse, and taxonomically distinct. No mite species had affinities for a specific grass species. There was no evidence from analysis of similarity, canonical correspondence analysis, or a nonparametric assemblage analysis that the assemblage composition of soil mites was specific to grass species. Results suggest that soil mite assemblages were more related to characteristics of the plant assemblage as a whole or prevailing soil conditions. The most recent invasive alien grass did not support a successionally younger mite fauna, based on the ratio of mesostigmatid to oribatid mites, and neither of the two invasive grasses influenced mite assemblage structure, possibly because they had not yet substantially altered the soil environment. Our results suggest that extrapolations of soil mite diversity based on assumptions of plant specificity would be invalid.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-08-23

    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.

  6. 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

  7. An assessment of stakeholder perceptions and management of noxious alien plants in Spain.

    PubMed

    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 euros 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

  8. 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

  9. Differences in leaf construction cost between alien and native mangrove species in Futian, Shenzhen, China: implications for invasiveness of alien species.

    PubMed

    Li, Fenglan; Yang, Qiong; Zan, Qijie; Tam, Nora F Y; Shin, Paul K S; Vrijmoed, Lilian L P; Cheung, S G

    2011-09-01

    Construction cost (CC) is a quantifiable measure of energy demand for biomass production, and low CC is hypothesized to give an alien plant growth advantages and increase its potential to be an invader. Comparison of leaf CC and growth traits between alien and native mangroves in Shenzhen Futian Nature Reserve showed CC per unit mass (CC(mass)), carbon concentration and gross and ash-free caloric values of alien mangroves were significantly lower than those of native species, while the height and chest circumference were just the opposite. Alien species Sonneratia apetala had the lowest CC(mass) while Sonneratia caseolaris had the lowest CC(area), and were 8.99% and 32.17% lower than those of native species, respectively. Conversely, specific leaf area (SLA) of these two Sonneratia species was significantly higher than native species. Lower CC and higher SLA make the two Sonneratia species grow and spread faster than other mangroves and enhance their invasive potential.

  10. A meta-analysis of trait differences between invasive and non-invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Fischer, Markus

    2010-02-01

    A major aim in ecology is identifying determinants of invasiveness. We performed a meta-analysis of 117 field or experimental-garden studies that measured pair-wise trait differences of a total of 125 invasive and 196 non-invasive plant species in the invasive range of the invasive species. We tested whether invasiveness is associated with performance-related traits (physiology, leaf-area allocation, shoot allocation, growth rate, size and fitness), and whether such associations depend on type of study and on biogeographical or biological factors. Overall, invasive species had significantly higher values than non-invasive species for all six trait categories. More trait differences were significant for invasive vs. native comparisons than for invasive vs. non-invasive alien comparisons. Moreover, for comparisons between invasive species and native species that themselves are invasive elsewhere, no trait differences were significant. Differences in physiology and growth rate were larger in tropical regions than in temperate regions. Trait differences did not depend on whether the invasive alien species originates from Europe, nor did they depend on the test environment. We conclude that invasive alien species had higher values for those traits related to performance than non-invasive species. This suggests that it might become possible to predict future plant invasions from species traits.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Plant invasions--the role of mutualisms.

    PubMed

    Richardson, D M; Allsopp, N; D'Antonio, C M; Milton, S J; Rejmánek, M

    2000-02-01

    Many introduced plant species rely on mutualisms in their new habitats to overcome barriers to establishment and to become naturalized and, in some cases, invasive. Mutualisms involving animal-mediated pollination and seed dispersal, and symbioses between plant roots and microbiota often facilitate invasions. The spread of many alien plants, particularly woody ones, depends on pollinator mutualisms. Most alien plants are well served by generalist pollinators (insects and birds), and pollinator limitation does not appear to be a major barrier for the spread of introduced plants (special conditions relating to Ficus and orchids are described). Seeds of many of the most notorious plant invaders are dispersed by animals, mainly birds and mammals. Our review supports the view that tightly coevolved, plant-vertebrate seed dispersal systems are extremely rare. Vertebrate-dispersed plants are generally not limited reproductively by the lack of dispersers. Most mycorrhizal plants form associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi which, because of their low specificity, do not seem to play a major role in facilitating or hindering plant invasions (except possibly on remote islands such as the Galapagos which are poor in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi). The lack of symbionts has, however, been a major barrier for many ectomycorrhizal plants, notably for Pinus spp. in parts of the southern hemisphere. The roles of nitrogen-fixing associations between legumes and rhizobia and between actinorhizal plants and Frankia spp. in promoting or hindering invasions have been virtually ignored in the invasions literature. Symbionts required to induce nitrogen fixation in many plants are extremely widespread, but intentional introductions of symbionts have altered the invasibility of many, if not most, systems. Some of the world's worst invasive alien species only invaded after the introduction of symbionts. Mutualisms in the new environment sometimes re-unite the same species that form

  14. Differences in evolutionary history translate into differences in invasion success of alien mammals in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Gere, Jephris; Daru, Barnabas H; van der Bank, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Attempts to investigate the drivers of invasion success are generally limited to the biological and evolutionary traits distinguishing native from introduced species. Although alien species introduced to the same recipient environment differ in their invasion intensity – for example, some are “strong invaders”; others are “weak invaders” – the factors underlying the variation in invasion success within alien communities are little explored. In this study, we ask what drives the variation in invasion success of alien mammals in South Africa. First, we tested for taxonomic and phylogenetic signal in invasion intensity. Second, we reconstructed predictive models of the variation in invasion intensity among alien mammals using the generalized linear mixed-effects models. We found that the family Bovidae and the order Artiodactyla contained more “strong invaders” than expected by chance, and that such taxonomic signal did not translate into phylogenetic selectivity. In addition, our study indicates that latitude, gestation length, social group size, and human population density are only marginal determinant of the variation in invasion success. However, we found that evolutionary distinctiveness – a parameter characterising the uniqueness of each alien species – is the most important predictive variable. Our results indicate that the invasive behavior of alien mammals may have been “fingerprinted” in their evolutionary past, and that evolutionary history might capture beyond ecological, biological and life-history traits usually prioritized in predictive modeling of invasion success. These findings have applicability to the management of alien mammals in South Africa. PMID:25360253

  15. Differences in evolutionary history translate into differences in invasion success of alien mammals in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Gere, Jephris; Daru, Barnabas H; van der Bank, Michelle

    2014-06-01

    Attempts to investigate the drivers of invasion success are generally limited to the biological and evolutionary traits distinguishing native from introduced species. Although alien species introduced to the same recipient environment differ in their invasion intensity - for example, some are "strong invaders"; others are "weak invaders" - the factors underlying the variation in invasion success within alien communities are little explored. In this study, we ask what drives the variation in invasion success of alien mammals in South Africa. First, we tested for taxonomic and phylogenetic signal in invasion intensity. Second, we reconstructed predictive models of the variation in invasion intensity among alien mammals using the generalized linear mixed-effects models. We found that the family Bovidae and the order Artiodactyla contained more "strong invaders" than expected by chance, and that such taxonomic signal did not translate into phylogenetic selectivity. In addition, our study indicates that latitude, gestation length, social group size, and human population density are only marginal determinant of the variation in invasion success. However, we found that evolutionary distinctiveness - a parameter characterising the uniqueness of each alien species - is the most important predictive variable. Our results indicate that the invasive behavior of alien mammals may have been "fingerprinted" in their evolutionary past, and that evolutionary history might capture beyond ecological, biological and life-history traits usually prioritized in predictive modeling of invasion success. These findings have applicability to the management of alien mammals in South Africa.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23015630

  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. 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

  5. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24586947

  6. The global avian invasions atlas, a database of alien bird distributions worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Ellie E.; Redding, David W.; Blackburn, Tim M.

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of species to locations where they do not naturally occur (termed aliens) can have far-reaching and unpredictable environmental and economic consequences. Therefore there is a strong incentive to stem the tide of alien species introduction and spread. In order to identify broad patterns and processes of alien invasions, a spatially referenced, global dataset on the historical introductions and alien distributions of a complete taxonomic group is required. Here we present the Global Avian Invasions Atlas (GAVIA)—a new spatial and temporal dataset comprising 27,723 distribution records for 971 alien bird species introduced to 230 countries and administrative areas spanning the period 6000BCE—AD2014. GAVIA was initiated to provide a unified database of records on alien bird introductions, incorporating records from all stages of invasion, including introductions that have failed as well as those that have succeeded. GAVIA represents the most comprehensive resource on the global distribution of alien species in any major taxon, allowing the spatial and temporal dynamics of alien bird distributions to be examined. PMID:28350387

  7. Alien plants confront expectations of climate change impacts.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2014-09-01

    The success of alien plants in novel environments questions basic assumptions about the fate of native species under climate change. Aliens generally spread faster than the velocity of climate change, display considerable phenotypic plasticity as well as adaptation to new selection pressures, and their ranges are often shaped by biotic rather than climatic factors. Given that many native species also exhibit these attributes, their risk of extinction as a result of climate change might be overestimated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Growth-form and spatiality driving the functional difference of native and alien aquatic plants in Europe.

    PubMed

    Lukács, Balázs A; Vojtkó, Anna E; Mesterházy, Attila; Molnár V, Attila; Süveges, Kristóf; Végvári, Zsolt; Brusa, Guido; Cerabolini, Bruno E L

    2017-02-01

    Trait-based approaches are widely used in community ecology and invasion biology to unravel underlying mechanisms of vegetation dynamics. Although fundamental trade-offs between specific traits and invasibility are well described among terrestrial plants, little is known about their role and function in aquatic plant species. In this study, we examine the functional differences of aquatic alien and native plants stating that alien and native species differ in selected leaf traits. Our investigation is based on 60 taxa (21 alien and 39 native) collected from 22 freshwater units of Hungarian and Italian lowlands and highlands. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effects of nativeness on four fundamental traits (leaf area, leaf dry matter content, specific leaf area, and leaf nitrogen content), while the influence of growth-form, altitude, and site were employed simultaneously. We found significantly higher values of leaf areas and significantly lower values of specific leaf areas for alien species if growth-form was included in the model as an additional predictor.We showed that the trait-based approach of autochthony can apply to aquatic environments similar to terrestrial ones, and leaf traits have relevance in explaining aquatic plant ecology whether traits are combined with growth-forms as a fixed factor. Our results confirm the importance of traits related to competitive ability in the process of aquatic plant invasions. Alien aquatic plants can be characterized as species producing soft leaves faster. We argue that the functional traits of alien aquatic plants are strongly growth-form dependent. Using the trait-based approach, we found reliable characteristics of aquatic plants related to species invasions, which might be used, for example, in conservation management.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of restoration effectiveness: community response to the removal of alien plants.

    PubMed

    Heleno, Ruben; Lacerda, Inês; Ramos, Jaime A; Memmott, Jane

    2010-07-01

    Plant invasions are a key cause of biodiversity loss and motivate many restoration programs worldwide. We assessed restoration success of an invaded forest in the Azores using two complementary experimental designs: a before-after control-impact (BACI) design compared a restored and a control (unmanipulated) site over three years, while a control-impact (CI) design evaluated the short-term effects of restoration on restored-control replicated pairs. In both designs, a food web approach was used to evaluate both structural and functional aspects of the restoration. Two years after removing alien plants from the BACI design, there were increases in the abundance of native seeds (110%), herbivorous insects (85%), insect parasitoids (5%), and birds (7%) in the experimental plot compared to the unmanipulated plot. In the CI design, five experimental plots were weeded and paired with five adjacent unmanipulated plots. Immediately following the removal of alien plants within the experimental plots, there was a significant decrease in native plant species, likely attributed to the effect of disturbance. Nevertheless, the production of native seeds increased by 35% in year 1, and seed production of the focal endemic plant, Ilex perado (holly), increased 159% in year 2. Weeding increased the survivorship and growth of seedlings transplanted into the plots, particularly those of alien species. Both experiments provide evidence of the positive effects of weeding cascading through the food web from native plants to herbivorous insects, insect parasitoids, and birds. Two aspects that could prove critical to the outcome of restoration programs deserve further attention: most bird-dispersed seeds were alien, and weeding favored alien over native seedling growth.

  18. 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.

  19. Recovery of endemic dragonflies after removal of invasive alien trees.

    PubMed

    Samways, Michael J; Sharratt, Norma J

    2010-02-01

    Because dragonflies are very sensitive to alien trees, we assessed their response to large-scale restoration of riparian corridors. We compared three types of disturbance regime--alien invaded, cleared of alien vegetation, and natural vegetation (control)--and recorded data on 22 environmental variables. The most significant variables in determining dragonfly assemblages were percentage of bank cover and tree canopy cover, which indicates the importance of vegetation architecture for these dragonflies. This finding suggests that it is important to restore appropriate marginal vegetation and sunlight conditions. Recovery of dragonfly assemblages after the clearing of alien trees was substantial. Species richness and abundance at restored sites matched those at control sites. Dragonfly assemblage patterns reflected vegetation succession. Thus, initially eurytopic, widespread species were the main beneficiaries of the removal of alien trees, and stenotopic, endemic species appeared after indigenous vegetation recovered over time. Important indicator species were the two national endemics (Allocnemis leucosticta and Pseudagrion furcigerum), which, along with vegetation type, can be used to monitor return of overall integrity of riparian ecology and to make management decisions. Endemic species as a whole responded positively to restoration, which suggests that indigenous vegetation recovery has major benefits for irreplaceable and widespread generalist species.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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 ...

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. Plant invasions and extinction debts.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Benjamin; Levine, Jonathan M

    2013-01-29

    Whether introduced species invasions pose a major threat to biodiversity is hotly debated. Much of this debate is fueled by recent findings that competition from introduced organisms has driven remarkably few plant species to extinction. Instead, native plant species in invaded ecosystems are often found in refugia: patchy, marginal habitats unsuitable to their nonnative competitors. However, whether the colonization and extinction dynamics of these refugia allow long-term native persistence is uncertain. Of particular concern is the possibility that invasive plants may induce an extinction debt in the native flora, where persistence over the short term masks deterministic extinction trajectories. We examined how invader impacts on landscape structure influence native plant persistence by combining recently developed quantitative techniques for evaluating metapopulation persistence with field measurements of an invaded plant community. We found that European grass invasion of an edaphically heterogeneous California landscape has greatly decreased the likelihood of the persistence of native metapopulations. It does so via two main pathways: (i) decreasing the size of native refugia, which reduces seed production and increases local extinction, and (ii) eroding the dispersal permeability of the matrix between refugia, which reduces their connectivity. Even when native plant extinction is the deterministic outcome of invasion, the time to extinction can be on the order of hundreds of years. We conclude that the relatively short time since invasion in many parts of the world is insufficient to observe the full impact of plant invasions on native biodiversity.

  10. Impacts of Alien Tree Invasion on Evapotranspiration in Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giambelluca, T. W.; Asner, G. P.; Martin, R. E.; Nullet, M. M.; Huang, M.; Delay, J. K.; Mudd, R. G.; Takahashi, M.

    2007-12-01

    Hawaiian tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) are ecologically and hydrologically valuable zones. TMCFs in Hawai'i serve as refugia for the remaining intact native terrestrial plant and animal ecosystems, and are major sources of hydrologic input to surface water and groundwater systems. Invasion of alien tree species, with obvious effects on the ecological integrity of TMCFs, also threatens to impact the hydrological services these forests provide. Much speculation has been made about the hydrological effects of replacing native forest tree species with alien trees in Hawai'i, but until now no measurements have been made to test these assertions. We established two study sites, each equipped with eddy covariance and other micrometeorological instrumentation, one within native Metrosideros polymorpha forest and the other at a site heavily invaded by Psidium cattleianum, in the cloud forest zone of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. We are conducting measurements of stand-level evapotranspiration, transpiration (using sapflow techniques), energy balance, throughfall, stemflow, and soil moisture at each site. Preliminary analysis of these measurements shows that the fraction of available energy used for evapotranspiration (ET Fraction) at the native site is much higher for wet canopy conditions. The ET Fraction at the native site has an annual cycle corresponding to the annual cycle in leaf area. Deviations from the annual cycle are more closely related to variations in canopy wetness than to variations in soil moisture. Overall, ET as a function of available energy is 27% higher at the invaded site than the native site. The difference in ET between the two sites is especially pronounced during dry canopy periods, during which the ET Fraction is 53% higher at the invaded site than the native site. Sapflow measurements using heat balance collars show that leaf-area-specific transpiration is much greater in invasive P. cattleianum trees than in remnant native M

  11. 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.

  12. Perception and Understanding of Invasive Alien Species Issues by Nature Conservation and Horticulture Professionals in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Piqueray, Julien; Halford, Mathieu; Nulens, Greet; Vincke, Jan; Mahy, Grégory

    2011-03-01

    We conducted a survey to determine how two professional sectors in Belgium, horticulture professionals and nature reserve managers (those directly involved in conservation), view the issues associated with invasive plant species. We developed and utilized a questionnaire that addressed the themes of awareness, concept and use of language, availability of information, impacts and, finally, control and available solutions. Using co-inertia analyses, we tested to what extent the perception of invasive alien species (IAS) was dependent upon the perception of Nature in general. Only forty-two percent of respondent horticulture professionals and eighty-two percent of nature reserve managers had a general knowledge of IAS. Many individuals in both target groups nonetheless had an accurate understanding of the scientific issues. Our results therefore suggest that the manner in which individuals within the two groups view, or perceive, the IAS issue was more the result of lack of information than simply biased perceptions of target groups. Though IAS perceptions by the two groups diverged, they were on par with how they viewed Nature in general. The descriptions of IAS by participants converged with the ideas and concepts frequently found in the scientific literature. Both managers and horticulture professionals expressed a strong willingness to participate in programs designed to prevent the spread of, and damage caused by, IAS. Despite this, the continued commercial availability of many invasive species highlighted the necessity to use both mandatory and voluntary approaches to reduce their re-introduction and spread. The results of this study provide stakeholders and conservation managers with practical information on which communication and management strategies can be based.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Insect Eradication and Containment of Invasive Alien Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect eradication programs are nearly always targeted at recently arrived invasive species with significant pest potential. They attempt to contain a pest to a defined area and then completely eliminate the pest from that area. From a Federal regulatory standpoint, eradication programs are undert...

  19. 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...

  20. [Fast catalogue of alien invasive weeds by Vis/NIR spectroscopy].

    PubMed

    Yu, Jia-Jia; Zou, Wei; He, Yong; Xu, Zheng-Hao

    2009-11-01

    The feasibility of visible and short-wave near-infrared spectroscopy (VIS/WNIR) techniques as means for the nondestructive and fast detection of alien invasive weeds was evaluated. Selected sensitive bands were found validated. In the present study, 3 kinds of alien invasive weeds, Veronica persica, Veronica polita, and Veronica arvensis Linn, and one kind of local weed, Lamiaceae amplexicaule Linn, were employed. The results showed that visible and NIR (Vis/NIR) technology could be introduced in classification of the alien invasive weeds or local weed with the similar outline. Thirty x 4 weeds samples were randomly selected for the calibration set, while the remaining 20 x 4 samples for the prediction set. Smoothing methods of moving average and standard normal variate (SNV) were used to pretreat spectra data. Based on principal components analysis, soft independent models of class analogy (SIMCA) were applied to make the model. Four frontal principal components of each catalogues were applied as the input of SIMCA, and with a significance level of 0.05, recognition ratio of 78.75% was obtained. The average prediction result is 90% except for Veronica polita. According to the modeling power of each spectra data in SIMCA, some possible sensitive bands, 496-521, 589-626 and 789-926 nm, were founded. By using these possible sensitive bands as the inputs of least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM), and setting the result of LS-SVM as the object function value of genetic algorithm (GA), mutational rate, crossover rate and population size were set up as 0.9, 0.5 and 50 respectively. Finally recognition ratio of 95.63% was obtained. The prediction results of 95.63% indicated that the selected wavelengths reflected the main characteristics of the four weeds, which proposed a new way to accelerate the research on cataloguing alien invasive weeds.

  1. 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.

  2. 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/.

  3. Drowned, buried and carried away: effects of plant traits on the distribution of native and alien species in riparian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Catford, Jane A; Jansson, Roland

    2014-10-01

    Riparian vegetation is exposed to stress from inundation and hydraulic disturbance, and is often rich in native and alien plant species. We describe 35 traits that enable plants to cope with riparian conditions. These include traits for tolerating or avoiding anoxia and enabling underwater photosynthesis, traits that confer resistance and resilience to hydraulic disturbance, and attributes that facilitate dispersal, such as floating propagules. This diversity of life-history strategies illustrates that there are many ways of sustaining life in riparian zones, which helps to explain high riparian biodiversity. Using community assembly theory, we examine how adaptations to inundation, disturbance and dispersal shape plant community composition along key environmental gradients, and how human actions have modified communities. Dispersal-related processes seem to explain many patterns, highlighting the influence of regional processes on local species assemblages. Using alien plant invasions like an (uncontrolled) experiment in community assembly, we use an Australian and a global dataset to examine possible causes of high degrees of riparian invasion. We found that high proportions of alien species in the regional species pools have invaded riparian zones, despite not being riparian specialists, and that riparian invaders disperse in more ways, including by water and humans, than species invading other ecosystems.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Novel chemistry of invasive exotic plants

    PubMed Central

    Cappuccino, Naomi; Arnason, J.Thor

    2006-01-01

    Of the many exotic plants that have become naturalized in North America, only a small proportion are pests capable of invading and dominating intact natural communities. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the most invasive plants are phytochemically unique in their new habitats. A comparison of exotic plant species that are highly invasive in North America with exotics that are widespread, but non-invasive revealed that the invasive plants were more likely to have potent secondary compounds that have not been reported from North American native plants. On average, the compounds found in the invasive plants were reported from fewer species, fewer genera and fewer families than those from non-invasive plants. Many of the unique phytochemicals from invasive plants have been reported to have multiple activities, including antiherbivore, antifungal, antimicrobial and allelopathic (phytotoxic) effects, which may provide the plants with several advantages in their new environments. PMID:17148359

  8. 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.

  9. Getting the Right Traits: Reproductive and Dispersal Characteristics Predict the Invasiveness of Herbaceous Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr; 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. PMID:25906399

  10. Climatic niche divergence and habitat suitability of eight alien invasive weeds in China under climate change.

    PubMed

    Wan, Ji-Zhong; Wang, Chun-Jing; Tan, Jing-Fang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2017-03-01

    Testing climatic niche divergence and modeling habitat suitability under conditions of climate change are important for developing strategies to limit the introduction and expansion of alien invasive weeds (AIWs) and providing important ecological and evolutionary insights. We assessed climatic niches in both native and invasive ranges as well as habitat suitability under climate change for eight representative Chinese AIWs from the American continent. We used climatic variables associated with occurrence records and developed ecological niche models with Maxent. Interestingly, the climatic niches of all eight AIWs diverged significantly between the native and invasive ranges (the American continent and China). Furthermore, the AIWs showed larger climatic niche breadths in the invasive ranges than in the native ranges. Our results suggest that climatic niche shifts between native and invasive ranges occurred. Thus, the occurrence records of both native and invasive regions must be considered when modeling and predicting the spatial distributions of AIWs under current and future climate scenarios. Owing to high habitat suitability, AIWs were more likely to expand into regions of low latitude, and future climate change was predicted to result in a shift in the AIWs in Qinghai and Tibet (regions of higher altitude) as well as Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, and Gansu (regions of higher latitude). Our results suggest that we need measures to prevent and control AIW expansion at the country-wide level.

  11. Species pools, community completeness and invasion: disentangling diversity effects on the establishment of native and alien species.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Jonathan A; Riibak, Kersti; Kook, Ene; Reier, Ülle; Tamme, Riin; Guillermo Bueno, C; Pärtel, Meelis

    2016-12-01

    Invasion should decline with species richness, yet the relationship is inconsistent. Species richness, however, is a product of species pool size and biotic filtering. Invasion may increase with richness if large species pools represent weaker environmental filters. Measuring species pool size and the proportion realised locally (completeness) may clarify diversity-invasion relationships by separating environmental and biotic effects, especially if species' life-history stage and origin are accounted for. To test these relationships, we added seeds and transplants of 15 native and alien species into 29 grasslands. Species pool size and completeness explained more variation in invasion than richness alone. Although results varied between native and alien species, seed establishment and biotic resistance to transplants increased with species pool size, whereas transplant growth and biotic resistance to seeds increased with completeness. Consequently, species pools and completeness represent multiple independent processes affecting invasion; accounting for these processes improves our understanding of invasion.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Alien Invasions and the Game of Hide and Seek in Patagonia

    PubMed Central

    Lindegren, Martin; Vigliano, Pablo; Nilsson, P. Anders

    2012-01-01

    The introduction, establishment and spread of alien species is a major threat to biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services for human wellbeing. In order to reduce further loss of biodiversity and maintain productive and sustainable ecosystems, understanding the ecological mechanisms underlying species invasions and avoiding potentially harmful effects on native communities is urgently needed, but largely lacking. We here demonstrate, by means of hydroacoustics and advanced spatial modelling, how native fish species as a result of previous exposure to native predators may successfully respond to invasive novel predators through a complicated game of hide and seek, minimizing spatio-temporal overlap with predators, and potentially facilitating coexistence between native prey species (Galaxiids) and introduced novel predators (Salmonids) in a deep Andean lake, Patagonia. PMID:23071496

  16. Comparative patterns of plant invasions in the Mediterranean biome.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth. PMID:27847511

  1. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth.

  2. A Conceptual Analysis of the "Alien Invasion": Institutionalized Support of Illegal Mexican Aliens in the U.S.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoddard, Ellwyn R.

    1976-01-01

    Organizes and conceptually clarifies the various elements within the illegal Mexican immigration situation, specifically focuses on how many and who the aliens are, why they are here, and which institutions within the society are supportive of them. (Author)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Preference and prey switching in a generalist predator attacking local and invasive alien pests.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Resilience to disturbance and resistance to alien grass invasions in the cold desert of western North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alien grass invasions are resulting in ecosystem-level transformations of entire landscapes in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cold desert of western US is undergoing such a transformation, and is considered one of the most imperiled large ecosystems in the US. To address the rapid and complex ch...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew 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 ofBromus 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Limiting similarity and Darwin's naturalization hypothesis: understanding the drivers of biotic resistance against invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Yannelli, F A; Koch, C; Jeschke, J M; Kollmann, J

    2017-03-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain biotic resistance of a recipient plant community based on reduced niche opportunities for invasive alien plant species. The limiting similarity hypothesis predicts that invasive species are less likely to establish in communities of species holding similar functional traits. Likewise, Darwin's naturalization hypothesis states that invasive species closely related to the native community would be less successful. We tested both using the invasive alien Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. and Solidago gigantea Aiton, and grassland species used for ecological restoration in central Europe. We classified all plant species into groups based on functional traits obtained from trait databases and calculated the phylogenetic distance among them. In a greenhouse experiment, we submitted the two invasive species at two propagule pressures to competition with communities of ten native species from the same functional group. In another experiment, they were submitted to pairwise competition with native species selected from each functional group. At the community level, highest suppression for both invasive species was observed at low propagule pressure and not explained by similarity in functional traits. Moreover, suppression decreased asymptotically with increasing phylogenetic distance to species of the native community. When submitted to pairwise competition, suppression for both invasive species was also better explained by phylogenetic distance. Overall, our results support Darwin's naturalization hypothesis but not the limiting similarity hypothesis based on the selected traits. Biotic resistance of native communities against invasive species at an early stage of establishment is enhanced by competitive traits and phylogenetic relatedness.

  14. Fingerprint recognition of alien invasive weeds based on the texture character and machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jia-Jia; Li, Xiao-Li; He, Yong; Xu, Zheng-Hao

    2008-11-01

    Multi-spectral imaging technique based on texture analysis and machine learning was proposed to discriminate alien invasive weeds with similar outline but different categories. The objectives of this study were to investigate the feasibility of using Multi-spectral imaging, especially the near-infrared (NIR) channel (800 nm+/-10 nm) to find the weeds' fingerprints, and validate the performance with specific eigenvalues by co-occurrence matrix. Veronica polita Pries, Veronica persica Poir, longtube ground ivy, Laminum amplexicaule Linn. were selected in this study, which perform different effect in field, and are alien invasive species in China. 307 weed leaves' images were randomly selected for the calibration set, while the remaining 207 samples for the prediction set. All images were pretreated by Wallis filter to adjust the noise by uneven lighting. Gray level co-occurrence matrix was applied to extract the texture character, which shows density, randomness correlation, contrast and homogeneity of texture with different algorithms. Three channels (green channel by 550 nm+/-10 nm, red channel by 650 nm+/-10 nm and NIR channel by 800 nm+/-10 nm) were respectively calculated to get the eigenvalues.Least-squares support vector machines (LS-SVM) was applied to discriminate the categories of weeds by the eigenvalues from co-occurrence matrix. Finally, recognition ratio of 83.35% by NIR channel was obtained, better than the results by green channel (76.67%) and red channel (69.46%). The prediction results of 81.35% indicated that the selected eigenvalues reflected the main characteristics of weeds' fingerprint based on multi-spectral (especially by NIR channel) and LS-SVM model.

  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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2008-03-18

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Chemical Cues Released by an Alien Invasive Aquatic Gastropod Drive Its Invasion Success

    PubMed Central

    Raw, Jacqueline L.; Miranda, Nelson A. F.; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical cues provide aquatic organisms with sensory information that guides behavioural responses and thus interactions among themselves, each other and the environment. Chemical cues are considered important for predator avoidance, foraging, larval settlement and broadcast spawning in aquatic environments. However, the significance of their role as drivers of direct interactions between heterospecifics has been largely overlooked. Methodology/Principal Findings A video camera and a demarcated arena were used in situ to record behavioural responses of three native gastropod species, Assiminea cf. capensis, Melanoides tuberculata and Coriandria durbanensis, exposed to treatments representing chemical cues released by a non-native invasive gastropod, Tarebia granifera. The responses were measured quantitatively as displacement and orientation of movement at locations in St Lucia Estuary, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the east coast of South Africa. All native gastropods exhibited a negative taxis response to chemical cues released by T. granifera, while T. granifera individuals responded randomly to conspecifics. Displacement was measured relative to the source of the extract, the number of steps taken were determined with path analysis and orientation was determined from the mean (±95% CIs) turning angles, with significant negative turning angles representing negative taxis. Responses to treatments corresponding to the environment and conspecifics were random and undirected, indicating kinesis. Conclusion/Significance This study presents evidence for interactions driven by chemical cues between a non-native invasive gastropod and several gastropods native to South Africa. The results indicate that chemical cues can facilitate invasion success as the behavioural response of native gastropods is to move away allowing additional food and space resources to become available to T. granifera. PMID:23691151

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (-22.4%) and N:P (-10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (-8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (-13.5%) and F. sylvatica (-11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled invasion of

  8. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest

    PubMed Central

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X.; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (−22.4%) and N:P (−10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (−8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (−13.5%) and F. sylvatica (−11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled

  9. 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.

  10. The large‐scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe

    PubMed Central

    Adriaens, Tim; Lambin, Xavier; Mill, Aileen; Roy, Sugoto; Shuttleworth, Craig M; Sutton‐Croft, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10 km2), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large‐scale removals (mean area 2627 km2) from Northern Europe since 1900, including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas' and grey squirrels and American mink, each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with and was best predicted by area, while the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, but there was no evidence that cost effectiveness had increased through time. Compared with small islands, larger‐scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries and consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonisation. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large‐scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs. © 2016 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:26733319

  11. The large-scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Peter A; Adriaens, Tim; Lambin, Xavier; Mill, Aileen; Roy, Sugoto; Shuttleworth, Craig M; Sutton-Croft, Mike

    2017-02-01

    Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10 km(2) ), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large-scale removals (mean area 2627 km(2) ) from Northern Europe since 1900, including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas' and grey squirrels and American mink, each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with and was best predicted by area, while the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, but there was no evidence that cost effectiveness had increased through time. Compared with small islands, larger-scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries and consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonisation. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large-scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs. © 2016 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Ecological impacts of invasive alien species along temperature gradients: testing the role of environmental matching.

    PubMed

    Iacarella, Josephine C; Dick, Jaimie T A; Alexander, Mhairi E; Ricciardi, Anthony

    2015-04-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) can cause substantive ecological impacts, and the role of temperature in mediating these impacts may become increasingly significant in a changing climate. Habitat conditions and physiological optima offer predictive information for IAS impacts in novel environments. Here, using meta-analysis and laboratory experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the impacts of IAS in the field are inversely correlated with the difference in their ambient and optimal temperatures. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of consumptive impacts of IAS in inland waters revealed that the impacts of fishes and crustaceans are higher at temperatures that more closely match their thermal growth optima. In particular, the maximum impact potential was constrained by increased differences between ambient and optimal temperatures, as indicated by the steeper slope of a quantile regression on the upper 25th percentile of impact data compared to that of a weighted linear regression on all data with measured variances. We complemented this study with an experimental analysis of the functional response (the relationship between predation rate and prey supply) of two invasive predators (freshwater mysid shrimp, Hemimysis anomala and Mysis diluviana) across. relevant temperature gradients; both of these species have previously been found to exert strong community-level impacts that are corroborated by their functional responses to different prey items. The functional response experiments showed that maximum feeding rates of H. anomala and M. diluviana have distinct peaks near their respective thermal optima. Although variation in impacts may be caused by numerous abiotic or biotic habitat characteristics, both our analyses point to temperature as a key mediator of IAS impact levels in inland waters and suggest that IAS management should prioritize habitats in the invaded range that more closely match the thermal optima of targeted invaders.

  13. 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 ...

  14. Of Asian Forests and European Fields: Eastern U.S. Plant Invasions in a Global Floristic Context

    PubMed Central

    Fridley, Jason D.

    2008-01-01

    Background Biogeographic patterns of species invasions hold important clues to solving the recalcitrant ‘who’, ‘where’, and ‘why’ questions of invasion biology, but the few existing studies make no attempt to distinguish alien floras (all non-native occurrences) from invasive floras (rapidly spreading species of significant management concern), nor have invasion biologists asked whether particular habitats are consistently invaded by species from particular regions. Methodology/Principal Findings Here I describe the native floristic provenances of the 2629 alien plant taxa of the Eastern Deciduous Forest of the Eastern U.S. (EUS), and contrast these to the subset of 449 taxa that EUS management agencies have labeled ‘invasive’. Although EUS alien plants come from all global floristic regions, nearly half (45%) have native ranges that include central and northern Europe or the Mediterranean (39%). In contrast, EUS invasive species are most likely to come from East Asia (29%), a pattern that is magnified when the invasive pool is restricted to species that are native to a single floristic region (25% from East Asia, compared to only 11% from northern/central Europe and 2% from the Mediterranean). Moreover, East Asian invaders are mostly woody (56%, compared to just 23% of the total alien flora) and are significantly more likely to invade intact forests and riparian areas than European species, which dominate managed or disturbed ecosystems. Conclusions/Significance These patterns suggest that the often-invoked ‘imperialist dogma’ view of global invasions equating invasion events with the spread of European colonialism is at best a restricted framework for invasion in disturbed ecosystems. This view must be superseded by a biogeographic invasion theory that is explicitly habitat-specific and can explain why particular world biotas tend to dominate particular environments. PMID:18978940

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Salmonella infection in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island of the Ogasawara archipelago in Japan.

    PubMed

    Sumiyama, Daisuke; Izumiya, Hidemasa; Kanazawa, Tomoko; Murata, Koichi

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the presence of Salmonella in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island, Japan. Samples were also collected from feral goats and public toilets on the island to examine infectious routes. Salmonellae were isolated from 27.1% of 199 samples; 32.6% of 141 cloacal samples from anoles, 62.5% of 8 intestinal samples from anole carcasses, 16.7% of 12 fecal samples from goats and 2.6% of 38 toilet bowl swabs. The serotype of most isolates was Salmonella Oranienburg (94.4% of 54). Although we did not confirm the infection pathways, our results indicated that green anoles are a risk factor as a source of Salmonella for public health. It is important to consider endemic pathogens that may be amplified by alien species within their introduced areas.

  1. Nutrient enrichment alters impacts of Hydrocotyle vulgaris invasion on native plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lin; Quan, Han; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Bu, Xiang-Qi; Li, Lin; Liu, Fu-De; Lei, Guang-Chun; Li, Hong-Li

    2016-01-01

    Nutrients may affect the invasiveness of alien plants and the invasibility of native plant communities. We performed a greenhouse experiment to investigate the interactive effect of invasion by a clonal herb Hydrocotyle vulgaris and nutrient enrichment on biomass and evenness of native plant communities. We established three types of plant communities (H. vulgaris alone, native plant communities without or with H. vulgaris) under low and high levels of nutrients. Native communities consisted of eight native, terrestrial species of three functional groups, i.e. four grasses, two legumes, and two forbs. Invasion of H. vulgaris had no effect on biomass of the native community, the functional groups, or the individual species. High nutrients increased biomass of grasses, but reduced evenness of the community. High nutrients also decreased the competitive effect, and the relative dominance index of H. vulgaris. Therefore, high nutrients reduced the competitive ability of H. vulgaris and enhanced the resistance of the native community to invasion. The results provide a basis for management strategies to control the invasion and spread of H. vulgaris by manipulating resource availability to support native communities. PMID:27995984

  2. Positive feedback between mycorrhizal fungi and plants influences plant invasion success and resistance to invasion.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Yang, Ruyi; Tang, Jianjun; Yang, Haishui; Hu, Shuijin; Chen, Xin

    2010-08-24

    Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum) while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum) that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.

  3. 76 FR 36896 - Salmon-Challis National Forest, ID; Forestwide Invasive Plant Treatment Environmental Impact...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-23

    ... an aggressive invasive plant management program, the number, density, and distribution of invasive... invasive species laws and policies requires aggressive invasive plant management. This analysis...

  4. 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…

  5. Soil biota and exotic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Callaway, Ragan M; Thelen, Giles C; Rodriguez, Alex; Holben, William E

    2004-02-19

    Invasive plants are an economic problem and a threat to the conservation of natural systems. Escape from natural enemies might contribute to successful invasion, with most work emphasizing the role of insect herbivores; however, microbial pathogens are attracting increased attention. Soil biota in some invaded ecosystems may promote 'exotic' invasion, and plant-soil feedback processes are also important. Thus, relatively rare species native to North America consistently demonstrate negative feedbacks with soil microbes that promote biological diversity, whereas abundant exotic and native species demonstrate positive feedbacks that reduce biological diversity. Here we report that soil microbes from the home range of the invasive exotic plant Centaurea maculosa L. have stronger inhibitory effects on its growth than soil microbes from where the weed has invaded in North America. Centaurea and soil microbes participate in different plant-soil feedback processes at home compared with outside Centaurea's home range. In native European soils, Centaurea cultivates soil biota with increasingly negative effects on the weed's growth, possibly leading to its control. But in soils from North America, Centaurea cultivates soil biota with increasingly positive effects on itself, which may contribute to the success of this exotic species in North America.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Genetic evidence for predominantly hydrochoric gene flow in the invasive riparian plant Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam)

    PubMed Central

    Love, Heather M.; Maggs, Christine A.; Murray, Tomás E.; Provan, Jim

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Riparian systems are prone to invasion by alien plant species. The spread of invasive riparian plants may be facilitated by hydrochory, the transport of seeds by water, but while ecological studies have highlighted the possible role of upstream source populations in the establishment and persistence of stands of invasive riparian plant species, population genetic studies have as yet not fully addressed the potential role of hydrochoric dispersal in such systems. Methods A population genetics approach based on a replicated bifurcate sampling design is used to test hypotheses consistent with patterns of unidirectional, linear gene flow expected under hydrochoric dispersal of the invasive riparian plant Impatiens glandulifera in two contrasting river systems. Key results A significant increase in levels of genetic diversity downstream was observed, consistent with the accumulation of propagules from upstream source populations, and strong evidence was found for organization of this diversity between different tributaries, reflecting the dendritic organization of the river systems studied. Conclusions These findings indicate that hydrochory, rather than anthropogenic dispersal, is primarily responsible for the spread of I. glandulifera in these river systems, and this is relevant to potential approaches to the control of invasive riparian plant species. PMID:24169594

  10. Invasion dynamics of two alien Carpobrotus (Aizoaceae) taxa on a Mediterranean island: II. Reproductive strategies.

    PubMed

    Suehs, C M; Affre, L; Médail, F

    2004-06-01

    This study compares sexually and asexually produced fruit set, seed production, biomass, germination, and seedling size in Carpobrotus acinaciformis and C. edulis following controlled pollination experiments in order to evaluate the potential role of reproductive traits with respect to the invasive potential of these taxa. C. edulis is slightly agamospermic, completely self-fertile, slightly preferentially self-compatible, experiences no inbreeding depression, and has low hybrid vigour. In contrast, C. acinaciformis does not have reliable agamospermy, is only slightly self-fertile and self-compatible, experiences a slight inbreeding depression, and has a strong hybrid vigour. Both taxa have relatively low, although significantly different germination frequencies, and insignificantly different seedling sizes. Owing to the high performance in hybridisation as compared to all other controlled pollinations in C. acinaciformis, as well as a large amount of previously demonstrated introgression, we refer to the population studied on the island of Bagaud (France) as C. affine acinaciformis. We conclude that both C. edulis and C. affine acinaciformis should be considered as harmful invasive plants in the Mediterranean Basin, the former because of the flexibility of its mating system and high seed production, and the latter because of its strong clonality, high hybrid vigour, and potential for continued introgression from C. edulis genes. These differences require different control strategies, while the avoidance of sympatry is a distinct priority.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Global warming increases the interspecific competitiveness of the invasive plant alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hao; Ismail, Mohannad; Ding, Jianqing

    2017-01-01

    Global warming could accelerate the spread of invasive species to higher latitudes and intensify their effects on native species. Here, we report results of two years of field surveys along a latitudinal gradient (21°N to 31°N) in southern China, to determine the species structure of the invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides community. We also performed a replacement series experiment (mono and mixed) to evaluate the effects of elevated temperature on the competitiveness of A. philoxeroides with the native co-occurring species Digitaria sanguinalis. In the field survey, we found that the dominance of A. philoxeroides increased with increasing of latitude gradient while cover of D. sanguinalis decreased. In monospecific plantings, artificial warming reduced the length of D. sanguinalis roots. In mixed plantings, warming reduced both A. philoxeroides abundance and D. sanguinalis stem length when A. philoxeroides was more prevalent in the planting. Warming also significantly reduced D. sanguinalis biomass, but increased that of A. philoxeroides. In addition, elevated temperatures significantly reduced the relative yield (RY) of D. sanguinalis, particularly when A. philoxeroides was planted in higher proportion in the plot. These results suggest that the invasiveness of A. philoxeroides increased with increasing latitude, and that warming may increase the effectiveness of its interspecific competition with D. sanguinalis. Hence, under global warming conditions, the harm to native species from A. philoxeroides would increase at higher latitudes. Our findings are critical for predicting the invasiveness of alien species under climate change.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Taxonomic similarity, more than contact opportunity, explains novel plant-pathogen associations between native and alien taxa.

    PubMed

    Bufford, Jennifer L; Hulme, Philip E; Sikes, Benjamin A; Cooper, Jerry A; Johnston, Peter R; Duncan, Richard P

    2016-11-01

    Novel associations between plants and pathogens can have serious impacts on managed and natural ecosystems world-wide. The introduction of alien plants increases the potential for biogeographically novel plant-pathogen associations to arise when pathogens are transmitted from native to alien plant species and vice versa. We quantified biogeographically novel associations recorded in New Zealand over the last 150 yr between plant pathogens (fungi, oomycetes and plasmodiophorids) and vascular plants. We examined the extent to which taxonomic similarity, pathogen traits, contact opportunity and sampling effort could explain the number of novel associates for host and pathogen species. Novel associations were common; approximately one-third of surveyed plants and pathogens were recorded with at least one biogeographically novel associate. Native plants had more alien pathogens than vice versa. Taxonomic similarity between the native and alien flora and the total number of recorded associations (a measure of sampling effort) best explained the number of novel associates among species. The frequency of novel associations and the importance of sampling effort as an explanatory variable emphasize the need for effective monitoring and risk assessment tools to mitigate the potential environmental and economic impact of novel pathogen associations.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23486251

  6. INFLUENCE OF NEIGHBORING VEGETATION HEIGHT ON SEED DISPERSAL: IMPLICATIONS TO INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants are spreading rapidly into previously uninfested rangelands. Controlling invasive plant infestations is very costly and often unsuccessful. Preventing invasions is more cost-effective than controlling invasive plants after they are established. Because prevention guidelines do not su...

  7. Assessing invasive plant infestation in freshwater wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torbick, Nathan M.

    Recent shifts in wetland ecosystem management goals have directed efforts toward measuring ecological integrity, rather than only using physical and chemical measures of ecosystems as health indicators. Invasive species pose one of the largest threats to wetlands integrity. Resource managers can benefit from improved methods for identifying invasive plant species, assessing infestation, and monitoring control measures. The utilization of advanced remote sensing tools for species-level mapping has been increasing and techniques need to be explored for identifying species of interest and characterizing infestation. The overarching goal of this research was to develop monitoring technologies to map invasive plants and quantify wetland infestation. The first field-level objective was to characterize absorption and reflectance features and assess processing techniques for separating wetland species. The second field-level objective was to evaluate the abilities of a shape filter to identify wetland invasive plant species. The first landscape-level objective was to classify hyperspectral imagery in order to identify invasives of interest. The second landscape-level objective was to quantify infestation within the study area. Field-level hyperspectral data (350-2500nm) were collected for twenty-two wetland plant species in a wetland located in the lower Muskegon River watershed in Michigan, USA. The Jeffries-Matusita distance measure, continuum removal, and a shape-filter were applied to hyperspectral species reflectance data to characterize spectral features. Generally, continuum removal decreased separation distance for the invasive species of interest. Using the shape-filter, Lythrum salicaria, Phragmites australis, and Typha latifolia possessed maximum separation (distinguished from other species) at the near-infrared edge (700nm) and water absorption region (1350nm), the near-infrared down slope (1000 and 1100nm), and the visible/chlorophyll absorption region (500nm

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-08-18

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Campos, Juan Antonio; 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. Regional climate model downscaling may improve the prediction of alien plant species distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuyan; Liang, Xin-Zhong; Gao, Wei; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2014-12-01

    Distributions of invasive species are commonly predicted with species distribution models that build upon the statistical relationships between observed species presence data and climate data. We used field observations, climate station data, and Maximum Entropy species distribution models for 13 invasive plant species in the United States, and then compared the models with inputs from a General Circulation Model (hereafter GCM-based models) and a downscaled Regional Climate Model (hereafter, RCM-based models).We also compared species distributions based on either GCM-based or RCM-based models for the present (1990-1999) to the future (2046-2055). RCM-based species distribution models replicated observed distributions remarkably better than GCM-based models for all invasive species under the current climate. This was shown for the presence locations of the species, and by using four common statistical metrics to compare modeled distributions. For two widespread invasive taxa ( Bromus tectorum or cheatgrass, and Tamarix spp. or tamarisk), GCM-based models failed miserably to reproduce observed species distributions. In contrast, RCM-based species distribution models closely matched observations. Future species distributions may be significantly affected by using GCM-based inputs. Because invasive plants species often show high resilience and low rates of local extinction, RCM-based species distribution models may perform better than GCM-based species distribution models for planning containment programs for invasive species.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Aquatic plant community invasibility and scale-dependent patterns in native and invasive species richness.

    PubMed

    Capers, Robert S; Selsky, Roslyn; Bugbee, Gregory J; White, Jason C

    2007-12-01

    Invasive species richness often is negatively correlated with native species richness at the small spatial scale of sampling plots, but positively correlated in larger areas. The pattern at small scales has been interpreted as evidence that native plants can competitively exclude invasive species. Large-scale patterns have been understood to result from environmental heterogeneity, among other causes. We investigated species richness patterns among submerged and floating-leaved aquatic plants (87 native species and eight invasives) in 103 temperate lakes in Connecticut (northeastern USA) and found neither a consistently negative relationship at small (3-m2) scales, nor a positive relationship at large scales. Native species richness at sampling locations was uncorrelated with invasive species richness in 37 of the 60 lakes where invasive plants occurred; richness was negatively correlated in 16 lakes and positively correlated in seven. No correlation between native and invasive species richness was found at larger spatial scales (whole lakes and counties). Increases in richness with area were uncorrelated with abiotic heterogeneity. Logistic regression showed that the probability of occurrence of five invasive species increased in sampling locations (3 m2, n = 2980 samples) where native plants occurred, indicating that native plant species richness provided no resistance against invasion. However, the probability of three invasive species' occurrence declined as native plant density increased, indicating that density, if not species richness, provided some resistance with these species. Density had no effect on occurrence of three other invasive species. Based on these results, native species may resist invasion at small spatial scales only in communities where density is high (i.e., in communities where competition among individuals contributes to community structure). Most hydrophyte communities, however, appear to be maintained in a nonequilibrial condition by

  8. The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli in two species of invasive alien mammals in Japan.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Ichiro; Obi, Takeshi; Sakemi, Yoko; Nakayama, Ayano; Miyazaki, Kei; Ogura, Go; Tamaki, Masanobu; Oka, Tatsuzo; Takase, Kozo; Miyamoto, Atsushi; Kawamoto, Yasuhiro

    2011-08-01

    The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in 128 Escherichia coli isolates was investigated in two species of invasive alien mammals (IAMs): the small Asian mongoose (SAM) and Japanese weasel (JW). The SAM is found on the main island of Okinawa, Japan, where a large number of livestock is available, and the JW is present on a small island, where is isolated from the main island, and have a small number of livestock. We focused on the two IAMs, inhabiting under the different environments, and compared their prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli. In the comparison of the frequencies of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli isolates between the SAM and JW, JW showed significantly higher prevalence of resistance against three drugs, ampicillin, chlortetracycline and nalidixic acid, compared with SAM's test results (P<0.05). The bla(TEM) gene and the aph1 gene were detected in 35 subjects (91%) of ampicillin-resistant isolates and 6 subjects (100%) of kanamycin-resistant isolates, respectively. The tet (A) gene was detected in 62 subjects (46%) of CTC-resistant isolates, and the tet (B) gene was detected in 25 subjects (8%) of those in IAM. The present results suggest that some IAMs were the carrier of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and their genes, and the frequencies of these resistances were different between two IAM species.

  9. A review of invasive alien species impacts on eucalypt stands and citrus orchards ecosystem services: towards an integrated management approach.

    PubMed

    Branco, Sofia; Videira, Nuno; Branco, Manuela; Paiva, Maria Rosa

    2015-02-01

    Multidisciplinary knowledge on the impact caused by invasive alien species (IAS) on ecosystems is crucial for guiding policy makers in the adoption of sustainable management measures. This research was focused on insect IAS impacts on two managed ecosystems: eucalypt plantations and citrus orchards. It begins with an identification of the wide range of ecosystem services (ES) and disservices provided by each of these managed ecosystems, according to the methodology proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of studies that promoted the identification and valuation of direct and indirect impacts IAS impacts on these ecosystems was performed. From the synthesis of previous findings, an integrative management framework is advanced. This links the identification of ES, drivers of change and development of IAS management strategies by means of assessment processes that account for multiple dimensions of ES values. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges underpinning assessment and valuation approaches that inform the design of inclusive strategies and interventions to tackle IAS impacts.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Plant community associations of the invasive thistles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. Once established, invasive species can significantly change the composition of the communities that they inv...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Evidence For Rapid Spatiotemporal Changes in Genetic Structure of an Alien Whitefly During Initial Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Dong; Guo, Dong; Tao, Yunli; Jiang, Defeng; Li, Jie; Zhang, Youjun

    2014-01-01

    The sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci Q species is a recent invader and important pest of agricultural crops in China. This research tested the hypothesis that the Q populations that establish in agricultural fields in northern China each year are derived from multiple secondary introductions and/or local populations that overwinter in greenhouses (the pest cannot survive winters in the field in northern China). Here, we report the evidence that the Q populations in agricultural fields mainly derive from multiple secondary introductions. In addition, the common use of greenhouses during the winter in certain locations in northern China helps increase the genetic diversity and the genetic structure of the pest. The genetic structure information generated from this long-term and large-scale field analysis increases our understanding of B. tabaci Q as an invasive pest and has important implications for B. tabaci Q management. PMID:24637851

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Site-specific conditions influence plant naturalization: The case of alien Proteaceae in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moodley, Desika; Geerts, Sjirk; Rebelo, Tony; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.

    2014-08-01

    The outcome of plant introductions is often considered in binary terms (invasive or non-invasive). However, most species experience a time lag before naturalization occurs, and many species become naturalized at some sites but not at others. It is therefore important to understand the site-specific mechanisms underlying naturalization. Proteaceae is an interesting case as some species are widespread invaders, while others, despite a long history of cultivation, show no signs of naturalization. At least 26 non-native Proteaceae species have been introduced to, and are cultivated in, South Africa. We mapped populations and examined differences between naturalized and non-naturalized populations (e.g. propagule pressure, land use and bioclimatic suitability). Of the 15 species surveyed, 6 were naturalized at one or more sites. Of these, Hakea salicifolia is most widely cultivated, but is only naturalizing in some areas (32 naturalized populations out of 62 populations that were surveyed). We found propagule pressure to be the most important determinant of naturalization for H. salicifolia. However, in suboptimal climatic conditions, naturalization only occurred if micro-site conditions were suitable, i.e. there was some disturbance and water available. For the other naturalized species there were few sites to compare, but we came to similar conclusions - Banksia integrifolia only naturalized at the site where it was planted the longest; Banksia serrata only naturalized at a site influenced by fire regimes; while Banksia formosa naturalized at sites with high propagule pressure, absence of fires and where there is no active clearing of the plants. Naturalization of Proteaceae in South Africa appears to be strongly mediated by site-specific anthropogenic activities (e.g. many planted individuals and water availability). More broadly, we argue that invasion biology needs to focus more closely on the mechanisms by which species and pathways interact to determine the

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial Pattern and Determinants of the First Detection Locations of Invasive Alien Species in Mainland China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dingcheng; Zhang, Runzhi; Kim, Ke Chung; Suarez, Andrew V.

    2012-01-01

    Background The unintentional transport of species as a result of human activities has reached unprecedented rates. Once established, introduced species can be nearly impossible to eradicate. It is therefore essential to identify and monitor locations where invaders are most likely to establish new populations. Despite the obvious value of early detection, how does an agency identify areas that are most vulnerable to new invaders? Here we propose a novel approach by using the “first detection location” (FDL) of introduced species in China to quantify characteristics of areas where introduced species are first reported. Methodology/Principal Findings We obtained FDLs for 166 species (primarily agricultural and forestry pests) that were unintentionally introduced into China prior to 2008 from literature searches. The spatial pattern and determinants of FDLs were examined at the provincial level. The spatial pattern of FDLs varied among provinces with more commerce and trade and economically developed provinces in coastal regions having more FDLs than interior provinces. For example, 74.6% of FDLs were distributed in coastal regions despite that they only cover 15.6% of the total area in China. Variables that may be indicators of “introduction pressure” (e.g. the amount of received commerce) had an overwhelming effect on the number of FDLs in each province (R2 = 0.760). Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that “introduction pressure” may be one of the most important factors that determine the locations where newly-introduced species are first detected, and that open and developed provinces in China should be prioritized when developing monitoring programs that focus on locating and managing new introductions. Our study illustrates that FDL approaches can contribute to the study and management of biological invasions not only for China but also for elsewhere. PMID:22363715

  2. Ecologically-based invasive plant management 2011 calendar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) is a step by step process and a number of management recommendations are seasonally dependent. To emphasize the seasonality in managing invasive annual grasses, this calendar was developed with specific EBIPM recommendations for each month. Land...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of native and invasive populations of the range expanding invasive plant Rorippa austriaca.

    PubMed

    Huberty, Martine; Tielbörger, Katja; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Müller, Caroline; Macel, Mirka

    2014-04-01

    Due to global warming, species are expanding their range to higher latitudes. Some range expanding plants have become invasive in their new range. The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis and the Shifting Defense Hypothesis (SDH) predict altered selection on plant defenses in the introduced range of invasive plants due to changes in herbivore pressures and communities. Here, we investigated chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of five native and seven invasive populations of the Eurasian invasive range expanding plant, Rorippa austriaca. Further, we studied feeding preferences of a generalist and a specialist herbivore among the populations. We detected eight glucosinolates in the leaves of R. austriaca. 8-Methylsulfinyloctyl glucosinolate was the most abundant glucosinolate in all plants. There were no overall differences between native and invasive plants in concentrations of glucosinolates. However, concentrations among populations within each range differed significantly. Feeding preference between the populations by a generalist herbivore was negatively correlated with glucosinolate concentrations. Feeding by a specialist did not differ between the populations and was not correlated with glucosinolates. Possibly, local differences in herbivore communities within each range may explain the differences in concentrations of glucosinolates among populations. Little support for the predictions of the EICA hypothesis or the SDH was found for the glucosinolate defenses of the studied native and invasive R. austriaca populations.

  7. 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.

  8. Invasive Plants Rapidly Reshape Soil Properties in a Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sangwan, Naseer; Ramsey, Philip W.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plant invasions often reduce native plant diversity and increase net primary productivity. Invaded soils appear to differ from surrounding soils in ways that impede restoration of diverse native plant communities. We hypothesize that invader-mediated shifts in edaphic properties reproducibly alter soil microbial community structure and function. Here, we take a holistic approach, characterizing plant, prokaryotic, and fungal communities and soil physicochemical properties in field sites, invasion gradients, and experimental plots for three invasive plant species that cooccur in the Rocky Mountain West. Each invader had a unique impact on soil physicochemical properties. We found that invasions drove shifts in the abundances of specific microbial taxa, while overall belowground community structure and functional potential were fairly constant. Forb invaders were generally enriched in copiotrophic bacteria with higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and showed greater microbial carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolic potential. Older invasions had stronger effects on abiotic soil properties, indicative of multiyear successions. Overall, we show that plant invasions are idiosyncratic in their impact on soils and are directly responsible for driving reproducible shifts in the soil environment over multiyear time scales. IMPORTANCE In this study, we show how invasive plant species drive rapid shifts in the soil environment from surrounding native communities. Each of the three plant invaders had different but consistent effects on soils. Thus, there does not appear to be a one-size-fits-all strategy for how plant invaders alter grassland soil environments. This work represents a crucial step toward understanding how invaders might be able to prevent or impair native reestablishment by changing soil biotic and abiotic properties. PMID:28289729

  9. 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.

  10. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixedgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Blumenthlal, D; Chimner, R A; Welker, J M; Morgan, J A

    2008-07-01

    Although global change is known to influence plant invasion, little is known about interactions between altered precipitation and invasion. In the North American mixedgrass prairie, invasive species are often abundant in wet and nitrogen (N)-rich areas, suggesting that predicted changes in precipitation and N deposition could exacerbate invasion. Here, this possibility was tested by seeding six invasive species into experimental plots of mixedgrass prairie treated with a factorial combination of increased snow, summer irrigation, and N addition. Without added snow, seeded invasive species were rarely observed. Snow addition increased average above-ground biomass of Centaurea diffusa from 0.026 to 66 g m(-2), of Gypsophila paniculata from 0.1 to 7.3 g m(-2), and of Linaria dalmatica from 5 to 101 g m(-2). Given added snow, summer irrigation increased the density of G. paniculata, and N addition increased the density and biomass of L. dalmatica. Plant density responses mirrored those of plant biomass, indicating that increases in biomass resulted, in part, from increases in recruitment. In contrast to seeded invasive species, resident species did not respond to snow addition. These results suggest that increases in snowfall or variability of snowfall may exacerbate forb invasion in the mixedgrass prairie.

  11. 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.

  12. Contrasting impacts of climate-driven flowering phenology on changes in alien and native plant species distributions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2011-01-01

    Plant phenology is particularly sensitive to climate and a key indicator of environmental change. Globally, first flowering dates (FFDs) have advanced by several days per decade in response to recent climate warming, but, while earlier flowering should allow plant distributions to increase, a link between FFD and range changes has not been observed. • Here I show for 347 species that the extent to which FFD has responded to climate warming is linked to the degree to which their relative distributions have changed over 30 yr across the British Isles. • Native plant species whose phenology did not track climate change declined in distribution, whereas species that became more widespread all exhibited earlier flowering. In contrast, alien neophytes showed both a stronger phenological response to warming and a more marked increase in distribution, but no link between the two. • These trends were consistent both for relative changes in the national distribution and for local abundance. At the national scale, the more recently an alien species became established in Britain, the more likely it was to increase in distribution irrespective of FFD, suggesting that recent changes in alien species distributions are decoupled from climate and driven by other factors.

  13. 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.

  14. Quantifying levels of biological invasion: towards the objective classification of invaded and invasible ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Catford, Jane A; Vesk, Peter A; Richardson, David M; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Biological invasions are a global phenomenon that threatens biodiversity, and few, if any, ecosystems are free from alien species. The outcome of human-mediated introductions is affected by the invasiveness of species and invasibility of ecosystems, but research has primarily focused on defining, characterizing and identifying invasive species; ecosystem invasibility has received much less attention. A prerequisite for characterizing invasibility is the ability to compare levels of invasion across ecosystems. In this paper, we aim to identify the best way to quantify the level of invasion by nonnative animals and plants by reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of different metrics. We explore how interpretation and choice of these measures can depend on the objective of a study or management intervention. Based on our review, we recommend two invasion indices and illustrate their use by applying them to two case studies. Relative alien species richness and relative alien species abundance indicate the contribution that alien species make to a community. They are easy to measure, can be applied to various taxa, are independent of scale and are comparable across regions and ecosystems, and historical data are often available. The relationship between relative alien richness and abundance can indicate the presence of dominant alien species and the trajectory of invasion over time, and can highlight ecosystems and sites that are heavily invaded or especially susceptible to invasion. Splitting species into functional groups and examining invasion patterns of transformer species may be particularly instructive for gauging effects of alien invasion on ecosystem structure and function. Establishing standard, transparent ways to define and quantify invasion level will facilitate meaningful comparisons among studies, ecosystem types and regions. It is essential for progress in ecology and will help guide ecosystem restoration and management.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:25567917

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Synergy between pathogen release and resource availability in plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Blumenthal, Dana; Mitchell, Charles E.; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2009-01-01

    Why do some exotic plant species become invasive? Two common hypotheses, increased resource availability and enemy release, may more effectively explain invasion if they favor the same species, and therefore act in concert. This would be expected if plant species adapted to high levels of available resources in their native range are particularly susceptible to enemies, and therefore benefit most from a paucity of enemies in their new range. We tested this possibility by examining how resource adaptations influence pathogen richness and release among 243 European plant species naturalized in the United States. Plant species adapted to higher resource availability hosted more pathogen species in their native range. Plants from mesic environments hosted more fungi than plants from xeric environments, and plants from nitrogen-rich environments hosted more viruses than plants from nitrogen-poor environments. Furthermore, plants classified as competitors hosted more than 4 times as many fungi and viruses as did stress tolerators. Patterns of enemy release mirrored those of pathogen richness: competitors and species from mesic and nitrogen-rich environments were released from many pathogen species, while stress tolerators and species from xeric and nitrogen-poor environments were released from relatively few pathogen species. These results suggest that enemy release contributes most to invasion by fast-growing species adapted to resource-rich environments. Consequently, enemy release and increases in resource availability may act synergistically to favor exotic over native species. PMID:19416888

  5. Mutualistic fungus promotes plant invasion into diverse communities.

    PubMed

    Rudgers, Jennifer A; Mattingly, W Brett; Koslow, Jennifer M

    2005-07-01

    Reducing the biological diversity of a community may decrease its resistance to invasion by exotic species. Manipulative experiments typically support this hypothesis but have focused mainly on one trophic level (i.e., primary producers). To date, we know little about how positive interactions among species may influence the relationship between diversity and invasibility, which suggests a need for research that addresses the question: under what conditions does diversity affect resistance to invasion? We used experimental manipulations of both plant diversity and the presence of an endophytic fungus to test whether a fungal mutualist of an invasive grass species (Lolium arundinaceum) switches the relationship between plant community diversity and resistance to invasion. Association with the fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) increased the ability of L. arundinaceum to invade communities with greater species diversity. In the absence of the endophyte, the initial diversity of the community significantly reduced the establishment of L. arundinaceum. However, establishment was independent of initial diversity in the presence of the endophyte. Fungal symbionts, like other key species, are often overlooked in studies of plant diversity, yet their presence may explain variation among studies in the effect of diversity on resistance to invasion.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Disturbance is the key to plant invasions in cold environments.

    PubMed

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Pauchard, Aníbal; Lenoir, Jonathan; Nuñez, Martín A; Geron, Charly; Ven, Arne; Bravo-Monasterio, Pablo; Teneb, Ernesto; Nijs, Ivan; Milbau, Ann

    2016-12-06

    Until now, nonnative plant species were rarely found at high elevations and latitudes. However, partly because of climate warming, biological invasions are now on the rise in these extremely cold environments. These plant invasions make it timely to undertake a thorough experimental assessment of what has previously been holding them back. This knowledge is key to developing efficient management of the increasing risks of cold-climate invasions. Here, we integrate human interventions (i.e., disturbance, nutrient addition, and propagule input) and climatic factors (i.e., temperature) into one seed-addition experiment across two continents: the subantarctic Andes and subarctic Scandinavian mountains (Scandes), to disentangle their roles in limiting or favoring plant invasions. Disturbance was found as the main determinant of plant invader success (i.e., establishment, growth, and flowering) along the entire cold-climate gradient, explaining 40-60% of the total variance in our models, with no indication of any facilitative effect from the native vegetation. Higher nutrient levels additionally stimulated biomass production and flowering. Establishment and flowering displayed a hump-shaped response with increasing elevation, suggesting that competition is the main limit on invader success at low elevations, as opposed to low-growing-season temperatures at high elevations. Our experiment showed, however, that nonnative plants can establish, grow, and flower well above their current elevational limits in high-latitude mountains. We thus argue that cold-climate ecosystems are likely to see rapid increases in plant invasions in the near future as a result of a synergistic interaction between increasing human-mediated disturbances and climate warming.

  13. Historic land use influences contemporary establishment of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L

    2013-08-01

    The legacy of agricultural land use can have widespread and persistent effects on contemporary landscapes. Although agriculture can lead to persistent changes in soil characteristics and plant communities, it remains unclear whether historic agricultural land use can alter the likelihood of contemporary biological invasions. To understand how agricultural land-use history might interact with well-known drivers of invasion, we conducted factorial manipulations of soil disturbance and resource additions within non-agricultural remnant sites and post-agricultural sites invaded by two non-native Lespedeza species. Our results reveal that variation in invader success can depend on the interplay of historic land use and contemporary processes: for both Lespedeza species, establishment was greater in remnant sites, but soil disturbance enhanced establishment irrespective of land-use history, demonstrating that contemporary processes can help to overcome legacy constraints on invader success. In contrast, additions of resources known to facilitate seedling recruitment (N and water) reduced invader establishment in post-agricultural but not in remnant sites, providing evidence that interactions between historic and contemporary processes can also limit invader success. Our findings thus illustrate that a consideration of historic land use may help to clarify the often contingent responses of invasive plants to known determinants of invasibility. Moreover, in finding significantly greater soil compaction at post-agricultural sites, our study provides a putative mechanism for historic land-use effects on contemporary invasive plant establishment. Our work suggests that an understanding of invasion dynamics requires knowledge of anthropogenic events that often occur decades before the introduction of invasive propagules.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Assessing stakeholder perspectives on invasive plants to inform risk analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation and land management decisions are often based primarily on natural science, but could be more successful if human influences were effectively integrated into decision-making. This is especially true for efforts to manage invasive plants, whose arrival is usually the product of delibera...

  17. Ecologically-Based Invasive Plant Management Field School Workbook 2009

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A curriculum developed for a field-based course of study for ecologically-based invasive plant management. This curriculum is presented in a modular format with specific exercises to emphasize the important aspects to applying this decision tool to land management....

  18. 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...

  19. Plant invasion is associated with higher plant-soil nutrient concentrations in nutrient-poor environments.

    PubMed

    Sardans, Jordi; Bartrons, Mireia; Margalef, Olga; Gargallo-Garriga, Albert; Janssens, Ivan A; Ciais, Phillipe; Obersteiner, Michael; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D; Chen, Han Y H; Peñuelas, Josep

    2017-03-01

    Plant invasion is an emerging driver of global change worldwide. We aimed to disentangle its impacts on plant-soil nutrient concentrations. We conducted a meta-analysis of 215 peer-reviewed articles and 1233 observations. Invasive plant species had globally higher N and P concentrations in photosynthetic tissues but not in foliar litter, in comparison with their native competitors. Invasive plants were also associated with higher soil C and N stocks and N, P, and K availabilities. The differences in N and P concentrations in photosynthetic tissues and in soil total C and N, soil N, P, and K availabilities between invasive and native species decreased when the environment was richer in nutrient resources. The results thus suggested higher nutrient resorption efficiencies in invasive than in native species in nutrient-poor environments. There were differences in soil total N concentrations but not in total P concentrations, indicating that the differences associated to invasive plants were related with biological processes, not with geochemical processes. The results suggest that invasiveness is not only a driver of changes in ecosystem species composition but that it is also associated with significant changes in plant-soil elemental composition and stoichiometry.

  20. Characterizing the landscape dynamics of an invasive plant and risk of invasion using remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Bethany A; Mustard, John F

    2006-06-01

    Improved understanding of the spatial dynamics of invasive plant species may lead to more effective land management and reduced future invasion. Here, we identified the spatial extents of nonnative cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in the north central Great Basin using remotely sensed data from Landsat MSS, TM, and ETM+. We compared cheatgrass extents in 1973 and 2001 to six spatially explicit landscape variables: elevation, aspect, hydrographic channels, cultivation, roads, and power lines. In 2001, Cheatgrass was 10% more likely to be found in elevation ranges from 1400 to 1700 m (although the data suggest a preferential invasion into lower elevations by 2001), 6% more likely on west and northwest facing slopes, and 3% more likely within hydrographic channels. Over this time period, cheatgrass expansion was also closely linked to proximity to land use. In 2001, cheatgrass was 20% more likely to be found within 3 km of cultivation, 13% more likely to be found within 700 m of a road, and 15% more likely to be found within 1 km of a power line. Finally, in 2001 cheatgrass was 26% more likely to be present within 150 m of areas occupied by cheatgrass in 1973. Using these relationships, we created a risk map of future cheatgrass invasion that may aid land management. These results highlight the importance of including land use variables and the extents of current plant invasion in predictions of future risk.

  1. 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.

  2. DNA-based identification of invasive alien species in relation to Canadian federal policy and law, and the basis of rapid-response management.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Vernon G; Hanner, Robert H; Borisenko, Alex V

    2016-11-01

    Managing invasive alien species in Canada requires reliable taxonomic identification as the basis of rapid-response management. This can be challenging, especially when organisms are small and lack morphological diagnostic features. DNA-based techniques, such as DNA barcoding, offer a reliable, rapid, and inexpensive toolkit for taxonomic identification of individual or bulk samples, forensic remains, and even environmental DNA. Well suited for this requirement, they could be more broadly deployed and incorporated into the operating policy and practices of Canadian federal departments and should be authorized under these agencies' articles of law. These include Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Transport Canada, Environment Canada, Parks Canada, and Health Canada. These efforts should be harmonized with the appropriate provisions of provincial jurisdictions, for example, the Ontario Invasive Species Act. This approach necessitates that a network of accredited, certified laboratories exists, and that updated DNA reference libraries are readily accessible. Harmonizing this approach is vital among Canadian federal agencies, and between the federal and provincial levels of government. Canadian policy and law must also be harmonized with that of the USA when detecting, and responding to, invasive species in contiguous lands and waters. Creating capacity in legislation for use of DNA-based identifications brings the authority to fund, train, deploy, and certify staff, and to refine further developments in this molecular technology.

  3. Plant polyphenolics as anti-invasive cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Bracke, M E; Vanhoecke, B W A; Derycke, L; Bolca, S; Possemiers, S; Heyerick, A; Stevens, C V; De Keukeleire, D; Depypere, H T; Verstraete, W; Williams, C A; McKenna, S T; Tomar, S; Sharma, D; Prasad, A K; DePass, A L; Parmar, V S

    2008-02-01

    Because invasion is, either directly or via metastasis formation, the main cause of death in cancer patients, development of efficient anti-invasive agents is an important research challenge. We have established a screening program for potentially anti-invasive compounds. The assay is based on organotypic confronting cultures between human invasive cancer cells and a fragment of normal tissue in three dimensions. Anti-invasive agents appeared to be heterogeneous with regard to their chemical nature, but plant alkaloids, polyphenolics and some of their synthetic congeners were well represented. Even within this group, active compounds were quite diverse: (+)-catechin, tangeretin, xanthohumol and other prenylated chalcones, 3,7-dimethoxyflavone, a pyrazole derivative, an isoxazolylcoumarin and a prenylated desoxybenzoin. The data gathered in this system are now applied in two projects. Firstly, structure-activity relationships are explored with computer models using an artificial neural network approach, based on quantitative structural descriptors. The aim of this study is the prediction and design of optimally efficient anti-invasive compounds. Secondly, the metabolism of orally ingested plant polyphenolics by colonic bacteria is studied in a simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (SHIME) and in human intervention trials. This method should provide information on the final bioavailability of the active compounds in the human body, with regard to microbial metabolism, and the feasibility of designing pre- or probiotics that increase the generation of active principles for absorption in the gastro-intestinal tract. The final and global aim of all these studies is to predict, synthesize and apply in vivo molecules with an optimal anti-invasive, and hence an anti-metastatic activity against cancer.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Novel Weapons Testing: Are Invasive Plants More Chemically Defended than Native Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Eric M.; Parker, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Exotic species have been hypothesized to successfully invade new habitats by virtue of possessing novel biochemistry that repels native enemies. Despite the pivotal long-term consequences of invasion for native food-webs, to date there are no experimental studies examining directly whether exotic plants are any more or less biochemically deterrent than native plants to native herbivores. Methodology/Principal Findings In a direct test of this hypothesis using herbivore feeding assays with chemical extracts from 19 invasive plants and 21 co-occurring native plants, we show that invasive plant biochemistry is no more deterrent (on average) to a native generalist herbivore than extracts from native plants. There was no relationship between extract deterrence and length of time since introduction, suggesting that time has not mitigated putative biochemical novelty. Moreover, the least deterrent plant extracts were from the most abundant species in the field, a pattern that held for both native and exotic plants. Analysis of chemical deterrence in context with morphological defenses and growth-related traits showed that native and exotic plants had similar trade-offs among traits. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results suggest that particular invasive species may possess deterrent secondary chemistry, but it does not appear to be a general pattern resulting from evolutionary mismatches between exotic plants and native herbivores. Thus, fundamentally similar processes may promote the ecological success of both native and exotic species. PMID:20454658

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Invasive vascular plant species of limnocrenic karst springs in Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spałek, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Natural water reservoirs are very valuable floristic sites in Poland. Among them, the most important for preservation of biodiversity of flora are limnocrenic karst springs. The long-term process of human pressure on habitats of this type caused disturbance of their biological balance. Changes in the water regime, industrial development and chemisation of agriculture, especially in the period of last two hundred years, led to systematic disappearance of localities of many plant species connected with rare habitats and also to appear numerous invasive plant species. They are: Acorus calamus, Echinocystis lobata, Elodea canadensis, Erechtites hieraciifolia, Impatiens glandulifera, Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea and S. graminifolia. Fielworks were conducted in 2010-2014.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-07

    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.

  15. Higher allocation to low cost chemical defenses in invasive species of Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Peñuelas, Josep; Sardans, J; Llusia, J; Owen, S M; Silva, J; Niinemets, U

    2010-11-01

    The capacity to produce carbon-based secondary compounds (CBSC), such as phenolics (including tannins) and terpenes as defensive compounds against herbivores or against neighboring competing plants can be involved in the competition between alien and native plant species. Since the Hawaiian Islands are especially vulnerable to invasions by alien species, we compared total phenolic (TP), total tannin (Tta), and total terpene (TT) leaf contents of alien and native plants on Oahu Island (Hawaii). We analyzed 35 native and 38 alien woody plant species randomly chosen among representative current Hawaiian flora. None of these CBSC exhibited phylogenetic fingerprinting. Alien species had similar leaf TP and leaf Tta contents, and 135% higher leaf TT contents compared with native species. Alien plants had 80% higher leaf TT:N leaf content ratio than native plants. The results suggest that apart from greater growth rate and greater nutrient use, alien success in Oahu also may be linked to greater contents of low cost chemical defenses, such as terpenes, as expected in faster-growing species in resource rich regions. The higher TT contents in aliens may counterbalance their lower investment in leaf structural defenses and their higher leaf nutritional quality. The higher TT provides higher effectiveness in deterring the generalist herbivores of the introduced range, where specialist herbivores are absent. In addition, higher TT contents may favor aliens conferring higher protection against abiotic and biotic stressors. The higher terpene accumulation was independent of the alien species origin, which indicates that being alien either selects for higher terpene contents post-invasion, or that species with high terpene contents are pre-adapted to invasiveness. Although less likely, an originally lower terpene accumulation in Hawaiian than in continental plants that avoids the increased attraction of specialist enemies associated to terpenes may not be discarded.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the Low Rio Grande

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    ER D C /E L TR -0 5- 6 Aquatic Plant Control Research Program A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the Lower Rio Grande...is unlimited. Aquatic Plant Control Research Program ERDC/EL TR-05-6 April 2005 A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the...SUBTITLE A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the Lower Rio Grande 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e

  1. 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.

  2. Four-trophic level food webs reveal the cascading impacts of an invasive plant targeted for biocontrol.

    PubMed

    López-Núñez, Francisco A; Heleno, Ruben H; Ribeiro, Sérgio; Marchante, Hélia; Marchante, Elizabete

    2017-03-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity and as such understanding their impacts is a research priority. Ecological networks provide a valuable tool to explore such impacts at the community level, and can be particularly insightful for planning and monitoring biocontrol programmes, including the potential for their seldom evaluated indirect non-target effects. Acacia longifolia is among the worst invasive species in Portugal, and has been recently targeted for biocontrol by a highly specific gall-wasp. Here we use an ambitious replicated network approach to: (1) identify the mechanisms by which direct and indirect impacts of A. longifolia can cascade from plants to higher trophic levels, including gallers, their parasitoids and inquilines; (2) reveal the structure of the interaction networks between plants, gallers, parasitoids and inquilines before the biocontrol; and (3) explore the potential for indirect interactions among gallers, including those established with the biocontrol agent, via apparent competition. Over a 15-month period, we collected 31,737 galls from native plants and identified all emerging insects, quantifying the interactions between 219 plant-, 49 galler-, 65 parasitoid- and 87 inquiline-species-one of the largest ecological networks to date. No galls were found on any of the 16 alien plant species. Invasion by A. longifolia caused an alarming simplification of plant communities, with cascading effects to higher trophic levels, namely: a decline of overall gall biomass, and on the richness, abundance and biomass of galler insects, their parasitoids, and inquilines. Correspondingly, we detected a significant decline in the richness of interactions between plants and galls. The invasion tended to increase overall interaction evenness by promoting the local extinction of the native plants that sustained more gall species. However, highly idiosyncratic responses hindered the detection of further consistent changes in network

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Quantifying "apparent" impact and distinguishing impact from invasiveness in multispecies plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Ortega, Yvette K; Eren, Özkan; Hierro, José L

    2016-01-01

    The quantification of invader impacts remains a major hurdle to understanding and managing invasions. Here, we demonstrate a method for quantifying the community-level impact of multiple plant invaders by applying Parker et al.'s (1999) equation (impact = range x local abundance x per capita effect or per unit effect) using data from 620 survey plots from 31 grasslands across west-central Montana, USA. In testing for interactive effects of multiple invaders on native plant abundance (percent cover), we found no evidence for invasional meltdown or synergistic interactions for the 25 exotics tested. While much concern exists regarding impact thresholds, we also found little evidence for nonlinear relationships between invader abundance and impacts. These results suggest that management actions that reduce invader abundance should reduce invader impacts monotonically in this system. Eleven of 25 invaders had significant per unit impacts (negative local-scale relationships between invader and native cover). In decomposing the components of impact, we found that local invader abundance had a significant influence on the likelihood of impact, but range (number of plots occupied) did not. This analysis helped to differentiate measures of invasiveness (local abundance and range) from impact to distinguish high-impact invaders from invaders that exhibit negligible impacts, even when widespread. Distinguishing between high- and low-impact invaders should help refine trait-based prediction of problem species. Despite the unique information derived from evaluation of per unit effects of invaders, invasiveness 'scores based on range and local abundance produced similar rankings to impact scores that incorporated estimates of per unit effects. Hence, information on range and local abundance alone was sufficient to identify problematic plant invaders at the regional scale. In comparing empirical data on invader impacts to the state noxious weed list, we found that the noxious

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Why Are Some Plant Genera More Invasive Than Others?

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, John Paul; Drake, John M.

    2011-01-01

    Determining how biological traits are related to the ability of groups of organisms to become economically damaging when established outside of their native ranges is a major goal of population biology, and important in the management of invasive species. Little is known about why some taxonomic groups are more likely to become pests than others among plants. We investigated traits that discriminate vascular plant genera, a level of taxonomic generality at which risk assessment and screening could be more effectively performed, according to the proportion of naturalized species which are pests. We focused on the United States and Canada, and, because our purpose is ultimately regulatory, considered species classified as weeds or noxious. Using contingency tables, we identified 11 genera of vascular plants that are disproportionately represented by invasive species. Results from boosted regression tree analyses show that these categories reflect biological differences. In summary, approximately 25% of variation in genus proportions of weeds or noxious species was explained by biological covariates. Key explanatory traits included genus means for wetland habitat affinity, chromosome number, and seed mass. PMID:21494563

  13. The invasive stoloniferous clonal plant Alternanthera philoxeroides outperforms its co-occurring non-invasive functional counterparts in heterogeneous soil environments – invasion implications

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tong; Hu, Jiangtao; Miao, Linlin; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is considered to play a defining role in promoting invasion success, and it favours clonal plants. Although clonality has been demonstrated to be correlated with the invasion success of several species of clonal invasive plants in heterogeneous environments, little is known about how the spatial scale of heterogeneity affects their performance. In addition, the factors that distinguish invasive from non-invasive clonal species and that enhance the invasive potential of clonal exotic invaders in heterogeneous environments remain unclear. In this study, we compared several traits of a noxious clonal invasive species, Alternanthera philoxeroides, with its co-occurring non-invasive functional counterparts, the native congener Alternanthera sessilis, the exotic Myriophyllum aquaticum and the native Jussiaea repens, in three manipulative substrates with different soil distribution patterns. We found that the invasive performance of A. philoxeroides was not enhanced by heterogeneity and that it was generally scale independent. However, A. philoxeroides showed some advantages over the three non-invasives with respect to trait values and phenotypic variation. These advantages may enhance the competitive capacity of A. philoxeroides and thus promote its invasion success in heterogeneous environments. PMID:27897247

  14. The horticultural trade and ornamental plant invasions in Britain.

    PubMed

    Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Touza, Julia; Perrings, Charles; Williamson, Mark

    2007-02-01

    Ornamental horticulture has been recognized as the main pathway for plant invasions worldwide. We examined the link between propagule pressure created by the presence of ornamental plants in the market and their ability to escape from cultivation and establish in the wild. A random sample of 534 non-native ornamental species on sale in nineteenth century Britain showed that 27% of these species were recorded growing outside cultivation and 30% of those were established. Species that had escaped from cultivation were more frequently on sale both in the nineteenth century and today than nonescaping species. We used logit regression models to identify biological and socioeconomic variables that affect species' abilities to escape cultivation and become established. Frequencies in the market in the nineteenth century and today were good explanatory variables that distinguished escaping from nonescaping species, whereas for the transition from casual to established status these two socioeconomic variables were either absent or only of weak significance. Biological characteristics that increased the probability that a species would escape from cultivation were species height, a European native range, and being an annual. Climbing plants and species intolerant of low temperatures were less likely to escape. In contrast, the establishment probability was greater if the species belonged to a genus native to Britain and increased as the number of continents in a plant's native range increased. Annual plants had a reduced probability of establishment. Market presence, prices, and the date of introduction are among the socioeconomic factors that have had important effects on the observed course of invasions.

  15. Invasion dynamics of two alien Carpobrotus (Aizoaceae) taxa on a Mediterranean island: I. Genetic diversity and introgression.

    PubMed

    Suehs, C M; Affre, L; Médail, F

    2004-01-01

    This study, based on morphological and isozyme analysis, clearly discriminates two invasive Carpobrotus taxa, C. edulis and C. acinaciformis, in the Hyères archipelago off the southeastern coast of France. However, three different allelic combinations demonstrate the presence of intermediate individuals resulting from an introgression of part of the C. edulis genome into that of C. acinaciformis. Both taxa have higher than average genetic (C. edulis: P(0.95)=62.5%, A=2.25+/-0.70, H(o)=0.329+/-0.324; C. acinaciformis: P(0.95)=75%, A=2.38+/-0.42, H(o)=0.645+/-0.109) and clonal diversities (C. edulis: IP=0.37; C. acinaciformis: IP=0.48). Furthermore, C. acinaciformis has an excess of heterozygotes (F=-0.585+/-0.217), probably due to introgression. The relationship between the probability of clonal identity for two individuals and distance indicates that C. acinaciformis relies more on clonal reproduction than on sexual recruitment (seed recruitment/vegetative propagation=u/v=0.027), in contrast to C. edulis, whose probability of clonal identity did not vary with distance. The overwhelming clonal growth and high genetic diversities of C. acinaciformis and the previously recorded invasion potential for C. edulis raises concern for intensified invasion via hybridisation.

  16. Shifting Global Invasive Potential of European Plants with Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, A. Townsend; Stewart, Aimee; Mohamed, Kamal I.; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2008-01-01

    Global climate change and invasions by nonnative species rank among the top concerns for agents of biological loss in coming decades. Although each of these themes has seen considerable attention in the modeling and forecasting communities, their joint effects remain little explored and poorly understood. We developed ecological niche models for 1804 species from the European flora, which we projected globally to identify areas of potential distribution, both at present and across 4 scenarios of future (2055) climates. As expected from previous studies, projections based on the CGCM1 climate model were more extreme than those based on the HadCM3 model, and projections based on the a2 emissions scenario were more extreme than those based on the b2 emissions scenario. However, less expected were the highly nonlinear and contrasting projected changes in distributional areas among continents: increases in distributional potential in Europe often corresponded with decreases on other continents, and species seeing expanding potential on one continent often saw contracting potential on others. In conclusion, global climate change will have complex effects on invasive potential of plant species. The shifts and changes identified in this study suggest strongly that biological communities will see dramatic reorganizations in coming decades owing to shifting invasive potential by nonnative species. PMID:18560572

  17. 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.

  18. Shifting global invasive potential of European plants with climate change.

    PubMed

    Peterson, A Townsend; Stewart, Aimee; Mohamed, Kamal I; Araújo, Miguel B

    2008-06-18

    Global climate change and invasions by nonnative species rank among the top concerns for agents of biological loss in coming decades. Although each of these themes has seen considerable attention in the modeling and forecasting communities, their joint effects remain little explored and poorly understood. We developed ecological niche models for 1804 species from the European flora, which we projected globally to identify areas of potential distribution, both at present and across 4 scenarios of future (2055) climates. As expected from previous studies, projections based on the CGCM1 climate model were more extreme than those based on the HadCM3 model, and projections based on the a2 emissions scenario were more extreme than those based on the b2 emissions scenario. However, less expected were the highly nonlinear and contrasting projected changes in distributional areas among continents: increases in distributional potential in Europe often corresponded with decreases on other continents, and species seeing expanding potential on one continent often saw contracting potential on others. In conclusion, global climate change will have complex effects on invasive potential of plant species. The shifts and changes identified in this study suggest strongly that biological communities will see dramatic reorganizations in coming decades owing to shifting invasive potential by nonnative species.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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 implementation detail

  1. Alien associations.

    PubMed

    Planck, Brenda L

    2007-01-01

    This story is a highly fictionalized account of events that took place during a year of Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry, 1997-1998, at the Yale University School of Medicine, Division of Psychiatry and the Law. It is dedicated to my co-fellow, Theresa Stathas, MD, whose kindness, warmth, and support were appreciated during my fellowship year. She generously provided me with alien-themed items, such as a ballpoint pen decorated with 23 alien heads and 56 alien eyes, throughout that year.

  2. 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)

  3. Oviposition of the invasive two-spotted leafhopper on an endemic tree: effects of an alien weed, foliar pubescence, and habitat humidity.

    PubMed

    Alyokhin, Andrei V; Yanga, Pingjun; Messing, Russell H

    2004-01-01

    The two-spotted leafhopper, Sophonia rufofascia (Kuoh and Kuoh), is an exotic pest from South-East Asia that attacks a wide variety of plant species in Hawaii. Myrica faya Aiton is an aggressive exotic weed that displaces and excludes native plants in Hawaiian forests. It has been argued that because of the high nutritional quality of its foliage, M. faya might facilitate leafhopper invasion of native Hawaiian ecosystems that were originally dominated by the endemic tree Metrosideros polymorpha (Gaudichaud). In the present study, we quantified suitability of M. faya and M. polymorpha as ovipositional hosts for S. rufofascia. Overall, leafhoppers preferred to deposit their eggs into the foliage of M. faya. M. faya presence in the area did not affect leafhopper oviposition on M. polymorpha. Foliar pubescence provided good protection of hirsute morphotypes of M. polymorpha. At the same time, glabrous M. polymorpha morphotypes were quite suitable for leafhopper oviposition. There was no difference in the abundance of leafhopper eggs along a precipitation gradient. Our results confirm that invasion of native Hawaiian forests by the weed M. faya will facilitate their invasion by S. rufofascia. Because of the broad host range characteristic of the two-spotted leafhopper, this build-up may adversely affect a number of endemic plant species growing in native forests.

  4. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Germination Response of Four Alien Congeneric Amaranthus Species to Environmental Factors.

    PubMed

    Hao, Jian-Hua; Lv, Shuang-Shuang; Bhattacharya, Saurav; Fu, Jian-Guo

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination is the key step for successful establishment, growth and further expansion of population especially for alien plants with annual life cycle. Traits like better adaptability and germination response were thought to be associated with plant invasion. However, there are not enough empirical studies correlating adaptation to environmental factors with germination response of alien invasive plants. In this study, we conducted congeneric comparisons of germination response to different environmental factors such as light, pH, NaCl, osmotic and soil burials among four alien amaranths that differ in invasiveness and have sympatric distribution in Jiangsu Province, China. The data were used to create three-parameter sigmoid and exponential decay models, which were fitted to cumulative germination and emergence curves. The results showed higher maximum Germination (Gmax), shorter time for 50% germination (G50) and the rapid slope (Grate) for Amaranthus blitum (low-invasive) and A. retroflexus (high-invasive) compare to intermediately invasive A. spinosus and A. viridis in all experimental regimes. It indicated that germination potential does not necessarily constitute a trait that can efficiently distinguish highly invasive and low invasive congeners in four Amaranthus species. However, it was showed that the germination performances of four amaranth species were more or less correlated with their worldwide distribution area. Therefore, the germination performance can be used as a reference indicator, but not an absolute trait for invasiveness. Our results also confirmed that superior germination performance in wide environmental conditions supplementing high seed productivity in highly invasive A. retroflexus might be one of the reasons for its prolific growth and wide distribution. These findings lay the foundation to develop more efficient weed management practice like deep burial of seeds by turning over soil and use of tillage agriculture to control

  10. Germination Response of Four Alien Congeneric Amaranthus Species to Environmental Factors

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Jian-Hua; Lv, Shuang-Shuang; Bhattacharya, Saurav; Fu, Jian-Guo

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination is the key step for successful establishment, growth and further expansion of population especially for alien plants with annual life cycle. Traits like better adaptability and germination response were thought to be associated with plant invasion. However, there are not enough empirical studies correlating adaptation to environmental factors with germination response of alien invasive plants. In this study, we conducted congeneric comparisons of germination response to different environmental factors such as light, pH, NaCl, osmotic and soil burials among four alien amaranths that differ in invasiveness and have sympatric distribution in Jiangsu Province, China. The data were used to create three-parameter sigmoid and exponential decay models, which were fitted to cumulative germination and emergence curves. The results showed higher maximum Germination (Gmax), shorter time for 50% germination (G50) and the rapid slope (Grate) for Amaranthus blitum (low-invasive) and A. retroflexus (high-invasive) compare to intermediately invasive A. spinosus and A. viridis in all experimental regimes. It indicated that germination potential does not necessarily constitute a trait that can efficiently distinguish highly invasive and low invasive congeners in four Amaranthus species. However, it was showed that the germination performances of four amaranth species were more or less correlated with their worldwide distribution area. Therefore, the germination performance can be used as a reference indicator, but not an absolute trait for invasiveness. Our results also confirmed that superior germination performance in wide environmental conditions supplementing high seed productivity in highly invasive A. retroflexus might be one of the reasons for its prolific growth and wide distribution. These findings lay the foundation to develop more efficient weed management practice like deep burial of seeds by turning over soil and use of tillage agriculture to control

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Phytophagous insect fauna tracks host plant responses to exotic grass invasion.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Neto, Mário; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2011-04-01

    The high dependence of herbivorous insects on their host plants implies that plant invaders can affect these insects directly, by not providing a suitable habitat, or indirectly, by altering host plant availability. In this study, we sampled Asteraceae flower heads in cerrado remnants with varying levels of exotic grass invasion to evaluate whether invasive grasses have a direct effect on herbivore richness independent of the current disturbance level and host plant richness. By classifying herbivores according to the degree of host plant specialization, we also investigated whether invasive grasses reduce the uniqueness of the herbivorous assemblages. Herbivorous insect richness showed a unimodal relationship with invasive grass cover that was significantly explained only by way of the variation in host plant richness. The same result was found for polyphagous and oligophagous insects, but monophages showed a significant negative response to the intensity of the grass invasion that was independent of host plant richness. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that the aggregate effect of invasive plants on herbivores tends to mirror the effects of invasive plants on host plants. In addition, exotic plants affect specialist insects differently from generalist insects; thus exotic plants affect not only the size but also the structural profile of herbivorous insect assemblages.

  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. 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

  16. Invasive plant erodes local song diversity in a migratory passerine.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Yvette K; Benson, Aubree; Greene, Erick

    2014-02-01

    Exotic plant invasions threaten ecosystems globally, but we still know little about the specific consequences for animals. Invasive plants can alter the quality of breeding habitat for songbirds, thereby impacting important demographic traits such as dispersal, philopatry, and age structure. These demographic effects may in turn alter song-learning conditions to affect song structure and diversity. We studied Chipping Sparrows (Spizella passerina) breeding in six savannas that were either dominated by native vegetation or invaded by spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), an exotic forb known to diminish food resources and reproductive success. Here, we report that the prevalence of older birds was relatively low in knapweed-invaded habitat, where recruitment of yearlings compensated for diminished site fidelity to sustain territory abundance. In both habitat types, yearling males tended to adopt songs similar to their neighbors and match the songs of older birds rather than introducing new song types, a pattern seen in many songbird species. As a consequence, in invaded habitat where age structure was skewed away from older birds serving as potential song models, yearlings converged on fewer song types. Similarity of songs among individuals was significantly higher and the overall number of song types averaged nearly 20% lower in invaded relative to native habitat. Degradation of habitat quality generally impacts site fidelity and age ratios in migratory songbirds and hence may commonly alter song-learning conditions. Associated shifts in song attributes known to influence reproductive success could in turn enforce demographic declines driven by habitat degradation. Local song structure may serve as an important indicator of habitat quality and population status for songbirds.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Tsetse flies are attracted to the invasive plant Lantana camara.

    PubMed

    Syed, Z; Guerin, P M

    2004-01-01

    In tsetse both sexes feed exclusively on the blood of vertebrates for a few minutes every 2-3 days. Tsetse flies seek cover from high temperatures to conserve energy and plants provide shelter for tsetse in all the biotopes they occupy. Recently, tsetse have taken cover in plantations and under the invasive bush Lantana camara that has invaded large areas of the tsetse fly belt of Africa. Flies from such refugia are implicated in sleeping sickness epidemics. In a wind tunnel we show that both foliage and an extract of volatiles from foliage of L. camara attract three tsetse spp. from different habitats: Glossina fuscipes fuscipes (riverine), G. brevipalpis (sylvatic) and G. pallidipes (savannah). Gas chromatography analysis of volatiles extracted from leaves and flowers of L. camara coupled to electroantennograme recordings show that 1-octen-3-ol and beta-caryophyllene are the major chemostimuli for the antennal receptor cells of the three tsetse spp. studied. A binary mixture of these products attracted these flies in the wind tunnel. The gas chromatography linked electroantennograme analysis of the L. camara extracts also show that the antennal receptor cells of the three tsetse spp. respond similarly to groups of volatiles derived from the major biosynthetic and catabolic pathways of plants, i.e. to mono- and sesquiterpenes, to lipoxidation products and to aromatics. Mixtures of these plant volatiles also attracted tsetse in the wind tunnel. These findings show that tsetse flies have conserved a strong sensitivity to volatile secondary products of plants, underlining the fundamental role of vegetation in tsetse survival.

  1. 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.

  2. A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the Lower Rio Grande, 2004

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    ER D C /E L SR -0 5- 1 Aquatic Plant Control Research Program A Survey of the Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants of the Lower Rio Grande... Plants of the Lower Rio Grande, 2004 Chetta S. Owens Analytical Services Inc. Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility U.S. Army Engineer...Reclamation, Denver, CO. Owens, C. S., Grodowitz, M. J., and Nibling, F. (2005). “A survey of the invasive aquatic and riparian plants of the lower Rio

  3. 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...

  4. Herbivorous insects and plant pathogen work together to suppress an invasive tree performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic, invasive plants continue to plague managed as well as natural ecosystems. Land managers rely heavily on cultural, mechanical, or herbicidal tools (singly or in combination) to control weedy invasive plants. While these tools are effective, managers and consumers are increasingly opting for m...

  5. Implementing EBIPM: A guide to developing and invasive plant operational plan

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) is a step-wise decision-making process that allows land managers to systematically develop restoration and invasive plant management plans. The point is for managers to manipulate ecological processes to cause desired changes in species abundance...

  6. Explosive invasion of plant mitochondria by a group I intron

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yangrae; Qiu, Yin-Long; Kuhlman, Peter; Palmer, Jeffrey D.

    1998-01-01

    Group I introns are mobile, self-splicing genetic elements found principally in organellar genomes and nuclear rRNA genes. The only group I intron known from mitochondrial genomes of vascular plants is located in the cox1 gene of Peperomia, where it is thought to have been recently acquired by lateral transfer from a fungal donor. Southern-blot surveys of 335 diverse genera of land plants now show that this intron is in fact widespread among angiosperm cox1 genes, but with an exceptionally patchy phylogenetic distribution. Four lines of evidence—the intron’s highly disjunct distribution, many incongruencies between intron and organismal phylogenies, and two sources of evidence from exonic coconversion tracts—lead us to conclude that the 48 angiosperm genera found to contain this cox1 intron acquired it by 32 separate horizontal transfer events. Extrapolating to the over 13,500 genera of angiosperms, we estimate that this intron has invaded cox1 genes by cross-species horizontal transfer over 1,000 times during angiosperm evolution. This massive wave of lateral transfers is of entirely recent occurrence, perhaps triggered by some key shift in the intron’s invasiveness within angiosperms. PMID:9826685

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Impacts of invasive plants on carbon pools depend on both species' traits and local climate.

    PubMed

    Martin, Philip A; Newton, Adrian C; Bullock, James M

    2017-04-01

    Invasive plants can alter ecosystem properties, leading to changes in the ecosystem services on which humans depend. However, generalizing about these effects is difficult because invasive plants represent a wide range of life forms, and invaded ecosystems differ in their plant communities and abiotic conditions. We hypothesize that differences in traits between the invader and native species can be used to predict impacts and so aid generalization. We further hypothesize that environmental conditions at invaded sites modify the effect of trait differences and so combine with traits to predict invasion impacts. To test these hypotheses, we used systematic review to compile data on changes in aboveground and soil carbon pools following non-native plant invasion from studies across the World. Maximum potential height (Hmax ) of each species was drawn from trait databases and other sources. We used meta-regression to assess which of invasive species' Hmax , differences in this height trait between native and invasive plants, and climatic water deficit, a measure of water stress, were good predictors of changes in carbon pools following invasion. We found that aboveground biomass in invaded ecosystems relative to uninvaded ones increased as the value of Hmax of invasive relative to native species increased, but that this effect was reduced in more water stressed ecosystems. Changes in soil carbon pools were also positively correlated with the relative Hmax of invasive species, but were not altered by water stress. This study is one of the first to show quantitatively that the impact of invasive species on an ecosystem may depend on differences in invasive and native species' traits, rather than solely the traits of invasive species. Our study is also the first to show that the influence of trait differences can be altered by climate. Further developing our understanding of the impacts of invasive species using this framework could help researchers to identify not only

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Influence of plant invasion on seed chemistry of winterfat, green rabbitbrush, freckled milkvetch, indian ricegrass and cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant invasions have proven detrimental to numerous ecosystem processes; however, limited information exists on how plant invasions affect seed nutrients. We quantified nutrients in seeds of Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides), green rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus), winterfat (Krasch...

  5. 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

    2015-09-24

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Altered ecosystem carbon and nitrogen cycles by plant invasion: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chengzhang; Peng, Ronghao; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Xuhui; Wu, Xiaowen; Fang, Changming; Chen, Jiakuan; Li, Bo

    2008-01-01

    Plant invasion potentially alters ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles. However, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly quantified. Here, 94 experimental studies were synthesized, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the changes of 20 variables associated with C and N cycles, including their pools, fluxes, and other related parameters in response to plant invasion. Pool variables showed significant changes in invaded ecosystems relative to native ecosystems, ranging from a 5% increase in root carbon stock to a 133% increase in shoot C stock. Flux variables, such as above-ground net primary production and litter decomposition, increased by 50-120% in invaded ecosystems, compared with native ones. Plant N concentration, soil NH+4 and NO-3 concentrations were 40, 30 and 17% higher in invaded than in native ecosystems, respectively. Increases in plant production and soil N availability indicate that there was positive feedback between plant invasion and C and N cycles in invaded ecosystems. Invasions by woody and N-fixing plants tended to have greater impacts on C and N cycles than those by herbaceous and nonN-fixing plants, respectively. The responses to plant invasion are not different among forests, grasslands, and wetlands. All of these changes suggest that plant invasion profoundly influences ecosystem processes.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Interactive effect of herbivory and competition on the invasive plant Mikania micrantha.

    PubMed

    Li, Junmin; Xiao, Tao; Zhang, Qiong; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    A considerable number of host-specific biological control agents fail to control invasive plants in the field, and exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is important and helpful for the management of invasive plants. Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors encountered by invasive plants in their recipient communities. We predicted that the antagonistic interactive effect between herbivory and competition would weaken the effect of herbivory on invasive plants and result in the failure of herbivory to control invasive plants. To examine this prediction, thus, we conducted an experiment in which both invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-job i were grown together and subjected to herbivory-mimicking defoliation. Both defoliation and competition had significantly negative effects on the growth of the invader. However, the negative effect of 75% respective defoliation on the above- and below-ground biomass of Mikania micrantha was alleviated by presence of Coix lacryma-jobi. The negative effect of competition on the above- and below-ground biomass was equally compensated at 25%, 50% and 100% defoliation and overcompensated at 75% defoliation. The interactive effect was antagonistic and dependent on the defoliation intensity, with the maximum effect at 75% defoliation. The antagonistic interaction between defoliation and competition appears to be able to release the invader from competition, thus facilitating the invasiveness of Mikania, a situation that might make herbivory fail to inhibit the growth of invasive Mikania in the invaded community.

  19. Interactive Effect of Herbivory and Competition on the Invasive Plant Mikania micrantha

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Xiao, Tao; Zhang, Qiong; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    A considerable number of host-specific biological control agents fail to control invasive plants in the field, and exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is important and helpful for the management of invasive plants. Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors encountered by invasive plants in their recipient communities. We predicted that the antagonistic interactive effect between herbivory and competition would weaken the effect of herbivory on invasive plants and result in the failure of herbivory to control invasive plants. To examine this prediction, thus, we conducted an experiment in which both invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi were grown together and subjected to herbivory-mimicking defoliation. Both defoliation and competition had significantly negative effects on the growth of the invader. However, the negative effect of 75% respective defoliation on the above- and below-ground biomass of Mikania micrantha was alleviated by presence of Coix lacryma-jobi. The negative effect of competition on the above- and below-ground biomass was equally compensated at 25%, 50% and 100% defoliation and overcompensated at 75% defoliation. The interactive effect was antagonistic and dependent on the defoliation intensity, with the maximum effect at 75% defoliation. The antagonistic interaction between defoliation and competition appears to be able to release the invader from competition, thus facilitating the invasiveness of Mikania, a situation that might make herbivory fail to inhibit the growth of invasive Mikania in the invaded community. PMID:23737942

  20. 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.

  1. Invasive Plant Suppresses the Growth of Native Tree Seedlings by Disrupting Belowground Mutualisms

    PubMed Central

    Stinson, Kristina A; Campbell, Stuart A; Powell, Jeff R; Wolfe, Benjamin E; Callaway, Ragan M; Thelen, Giles C; Hallett, Steven G; Prati, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    The impact of exotic species on native organisms is widely acknowledged, but poorly understood. Very few studies have empirically investigated how invading plants may alter delicate ecological interactions among resident species in the invaded range. We present novel evidence that antifungal phytochemistry of the invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, a European invader of North American forests, suppresses native plant growth by disrupting mutualistic associations between native canopy tree seedlings and belowground arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Our results elucidate an indirect mechanism by which invasive plants can impact native flora, and may help explain how this plant successfully invades relatively undisturbed forest habitat. PMID:16623597

  2. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. Apparent competition with an invasive plant hastens the extinction of an endangered lupine.

    PubMed

    Dangremond, Emily M; Pardini, Eleanor A; Knight, Tiffany M

    2010-08-01

    Invasive plants may compete with native plants by increasing the pressure of native consumers, a mechanism known as "apparent competition." Apparent competition can be as strong as or stronger than direct competition, but the role of apparent competition has rarely been examined in biological invasions. We used four years of demographic data and seed-removal experiments to determine if introduced grasses caused elevated levels of seed consumption on native plant species in a coastal dune system in California, USA. We show that the endangered, coastal dune plant Lupinus tidestromii experiences high levels of pre-dispersal seed consumption by the native rodent Peromyscus maniculatus due to its proximity to the invasive grass, Ammophila arenaria. We use stage-structured, stochastic population models to project that two of three study populations will decline toward extinction under ambient levels of consumption. For one of these declining populations, a relatively small decrease in consumption pressure should allow for persistence. We show that apparent competition with an invasive species significantly decreases the population growth rate and persistence of a native species. We expect that apparent competition is an important mechanism in other ecosystems because invasive plants often change habitat structure and plant-consumer interactions. Possible implications of the apparent-competition mechanism include selective extinction of species preferred by seed consumers in the presence of an invasive species and biological homogenization of communities toward non-preferred native plant species.

  6. 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...

  7. Global change, global trade, and the next wave of plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many non-native, invasive plants in the United States have become problematic for native and managed ecosystems, but a new generation of invaders may be at our doorstep. We review trends in the horticultural trade and invasion patterns of previously introduced species and show that novel species int...

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Responses of two invasive plants under various microclimate conditions in the Seoul metropolitan region.

    PubMed

    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 CO(2) concentrations differed significantly between the urban (14.8 °C and 439 ppm CO(2)) and suburban (13.0 °C and 427 ppm CO(2)) 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.

  16. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    PubMed

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Effects of invasive species on plant communities: an example using submersed aquatic plants at the regional level

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Submerged aquatic plants have a key role in maintaining functioning aquatic ecosystems through their effects in the hydrological regime, sedimentation, nutrient cycling and habitats of associated fauna. Modifications of aquatic plant communities, as for example through the introduction of invasive s...

  20. 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. .

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. A model for plant invasions: the role of distributed generation times.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Vicenç; Campos, Daniel; Sheppard, Andy W

    2009-10-01

    An analytical model consisting of adult plants and two types of seeds (unripe and mature) is considered and successfully tested using experimental data available for some invasive weeds (Echium plantagineum, Cytisus scoparius, Carduus nutans andCarduus acanthoides) from their native and exotic ranges. The model accounts for probability distribution functions (pdfs) for times of germination, growth, death and dispersal on two dimensions, so the general life-cycle of individuals is considered with high level of description. Our work provides for the first time, for a model containing all that life-cycle information, explicit relationship conditions for the invasive success and expressions for the speed of invasive fronts, which can be useful tools for invasions assessment. The expressions derived allow us to prove that the different phenotypes showed by the weeds in their native (exotic) ranges can explain their corresponding non-invasive (invasive) behavior.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 T