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Sample records for alien invasive plants

  1. Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Cho-Ying; Asner, Gregory P

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Applications of Remote Sensing to Alien Invasive Plant Studies

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Cho-ying; Asner, Gregory P.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Spatial risk assessment of alien invasive plants in China.

    PubMed

    Bai, Fan; Chisholm, Ryan; Sang, Weiguo; Dong, Ming

    2013-07-16

    The large-scale distribution patterns of alien invasive plants (AIP) can provide key information and a theoretical basis for management strategies, including the prevention of invasions, the control and eradication of established AIPs, and the identification of areas at high risk of invasion. This study aims to quantify distribution patterns of AIP in China, to develop approaches that measure the social, economic, and ecological impacts, and to identify areas that are at higher risk of plant invasion. Based on published literature, there were 384 AIPs in China, representing 233 genera from 66 families. Climatic factors were among the primary factors determining AIPs' overall distribution patterns. The majority of AIPs were tropically distributed in China, meaning that they were mainly restricted to southern China. Temperate-distributed AIPs, those distributed only or predominantly in northern China, were fewer but had higher average rates of spread than tropically distributed AIPs. Average ecological and economic impact per AIP was negatively correlated with AIP richness, meaning that areas with relatively few AIPs nevertheless have some of the most detrimental ones. Our comparative evaluation showed that the risk of invasion differed among regions of China, with high-risk areas in southern China (Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong) and central coastal areas of eastern China (Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu). In the context of climate change, areas around latitudes of 33° N, including Hebei, Shandong, Henan, and Jiangsu, should be given more attention for the control and prevention of plant invasions. Predictions of high-risk areas for future invasions differed depending on the scale of aggregation and the evaluation index, indicating that invasive risk assessments should be based on multiple factors. PMID:23738912

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Lubin, D.; 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-m 2 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  9. 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 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Alien invasive birds.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:26633170

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne

    2015-10-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:25421056

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

    PubMed Central

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pergl, Jan

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    A greenhouse control experiment was conducted to explore the effects of nitrogen and carbon addition and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) on the growth of alien invasive plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed). Nitrogen addition had no significant effects on the morphological indices, biomass and its allocation, and absolute growth rate of A. artemisiifolia, but increased the nitrogen content in the aboveground and underground parts of the plant significantly. Carbon addition increased the content of soil available nitrogen. In this case, the biomass allocation in root system for nutrient (nitrogen) absorption promoted, resulting in a remarkable decrease of branch number, total leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf mass ratio. As a result, the total biomass decreased significantly. The symbiosis of A. artemisiifolia and AM fungi had great influence on the common ragweed's soil nitrogen acclimation, which enhanced its resource-capture by the increase of SLA, and this effect was more significant when the soil nitrogen content was low. AM fungi played an important role in the growth of A. artemisiifolia in low-nitrogen environment. PMID:21442989

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. PMID:27203687

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

  20. Changes in defense of an alien plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia before and after the invasion of a native specialist enemy Ophraella communa.

    PubMed

    Fukano, Yuya; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis (EICA) predicts that when alien plants are free from their natural enemies they evolve lower allocation to defense in order to achieve a higher growth rate. If this hypothesis is true, the converse implication would be that the defense against herbivory could be restored if a natural enemy also becomes present in the introduced range. We tested this scenario in the case of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) - a species that invaded Japan from North America. We collected seeds from five North American populations, three populations in enemy free areas of Japan and four populations in Japan where the specialist herbivore Ophraella communa naturalized recently. Using plants grown in a common garden in Japan, we compared performance of O. communa with a bioassay experiment. Consistent with the EICA hypothesis, invasive Japanese populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited a weakened defense against the specialist herbivores and higher growth rate than native populations. Conversely, in locations where the herbivore O. communa appeared during the past decade, populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited stronger defensive capabilities. These results strengthen the case for EICA and suggest that defense levels of alien populations can be recuperated rapidly after the native specialist becomes present in the introduced range. Our study implies that the plant defense is evolutionary labile depending on plant-herbivore interactions. PMID:23145089

  1. Changes in Defense of an Alien Plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia before and after the Invasion of a Native Specialist Enemy Ophraella communa

    PubMed Central

    Fukano, Yuya; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis (EICA) predicts that when alien plants are free from their natural enemies they evolve lower allocation to defense in order to achieve a higher growth rate. If this hypothesis is true, the converse implication would be that the defense against herbivory could be restored if a natural enemy also becomes present in the introduced range. We tested this scenario in the case of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) – a species that invaded Japan from North America. We collected seeds from five North American populations, three populations in enemy free areas of Japan and four populations in Japan where the specialist herbivore Ophraella communa naturalized recently. Using plants grown in a common garden in Japan, we compared performance of O. communa with a bioassay experiment. Consistent with the EICA hypothesis, invasive Japanese populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited a weakened defense against the specialist herbivores and higher growth rate than native populations. Conversely, in locations where the herbivore O. communa appeared during the past decade, populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited stronger defensive capabilities. These results strengthen the case for EICA and suggest that defense levels of alien populations can be recuperated rapidly after the native specialist becomes present in the introduced range. Our study implies that the plant defense is evolutionary labile depending on plant-herbivore interactions. PMID:23145089

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26771658

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:26882479

  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. Index of Alien Impact: A Method for Evaluating Potential Ecological Impact of Alien Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magee, Teresa K.; Ringold, Paul L.; Bollman, Michael A.; Ernst, Ted L.

    2010-04-01

    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) to estimate the collective ecological impact of in situ alien species. IAI summarizes the frequency of occurrence and potential ecological impact ( Invasiveness-Impact Score ( I i )) of individual alien species for all aliens present in a particular location or community type. A component metric, I i , is based on ecological species traits (life history, ecological amplitude, and ability to alter ecosystem processes) that reflect mechanisms, which can increase impact to ecosystem structure and function. While I i is less complex than some other multi-metric rankings of alien impact, it compares well to these metrics and to qualitative judgments. IAI can be adapted for different ecological settings by modifying the set of species traits incorporated in I i to reflect properties likely to breach biotic and abiotic barriers or alter ecosystem function in a particular region or community type of interest. To demonstrate our approach, we created versions of IAI and I i , applicable to the diverse streamside vegetation of a river basin (19,631 km2) spanning low-elevation arid to mesic montane habitats in eastern Oregon, USA. In this demonstration effort, we (1) evaluate relationships of IAI to metrics describing invasion level, and (2) illustrate the potential utility of IAI for prioritizing alien species management activities and informing restoration goals.

  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

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

    2013-12-22

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

  13. 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

  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. PMID:25996858

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:26527302

  18. Alien invasive species and international trade

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emergency control measures for invasive species often rely on use of pesticides and other destructive practices. Public concern about pesticide contamination of the ground water and the environment has lead to increased restrictions on the use of pesticides for control of many destructive invasive ...

  19. 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...

  20. How do alien plants fit in the space-phylogeny matrix?

    PubMed

    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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa J

    2012-08-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The impact of an alien plant on a native plant-pollinator network: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha E; Hayes, Richard B; Whalley, Martin R; Memmott, Jane

    2007-07-01

    Studies of pairwise interactions have shown that an alien plant can affect the pollination of a native plant, this effect being mediated by shared pollinators. Here we use a manipulative field experiment, to investigate the impact of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera on an entire community of coflowering native plants. Visitation and pollen transport networks were constructed to compare replicated I. glandulifera invaded and I. glandulifera removal plots. Invaded plots had significantly higher visitor species richness, visitor abundance and flower visitation. However, the pollen transport networks were dominated by alien pollen grains in the invaded plots and consequently higher visitation may not translate in facilitation for pollination. The more generalized insects were more likely to visit the alien plant, and Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were more likely to visit the alien than Coleoptera. Our data indicate that generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway of integration for alien plants into native visitation systems. PMID:17542933

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Früh, Denise; Stoll, Stefan; Haase, Peter

    2012-11-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Invasive plant integration into native plant-pollinator networks across Europe.

    PubMed

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-11-01

    The structure of plant-pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant-pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network. PMID:19692403

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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...

  10. Distinct invasion strategies operating within a natural annual plant system.

    PubMed

    Lai, Hao Ran; Mayfield, Margaret M; Gay-des-Combes, Justine M; Spiegelberger, Thomas; Dwyer, John M

    2015-04-01

    Alien plant species are known to have a wide range of impacts on recipient communities, from resident species' exclusions to coexistence with resident species. It remains unclear; however, if this variety of impacts is due to different invader strategies, features of recipient communities or both. To test this, we examined multiple plant invasions of a single ecosystem in southwestern Australia. We used extensive community data to calculate pairwise segregation between target alien species and many co-occurring species. We related segregation to species' positions along community trait hierarchies and identified at least two distinct invasion strategies: 'exploiters' which occupy high positions along key trait hierarchies and reduce local native species diversity (particularly in nutrient-enriched situations), and 'coexisters' who occupy intermediate trait positions and have no discernable impact on native diversity. We conclude that trait hierarchies, linked to measures of competition, can provide valuable insights about the processes driving different invasion outcomes. PMID:25728390

  11. Does Global Warming Increase Establishment Rates of Invasive Alien Species? A Centurial Time Series Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dingcheng; Haack, Robert A.; Zhang, Runzhi

    2011-01-01

    Background The establishment rate of invasive alien insect species has been increasing worldwide during the past century. This trend has been widely attributed to increased rates of international trade and associated species introductions, but rarely linked to environmental change. To better understand and manage the bioinvasion process, it is crucial to understand the relationship between global warming and establishment rate of invasive alien species, especially for poikilothermic invaders such as insects. Methodology/Principal Findings We present data that demonstrate a significant positive relationship between the change in average annual surface air temperature and the establishment rate of invasive alien insects in mainland China during 1900–2005. This relationship was modeled by regression analysis, and indicated that a 1°C increase in average annual surface temperature in mainland China was associated with an increase in the establishment rate of invasive alien insects of about 0.5 species year−1. The relationship between rising surface air temperature and increasing establishment rate remained significant even after accounting for increases in international trade during the period 1950–2005. Moreover, similar relationships were detected using additional data from the United Kingdom and the contiguous United States. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that the perceived increase in establishments of invasive alien insects can be explained only in part by an increase in introduction rate or propagule pressure. Besides increasing propagule pressure, global warming is another driver that could favor worldwide bioinvasions. Our study highlights the need to consider global warming when designing strategies and policies to deal with bioinvasions. PMID:21931837

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Galil, B S

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Prioritizing invasive plant management strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. 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

  2. New records in vascular plants alien to Kyrgyzstan

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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. PMID:24835486

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Microbiological accumulation by the Mediterranean invasive alien species Branchiomma bairdi (Annelida, Sabellidae): potential tool for bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Stabili, Loredana; Licciano, Margherita; Lezzi, Marco; Giangrande, Adriana

    2014-09-15

    We examined the bacterial accumulation and digestion in the alien polychaete Branchiomma bairdi. Microbiological analyses were performed on worm homogenates from "unstarved" and "starved" individuals and on seawater from the same sampling site (Ionian Sea, Italy). Densities of culturable heterotrophic bacteria (22 °C), total culturable bacteria (37 °C) and vibrios were measured on Marine Agar 2216, Plate Count Agar and TCBS Agar, respectively. Microbial pollution indicators were determined by the most probable number method. B. bairdi was able to accumulate all the six considered microbiological groups which, however, differ in their resistance to digestion. B. bairdi results more efficient than the other two co-occurring sabellids in removing bacteria suggesting that it may counteract the effects of microbial pollution playing a potential role for in situ bioremediation. Thus a potential risk, such as the invasion of an alien species, could be transformed into a benefit with high potential commercial gain and economic feasibility. PMID:25070411

  8. 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.

  9. Invasive plant integration into native plant–pollinator networks across Europe

    PubMed Central

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C.; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The structure of plant–pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant–pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network. PMID:19692403

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Marler, Thomas E.; Lawrence, John H.

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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)

  16. Mechanisms underlying the impacts of exotic plant invasions.

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Jonathan M; Vilà, Montserrat; D'Antonio, Carla M; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Grigulis, Karl; Lavorel, Sandra

    2003-01-01

    Although the impacts of exotic plant invasions on community structure and ecosystem processes are well appreciated, the pathways or mechanisms that underlie these impacts are poorly understood. Better exploration of these processes is essential to understanding why exotic plants impact only certain systems, and why only some invaders have large impacts. Here, we review over 150 studies to evaluate the mechanisms underlying the impacts of exotic plant invasions on plant and animal community structure, nutrient cycling, hydrology and fire regimes. We find that, while numerous studies have examined the impacts of invasions on plant diversity and composition, less than 5% test whether these effects arise through competition, allelopathy, alteration of ecosystem variables or other processes. Nonetheless, competition was often hypothesized, and nearly all studies competing native and alien plants against each other found strong competitive effects of exotic species. In contrast to studies of the impacts on plant community structure and higher trophic levels, research examining impacts on nitrogen cycling, hydrology and fire regimes is generally highly mechanistic, often motivated by specific invader traits. We encourage future studies that link impacts on community structure to ecosystem processes, and relate the controls over invasibility to the controls over impact. PMID:12737654

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:24312646

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effect of species traits on plant invasion, we collected comparative data on 20 reproductive and dispersal traits of 93 herbaceous alien species in the Czech Republic, central Europe, introduced after 1500 A. D. We explain plant invasion success, expressed by two measures: invasiveness, i.e. whether the species is naturalized but non-invasive, or invasive; and dominance in plant communities expressed as the mean cover in vegetation plots. We also tested how important reproductive and dispersal traits are in models including other characteristics generally known to predict invasion outcome, such as plant height, life history and residence time. By using regression/classification trees we show that the biological traits affect invasion success at all life stages, from reproduction (seed production) to dispersal (propagule properties), and the ability to compete with resident species (height). By including species traits information not usually available in multispecies analyses, we provide evidence that traits do play important role in determining the outcome of invasion and can be used to distinguish between alien species that reach the final stage of the invasion process and dominate the local communities from those that do not. No effect of taxonomy ascertained in regression and classification trees indicates that the role of traits in invasiveness should be assessed primarily at the species level. PMID:25906399

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Invasive Plants on Rangelands: a Global Threat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant species are spreading and invading rangelands at an unprecedented rate costing ranchers billions of dollars to control invasive plants each year. In its simplest form, the invasion process has four primary stages, including introduction, establishment, spread and colonization. Th...

  11. 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. PMID:26073799

  12. 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.

  13. Alien plant monitoring with ultralight airborne imaging spectroscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Alien Plant Monitoring with Ultralight Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Diet breadth influences how the impact of invasive plants is propagated through food webs.

    PubMed

    Carvalheiro, Luisa G; Buckley, Yvonne M; Memmott, Jane

    2010-04-01

    Invasive plants are considered a major cause of ecosystem degradation worldwide. While their impacts on native plants have been widely reported, there is little information on how these impacts propagate through food webs and affect species at higher trophic levels. Using a quantitative food web approach we evaluated the impacts of an invasive plant on plant-herbivore-parasitoid communities, asking specifically how diet breadth influences the propagation of such impacts. Measuring the impact of the alien plant at the plant level seriously underestimated the community-level effect of this weed as it also caused changes in the abundance of native herbivores and parasitoids, along with a decrease in parasitoid species richness. The invading plant affected specialist and generalist subsets of communities differently, having significant and strong negative impacts on the abundance of all specialists with no negative effect on generalist consumers. Specialist consumer decline led to further disruptions of top-down regulatory mechanisms, releasing generalist species from competition via shared natural enemies. Plant invasion also significantly increased the evenness of species abundance of all trophic levels in the food webs, as well as the evenness of species interaction frequency. Extending impact evaluation to higher trophic levels and considering changes in trophic diversity within levels is hence essential for a full evaluation of the consequences of invasion by alien plants. Moreover, information on diet breadth of species in the invaded community should be taken into account when evaluating/predicting the impacts on any introduced species. PMID:20462120

  18. 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. PMID:26214916

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. Principles for ecologically based invasive plant management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. E-commerce trade in invasive plants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. ECOLOGICALLY BASED INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT NEWSLETTER

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This manuscript describes the characteristics that make a plant invasive, and some of the existing theories of "invasions". It compares non-relational approaches (identifying characteristics that make something a weed) to relational approaches (drawing on relationships between a species and an ecos...

  7. Applying Ecologically-Based Invasive Plant Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developing a guideline to assist land managers in making better decisions when they are faced with invasive annual grasses is critical to gaining greater adoption of ecologically-based invasive plant management. This manual guides users through the EBIPM decision process to assist in restoration of...

  8. Immobilizing nitrogen to control plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Increased soil nitrogen (N) availability may often facilitate plant invasions. Therefore, lowering N availability might be expected to reduce those invasions and favor native species. Numerous studies have examined effects of low N availability on specific invaders, but a synthesis of these stu...

  9. Ecological Principles for Invasive Plant Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Positive Feedback between Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants Influences Plant Invasion Success and Resistance to Invasion

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20808770

  18. 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.

  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. PMID:26986207

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Trade plays a key role in the spread of alien species and has arguably contributed to the recent enormous acceleration of biological invasions, thus homogenizing biotas worldwide. Combining data on 60-year trends of bilateral trade, as well as on biodiversity and climate, we modeled the global spread of plant species among 147 countries. The model results were compared with a recently compiled unique global data set on numbers of naturalized alien vascular plant species representing the most comprehensive collection of naturalized plant distributions currently available. The model identifies major source regions, introduction routes, and hot spots of plant invasions that agree well with observed naturalized plant numbers. In contrast to common knowledge, we show that the 'imperialist dogma,' stating that Europe has been a net exporter of naturalized plants since colonial times, does not hold for the past 60 years, when more naturalized plants were being imported to than exported from Europe. Our results highlight that the current distribution of naturalized plants is best predicted by socioeconomic activities 20 years ago. We took advantage of the observed time lag and used trade developments until recent times to predict naturalized plant trajectories for the next two decades. This shows that particularly strong increases in naturalized plant numbers are expected in the next 20 years for emerging economies in megadiverse regions. The interaction with predicted future climate change will increase invasions in northern temperate countries and reduce them in tropical and (sub)tropical regions, yet not by enough to cancel out the trade-related increase. PMID:26152518

  2. 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…

  3. Economic savings from invasive plant prevention

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26482012

  9. Ecological genetics of plant invasion: What do we know?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The rate at which plant invasions occur is accelerating globally, and a growing amount of recent research uses genetic analysis of invasive plant populations to better understand the histories, processes and effects of plant invasions. The goal of this review is to provide natural resource managers ...

  10. Field growth comparisons of invasive alien annual and native perennial grasses in monocultures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead is rapidly invading native grassland and cheatgrass dominated grassland throughout the western US. Understanding growth dynamics of medusahead relative to bluebunch wheatgrass and cheatgrass is central to predicting and managing medusahead invasion. We hypothesized that medusahead would...

  11. 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

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-01

    Although invasive alien species (IAS) are a major threat to biodiversity, human health, and economy, our understanding of the factors controlling their distribution and abundance is limited. Here, we determine how environmental factors, land use, life-history traits of the invaders, residence time, origin, and human usage interact to shape the spatial pattern of invasive alien plant species in South Africa. Relationships between the environmental factors and the extrinsic and intrinsic attributes of species were investigated using RLQ analysis, a multivariate method for relating a species-attribute table to an environmental table by way of a species presence/absence table. We then clustered species according to their position on the RLQ axes, and tested these groups for phylogenetic independence. The first three axes of the RLQ explained 99% of the variation and were strongly related to the species attributes. The clustering showed that, after accounting for environmental factors, the spatial pattern of IAS in South Africa was driven by human uses, life forms, and reproductive traits. The seven clusters of species strongly reflected geographical distribution, but also intrinsic species attributes and patterns of human use. Two of the clusters, centered on the genera Acacia and Opuntia, were phylogenetically non-independent. The remaining clusters comprised species of diverse taxonomic affinities, but sharing traits facilitating invasion in particular habitats. This information is useful for assessing the extent to which the potential spread of recent introductions can be predicted by considering the interaction of their biological attributes, region of origin, and human use. PMID:16922325

  16. 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. PMID:25463567

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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 ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, Jean-Yves; Loope, Lloyd; Goarant, Anne-Claire

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-06-01

    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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixed grass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although global change is known to influence plant invasion, relatively 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 rich areas, suggesting that predicted changes in pr...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Predicting plant invasion in an era of global change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies have indicated that ongoing global change will promote the spread of invasive plants. Recent research points to a more complex response. The components of global change that increase plant resources (e.g., rising CO2, N deposition) most consistently favor invasive species, but, chan...

  16. 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 ...

  17. Ecologically-based invasive plant management: Step by step

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Providing land managers with a framework from which to make informed decisions as to the causes of invasive plant infestations has been undeveloped for many years. Understanding the actual ecological causes of these infestations is the basis for ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) ...

  18. Synergy Between Pathogen Release and Resource Availability in Plant Invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  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. Linkages of plant-soil feedbacks and underlying invasion mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Inderjit; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities and processes have repeatedly been shown to impact plant community assembly and population growth. Soil-driven effects may be particularly pronounced with the introduction of plants to non-native ranges, as introduced plants are not typically accompanied by transference of local soil communities. Here we describe how the mechanisms by which soil community processes influence plant growth overlap with several known and well-described mechanisms of plant invasion. Critically, a given soil community process may either facilitate or limit invasion, depending upon local conditions and the specific mechanisms of soil processes involved. Additionally, as soil communities typically consist of species with short generation times, the net consequences of plant-soil feedbacks for invasion trajectories are likely to change over time, as ecological and evolutionary adjustments occur. Here we provide an overview of the ecological linkages of plant-soil feedbacks and underlying mechanisms of invasion. PMID:25784668

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-18

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:20807339

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. 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...

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Invasive plant management on anticipated conservation benefits: a scientific Assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants negatively impact rangelands throughout the western United States by displacing desirable species, altering ecological processes, reducing wildlife habitat, degrading systems, altering fire regimes, and decreasing productivity. Assessing the influence of conservation practices on var...

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

    PubMed

    Wolfe, E W; Dozier, H

    2000-01-01

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

  18. 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. PMID:19086291

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:24465640

  6. Geographical Constraints Are Stronger than Invasion Patterns for European Urban Floras

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24465640

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Earthworm invasion as the driving force behind plant invasion and community change in northeastern North American forests.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

    Identification of factors that drive changes in plant community structure and contribute to decline and endangerment of native plant species is essential to the development of appropriate management strategies. Introduced species are assumed to be driving causes of shifts in native plant communities, but unequivocal evidence supporting this view is frequently lacking. We measured native vegetation, non-native earthworm biomass, and leaf-litter volume in 15 forests in the presence and absence of 3 non-native plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, Berberis thunbergii) to assess the general impact of non-native plant and earthworm invasions on native plant communities in northeastern United States. Non-native plant cover was positively correlated with total native plant cover and non-native earthworm biomass. Earthworm biomass was negatively associated with cover of native woody and most herbaceous plants and with litter volume. Graminoid cover was positively associated with non-native earthworm biomass and non-native plant cover. These earthworm-associated responses were detected at all sites despite differences in earthworm species and abundance, composition of the native plant community, identity of invasive plant species, and geographic region. These patterns suggest earthworm invasion, rather than non-native plant invasion, is the driving force behind changes in forest plant communities in northeastern North America, including declines in native plant species, and earthworm invasions appear to facilitate plant invasions in these forests. Thus, a focus on management of invasive plant species may be insufficient to protect northeastern forest understory species. PMID:19236448

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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. PMID:24001766

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

    PubMed Central

    Daehler, Curtis C.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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....

  2. 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...

  3. Hybridization and evolution of invasiveness in plants and other organisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Less than a decade ago, we proposed that hybridization could serve as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in plants (Ellstrand and Schierenbeck Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 97:7043–7050, 2000). A substantial amount of research has taken place on that topic since the publication of that paper, stim...

  4. 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...

  5. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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...

  7. Viral infection of tobacco plants improves performance of Bemisia tabaci but more so for an invasive than for an indigenous biotype of the whitefly.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jian; Li, Meng; Li, Jun-min; Huang, Chang-jun; Zhou, Xue-ping; Xu, Fang-cheng; Liu, Shu-sheng

    2010-01-01

    The ecological effects of plant-virus-vector interactions on invasion of alien plant viral vectors have been rarely investigated. We examined the transmission of Tomato yellow leaf curl China virus (TYLCCNV) by the invasive Q biotype and the indigenous ZHJ2 biotype of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, a plant viral vector, as well as the influence of TYLCCNV-infection of plants on the performance of the two whitefly biotypes. Both whitefly biotypes were able to acquire viruses from infected plants and retained them in their bodies, but were unable to transmit them to either tobacco or tomato plants. However, when the Q biotype fed on tobacco plants infected with TYLCCNV, its fecundity and longevity were increased by 7- and 1-fold, respectively, compared to those of the Q biotype fed on uninfected tobacco plants. When the ZHJ2 biotype fed on virus-infected plants, its fecundity and longevity were increased by only 2- and 0.5-fold, respectively. These data show that the Q biotype acquired higher beneficial effects from TYLCCNV-infection of tobacco plants than the ZHJ2 biotype. Thus, the Q biotype whitefly may have advantages in its invasion and displacement of the indigenous ZHJ2 biotype. PMID:20043350

  8. 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. PMID:18288920

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. PREVENTION: A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO THE CONTROL OF INVASIVE PLANTS IN WILDLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infestations of wildlands by invasive plants can reduce resource productivity, decrease biodiversity, displace native vegetation, and alter ecosystem processes and functions. The traditional reactive strategy of controlling established invasive plant infestations followed by restoration of the nati...

  13. 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...

  14. Alienation Incident.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasserman, Louis

    1979-01-01

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

  15. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    Compartmentalization-the organization of ecological interaction networks into subsets of species that do not interact with other subsets (true compartments) or interact more frequently among themselves than with other species (modules)-has been identified as a key property for the functioning, stability and evolution of ecological communities. Invasions by entomophilous invasive plants may profoundly alter the way interaction networks are compartmentalized. We analysed a comprehensive dataset of 40 paired plant-pollinator networks (invaded versus uninvaded) to test this hypothesis. We show that invasive plants have higher generalization levels with respect to their pollinators than natives. The consequences for network topology are that-rather than displacing native species from the network-plant invaders attracting pollinators into invaded modules tend to play new important topological roles (i.e. network hubs, module hubs and connectors) and cause role shifts in native species, creating larger modules that are more connected among each other. While the number of true compartments was lower in invaded compared with uninvaded networks, the effect of invasion on modularity was contingent on the study system. Interestingly, the generalization level of the invasive plants partially explains this pattern, with more generalized invaders contributing to a lower modularity. Our findings indicate that the altered interaction structure of invaded networks makes them more robust against simulated random secondary species extinctions, but more vulnerable when the typically highly connected invasive plants go extinct first. The consequences and pathways by which biological invasions alter the interaction structure of plant-pollinator communities highlighted in this study may have important dynamical and functional implications, for example, by influencing multi-species reciprocal selection regimes and coevolutionary processes. PMID:24943368

  3. Alien Abductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nickell, Joe

    2000-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Indirect effects may play an important role in structuring plant communities. Using a spatially explicit model of consumer foraging and plant competition, we demonstrate how the relationship between the spatial area over which plants compete and the spatial scale of consumer behaviour can determine the outcome of competition when one plant species provides a refuge for mobile consumers (i.e. refuge-mediated apparent competition). Once an initial population of the invader is established, complete invasion may be inevitable because of an ever-advancing invasion front ratchets forward driven by a feeding front of mobile consumers. Because the spatial extent of apparent competition determines the area available for colonization, consumers may also dictate the rate at which an invasion occurs. We find that, as long as refuge-mediated apparent competition is sufficiently localized, invasion is possible even in systems characterized by low overall levels of consumer pressure. Moreover, we show that a stable equilibrium can result in which both resident and invading plants coexist, suggesting that spatial heterogeneity created by refuge-mediated apparent competition may be important in mediating coexistence in plant communities. The spatial interplay of consumer behaviour and plant competition may be an underappreciated mechanism affecting the composition, diversity and spatial pattern of plant communities. PMID:20534615

  5. 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. PMID:26390918

  6. Update on the Susceptibility of Avocado to Invasive Alien Fruit Flies (Tephritidae) on the Island of Hawaii.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Avocado Growers Association on the Island of Hawaii requested that the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service reconsider the possibility of approving the export of untreated avocado to the continental United States of America. In response, as part of the Hawaii Area Wide Pest Management Pro...

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. Nitrogen acquisition by annual and perennial grass seedlings: testing the roles of performance and plasticity to explain plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Differences in resource acquisition ability between native and exotic plants is one hypothesis to explain invasive plant success. Mechanisms include contrasting resource acquisition rates between native and invasive species, greater plasticity in resource acquisition by invasive species, and trade-...

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2013-11-28

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Invasibility of nectarless flowers in plant-pollinator systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wu, Hong

    2013-07-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator systems in which plants are divided into two categories: The plants that secret a substantial volume of nectar in their flowers are called secretors, while those without secreting nectar are called nonsecretors (cheaters). The interaction between pollinators and secretors is mutualistic, while the interaction between pollinators and nonsecretors is parasitic. Both interactions can be described by Beddington-DeAngelis functional responses. Using dynamical systems theory, we show global dynamics of a pollinator-secretor-cheater model and demonstrate mechanisms by which nectarless flowers/nonsecretors can invade the pollinator-secretor system and by which the three species could coexist. We define a threshold in the nonsecretors' efficiency in translating pollinator-cheater interaction into fitness, which is determined by parameters (factors) in the systems. When their efficiency is above the threshold, non-secretors can invade the pollinator-secretor system. While the nonsecretors' invasion often leads to their persistence in pollinator-secretor systems, the model demonstrates situations in which the non-secretors' invasion can drive secretors into extinction, which consequently leads to extinction of the nonsecretors themselves. PMID:23645320

  16. Are we "missing the boat" on preventing the spread of invasive plants in rangelands?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants are negatively impacting the ecological and economic production of rangelands by reducing resource productivity, decreasing biodiversity, displacing native vegetation, and altering ecosystem processes and functions. However, despite these well known negative impacts, once invasive p...

  17. 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...- Challis National Forest and without management will likely increase in density and distribution. Active... boundaries, reduce infestation densities, and retard the establishment of new infestations. Control...

  18. Ecosystem engineers modulate exotic invasions in riparian plant communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  19. Alien phytogeographic regions of southern Africa: numerical classification, possible drivers, and regional threats.

    PubMed

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J; Van Wyk, Abraham E; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  20. Alien Phytogeographic Regions of Southern Africa: Numerical Classification, Possible Drivers, and Regional Threats

    PubMed Central

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J.; Van Wyk, Abraham E.; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  1. Do Native Parasitic Plants Cause More Damage to Exotic Invasive Hosts Than Native Non-Invasive Hosts? An Implication for Biocontrol

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community. PMID:22493703

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. “Patterns of morphological variation of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides): from native to invasive regions”

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The damage caused by biological invasions has traditionally been thought to result from alien species taking advantage of ecological differences between the native and introduced regions. In contrast, evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process...

  4. "Patterns of morphological variation of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides): from native to invasive regions"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The damage caused by biological invasions has traditionally been thought to result from alien species taking advantage of ecological differences between the native and introduced regions. In contrast, evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process...

  5. 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

  6. Life-history traits of alien and native senecio species in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sans, F. X.; Garcia-Serrano, H.; Afán, I.

    2004-12-01

    Two related shrubs, Senecio inaequidens and S. pterophorus, both introduced to western Mediterranean Europe from South Africa, were compared with a native Mediterranean shrub, S. malacitanus, to identify life-history traits that confer invasive ability. We examined ecological interactions that affect seedling emergence and establishment, flowering time, growth and reproduction and competitive ability in these three closely related species. Seeds were planted, the seedlings were then transplanted and individual performance was evaluated with respect to: (1) competition with plant neighbours and (2) resource addition. Senecio inaequidens had higher rates of seedling establishment and a shorter pre-reproductive period. Competition with neighbours had a considerable impact on S. malacitanus, delaying flowering time and reducing growth and reproduction. S. pterophorus showed inefficient seedling establishment compared to the other two species, but performed better in terms of growth and reproduction. The two alien species were markedly more competitive than the native one. However, differences in competitiveness among S. malacitanus and the two aliens varied depending on resource availability. Thus, Senecio inaequidens and S. pterophorus were more affected by competition in subplots with resource addition and by competition in those without addition, respectively. The latter showed a greater capacity to respond to additional resources in competitive environments and, in addition, its reproductive effort was unrelated to habitat conditions. The invasive potential of the alien species was higher than that of the native. This was a result of various biological characteristics and specific interactions between invader and environment, which made the invasiveness of alien species unpredictable.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raymond, Stephanie

    1999-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. FUNCTIONAL GROUP RESPONSES TO RECIPROCAL PLANT LITTER EXCHANGES BETWEEN NATIVE AND INVASIVE PLANT DOMINATED GRASSLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Manipulating litter in an attempt to direct successional trajectories is rarely considered as a management strategy. Our objective was to determine the influence of litter collected from an intact native plant community on a community dominated by an invasive species within the same habitat type as ...

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. [Allelopathic effects of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plants].

    PubMed

    Mei, Lingxiao; Chen, Xin; Tang, Jianjun

    2005-12-01

    With growth chamber method, this paper studied the allelopathic potential of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plant species. Different concentration S. canadensis root and rhizome extracts were examined, and the test plants were Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense, Medicago lupulina, Lolium perenne, Suaeda glauca, Plantago virginica, Kummerowia stipulacea, Festuca arundinacea, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea, and Amaranthus spinosus. The results showed that the allelopathic inhibitory effect of the extracts from both S. canadensis root and rhizome was enhanced with increasing concentration, and rhizome extracts had a higher effect than root extracts. At the lowest concentration (1:60), root extract had little effect on the seed germination and seedling growth of T. repens, but rhizome extract could inhibit the germination of all test plants though the inhibitory effect varied with different species. The inhibition was the greatest for grass, followed by forb and legume. 1:60 (m:m) rhizome extract had similar effects on seed germination and radicel growth, but for outgrowth, the extract could inhibit Kummerowia stipulacea, Amaranthus spinosus and Festuca arundinacea, had no significant impact on Lolium perenne, Plantago virginica, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea and Amaranthus spinosus, and stimulated Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense and Medicago lupulina. PMID:16515192

  17. 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

  18. Genetic variation in anti-herbivore chemical defenses in an invasive plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce a variety of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids (qualitative defense) or tannins (quantitative defense), that vary in effectiveness against different herbivores. Because invasive plants experience different herbivore interactions in their introduced versus native ranges, they ma...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. A Conceptual Framework for Preventing the Spatial Dispersal of Invasive Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant species have adversely affected rangelands throughout the world and continue to invade previously uninfested lands at an alarming rate. Previous efforts have focused on eradication and control; however, recent efforts have recognized preventing invasive plant species from infesting n...

  2. 75 FR 60405 - Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, Integrated Non-Native Invasive Plant Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ...The Lincoln National Forest (LNF) proposes to implement an integrated Forest-wide management strategy to control spread of non- native invasive plants (NNIP) within the LNF. The proposal utilizes several management tools, including registered herbicides, biological agents, controlled grazing, manual/mechanical methods, and adaptive management. Invasive plants designated by the State of New......

  3. Status Report on the "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" Symposium and Workshop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The “Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts” symposium and workshop, was held in Reno, Nevada on December 9-11, 2008. The purpose of this symposium was to synthesize the current understanding of the interactions of wildfire and invasive plants in the four U.S. deserts and the Colorado Pla...

  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. Limitations to postfire seedling establishment: the role of seeding technology, water availability, and invasive plant abundance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seeding rangeland following wildfire is a central tool managers use to stabilize soils and inhibit the spread of invasive plants. Rates of successful seeding on arid rangeland, however, are low. The objective of this study was to determine the degree to which water availability, invasive plant abund...

  6. Soil-mediated indirect impacts of an invasive predator on plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wardle, David A.; Bellingham, Peter J.; Fukami, Tadashi; Bonner, Karen I.

    2012-01-01

    While several studies have shown that invasive plant effects on soil biota influence subsequent plant performance, corresponding studies on how invasive animals affect plants through influencing soil biota are lacking. This is despite the fact that invasive animals often indirectly alter the below-ground subsystem. We studied 18 offshore islands in northern New Zealand, half of which have been invaded by rats that are predators of seabirds and severely reduce their densities, and half of which remain non-invaded; invasion of rats thwarts seabird transfer of resources from ocean to land. We used soil from each island in a glasshouse experiment involving soil sterilization treatments to determine whether rat invasion indirectly influences plant growth through the abiotic pathway (by impairing seabird-driven inputs to soil) or the biotic pathway (by altering the soil community). Rat invasion greatly impaired plant growth but entirely through the abiotic pathway. Plant growth was unaffected by the soil community or its response to invasion, meaning that the responses of plants and soil biota to invasion are decoupled. Our results provide experimental evidence for the powerful indirect effects that predator-instigated cascades can exert on plant and ecosystem productivity, with implications for the restoration of island ecosystems by predator removal. PMID:22496079

  7. Coevolution between Native and Invasive Plant Competitors: Implications for Invasive Species Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely...

  8. 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. PMID:26097089

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  13. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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, III; 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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. PMID:23640751

  20. [Photosynthetic characteristics of an invasive plant Conyza canadensis and its associated plants].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Hong; Ji, Ming-Shan

    2013-01-01

    To explore the invasion mechanisms of Conyza canadensis and develop effective control measures, this paper studied the photosynthetic characteristics of the invasive plant and its main associated plants Ixeris chinensis and Commelina communis. The light saturation point and light compensation point of C. canadensis were 1634.00 and 23.84 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1), respectively, which were between those of the two associated plants. The maximum net photosynthetic rate of C. canadensis below light saturation point was 28.12 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1), being much higher than that of the two associated plants. The apparent quantum yield of C. canadensis was 0.06, equal to that of I. chinensis but higher than that of C. communis. The CO2 saturation point and CO2 compensation point of C. canadensis were 834.00 and 23.69 micromol x mol(-1), respectively. The maximum net photosynthetic rate of C. canadensis below CO2 saturation point was 31.97 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1), which was between that of the two associated species. The carboxylation efficiency of C. canadensis was 0.078, being higher than that of the two associated species. The variations of photosynthetically active radiation and CO2 concentration had little effects on the stomatal conductance and transpiration rate of the three plants, but significantly affected their water use efficiency. C. canadensis had higher photosynthetic rate and material accumulation capability, and its high productivity could be one of the important factors for its successful invasion. PMID:23717992

  1. Linking concepts in the ecology and evolution of invasive plants: network analysis shows what has been most studied and identifies knowledge gaps

    PubMed Central

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Brown, Cynthia S; Tepolt, Carolyn K; Tsutsui, Neil D; Vanparys, Valérie; Atkinson, Sheryl; Mahy, Grégory; Monty, Arnaud

    2010-01-01

    In recent decades, a growing number of studies have addressed connections between ecological and evolutionary concepts in biologic invasions. These connections may be crucial for understanding the processes underlying invaders’ success. However, the extent to which scientists have worked on the integration of the ecology and evolution of invasive plants is poorly documented, as few attempts have been made to evaluate these efforts in invasion biology research. Such analysis can facilitate recognize well-documented relationships and identify gaps in our knowledge. In this study, we used a network-based method for visualizing the connections between major aspects of ecology and evolution in the primary research literature. Using the family Poaceae as an example, we show that ecological concepts were more studied and better interconnected than were evolutionary concepts. Several possible connections were not documented at all, representing knowledge gaps between ecology and evolution of invaders. Among knowledge gaps, the concepts of plasticity, gene flow, epigenetics and human influence were particularly under-connected. We discuss five possible research avenues to better understand the relationships between ecology and evolution in the success of Poaceae, and of alien plants in general. PMID:25567919

  2. The hidden side of plant invasions: the role of genome size.

    PubMed

    Suda, Jan; Meyerson, Laura A; Leitch, Ilia J; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-02-01

    The ecological role of genome size in plant biology, biogeography, and morphology has garnered increasing attention as the methods and technology associated with measuring cytological characteristics have become more reliable and accessible. However, how plant genome size influences plant invasions and at what stage in the invasion this influence occurs have been little explored. Several large-scale analyses of published data have yielded valuable interspecific comparisons, but experimental studies that manipulate environmental factors are needed, particularly below the species level, to fully understand the role that genome size plays in plant invasion. In this review, we summarize the available knowledge, discuss the integration of genome size data into invasion research, and suggest how it can be applied to detect and manage invasive species. We also explore how global climate change could exert selective pressures on plant populations with varying genome sizes, thereby increasing the distribution range and invasiveness of some populations while decreasing others. Finally, we outline avenues for future research, including considerations of large-scale studies of intraspecific variation in genome size of invasive populations, testing the interaction of genome size with other factors in macroecological analyses of invasions, as well as the role this trait may play in plant-enemy interactions. PMID:25323486

  3. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity–invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  4. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity-invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  12. 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. PMID:19236449

  13. 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...

  14. Alien Insects in Italy: Comparing Patterns from the Regional to European Level

    PubMed Central

    Inghilesi, Alberto F.; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of species outside their native range contributes to the loss of biodiversity, alters the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and damages economy and human health. Insects are one of the taxa with the highest frequency of introduction due to their high diversity, biological properties, and close association with human activities. Here, the allodiversity of Italian entomofauna was analyzed, with a focus on Tuscany (Central Italy). A list of alien insects in Tuscany is included. The status of the alien entomofauna in Italy was updated. The number of alien insects amounts to 122 in Tuscany and 923 in Italy. An introduction rate of 98 species per decade was estimated in Italy. In Tuscany, alien insects belong to 10 orders, mostly Coleoptera (38%), Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha) (23%), and Hymenoptera (13%). They have been most often introduced through vegetable items (ornamental plants or crops). Most species come from the Nearctic region (26%) and are both phytophagous (63%) and amphigonic (80%). Differences and similarities in introduction patterns and in insect abundances across orders among regional, national, and European scales, also considering worldwide abundances, are discussed. Finally, a paucity of information regarding the negative impacts of many species, except for economic pests, phytosanitary threats, and vectors of disease, is underlined. A deeper understanding of the alien insects' ecological impact might help designate policies aimed at preventing further introductions and control the invasive populations of already established species. PMID:24219427

  15. Climate change and invasion by intracontinental range-expanding exotic plants: the role of biotic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Morriën, Elly; Engelkes, Tim; Macel, Mirka; Meisner, Annelein; Van der Putten, Wim H.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims In this Botanical Briefing we describe how the interactions between plants and their biotic environment can change during range-expansion within a continent and how this may influence plant invasiveness. Scope We address how mechanisms explaining intercontinental plant invasions by exotics (such as release from enemies) may also apply to climate-warming-induced range-expanding exotics within the same continent. We focus on above-ground and below-ground interactions of plants, enemies and symbionts, on plant defences, and on nutrient cycling. Conclusions Range-expansion by plants may result in above-ground and below-ground enemy release. This enemy release can be due to the higher dispersal capacity of plants than of natural enemies. Moreover, lower-latitudinal plants can have higher defence levels than plants from temperate regions, making them better defended against herbivory. In a world that contains fewer enemies, exotic plants will experience less selection pressure to maintain high levels of defensive secondary metabolites. Range-expanders potentially affect ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling. These features are quite comparable with what is known of intercontinental invasive exotic plants. However, intracontinental range-expanding plants will have ongoing gene-flow between the newly established populations and the populations in the native range. This is a major difference from intercontinental invasive exotic plants, which become more severely disconnected from their source populations. PMID:20354072

  16. Effects of Alien Plants on Ecosystem Structure and Functioning and Implications for Restoration: Insights from Three Degraded Sites in South African Fynbos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaertner, Mirijam; Richardson, David M.; Privett, Sean D. J.

    2011-07-01

    We investigated the type and extent of degradation at three sites on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa: an old field dominated by the alien grass Pennisetum clandestinum Pers . (kikuyu), an abandoned Eucalyptus plantation, and a natural fynbos community invaded by nitrogen fixing—Australian Acacia species. These forms of degradation are representative of many areas in the region. By identifying the nature and degree of ecosystem degradation we aimed to determine appropriate strategies for restoration in this biodiversity hotspot. Vegetation surveys were conducted at degraded sites and carefully selected reference sites. Soil-stored propagule seed banks and macro- and micro-soil nutrients were determined. Species richness, diversity and native cover under Eucalyptus were extremely low compared to the reference site and alterations of the soil nutrients were the most severe. The cover of indigenous species under Acacia did not differ significantly from that in reference sites, but species richness was lower under Acacia and soils were considerably enriched. Native species richness was much lower in the kikuyu site, but soil nutrient status was similar to the reference site. Removal of the alien species alone may be sufficient to re-initiate ecosystem recovery at the kikuyu site, whereas active restoration is required to restore functioning ecosystems dominated by native species in the Acacia thicket and the Eucalyptus plantation. To restore native plant communities we suggest burning, mulching with sawdust and sowing of native species.

  17. 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...

  18. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species and climate change, each of which is likely to influence agricultural productivity and biological diversity, are also likely to interact. This chapter explores characteristics of both invasive plants and invaded ecosystems to search for generalizations that may allow us to predict w...

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. [The spectrum characteristics of an invasion plant: Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng].

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Quan, Wen-ting; Zhou, Guan-hua; Wen, Zhen-he

    2010-07-01

    Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng. (EAS) is a toxic invasion plant and has caused significant economic and environmental impacts in China. The EAS has the characteristics of widely distributing and quickly spreading. The traditional detecting and supervising methods become invalid when applied for managing the spatial distribution of EAS. Based on the analyzing results of the spectrum features of EAS, the present paper tried to structure the identifying models by remote sensing. The main objective of this paper is to develop an available method for detecting and mapping the spatial distribution of EAS. The study shows that the spectrum of EAS has two reflecting peaks and one absorbing trough. The corresponding wavelengths of those peaks are 560, 730 and 674 nm, respectively. The absorption characteristics of EAS at 647 nm are that the absorbing depth is 0.504 3-1.910 3, the absorbing width is 13.778 9-17.251 8 nm and the area at the left absorption band is greater than the right, and the corresponding area ratio of left to right is 1.771 9-2.444 1. The white flowers of EAS make the reflectance higher at visible bands, and the first-order derivatives of EAS spectral show a wave peak at 420 nm. Compared with the spectral feature of other representative materials, the absorbing characteristics at 647 nm, such as absorption width and absorption depth, and the peak at 420 nm of derivatives spectral are special features of EAS spectral, which can be used as remotely sensed parameters for detecting and mapping the EAS at florescence. PMID:20827985

  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. Cross-scale modelling of alien and native vascular plant species richness in Great Britain: where is geodiversity information most relevant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Joseph; Field, Richard; Boyd, Doreen

    2016-04-01

    We assess the scale-dependency of the relationship between biodiversity and novel geodiversity information by studying spatial patterns of native and alien (archaeophytes and neophytes) vascular plant species richness at varying spatial scales across Great Britain. Instead of using a compound geodiversity metric, we study individual geodiversity components (GDCs) to advance our understanding of which aspects of 'geodiversity' are most important and at what scale. Terrestrial native (n = 1,490) and alien (n = 1,331) vascular plant species richness was modelled across the island of Great Britain at two grain sizes and several extent radii. Various GDCs (landforms, hydrology, geology) were compiled from existing national datasets and automatically extracted landform coverage information (e.g. hollows, valleys, peaks), the latter using a digital elevation model (DEM) and geomorphometric techniques. More traditional predictors of species richness (climate, widely-used topography metrics, land cover diversity, and human population) were also incorporated. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models were produced at all grain sizes and extents for each species group and the dominant predictors were assessed. Models with and without geodiversity data were compared. Overarching patterns indicated a clear dominance of geodiversity information at the smallest study extent (12.5km radius) and finest grain size (1x1km), which substantially decreased for each increase in extent as the contribution of climatic variables increased. The contribution of GDCs to biodiversity models was chiefly driven by landform information from geomorphometry, but hydrology (rivers and lakes), and to a lesser extent materials (soil, superficial deposits, and geology), were important, also. GDCs added significantly to vascular plant biodiversity models in Great Britain, independently of widely-used topographic metrics, particularly for native species. The wider consideration of geodiversity alongside

  5. 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

  6. Response to enemies in the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria is genetically determined

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Srijana; Tielbörger, Katja

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The enemy release hypothesis assumes that invasive plants lose their co-evolved natural enemies during introduction into the new range. This study tested, as proposed by the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis, whether escape from enemies results in a decrease in defence ability in plants from the invaded range. Two straightforward aspects of the EICA are examined: (1) if invasives have lost their enemies and their defence, they should be more negatively affected by their full natural pre-invasion herbivore spectrum than their native conspecifics; and (2) the genetic basis of evolutionary change in response to enemy release in the invasive range has not been taken sufficiently into account. Methods Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) from several populations in its native (Europe) and invasive range (North America) was exposed to all above-ground herbivores in replicated natural populations in the native range. The experiment was performed both with plants raised from field-collected seeds as well as with offspring of these where maternal effects were removed. Key Results Absolute and relative leaf damage was higher for introduced than for native plants. Despite having smaller height growth rate, invasive plants attained a much larger final size than natives irrespective of damage, indicating large tolerance rather than effective defence. Origin effects on response to herbivory and growth were stronger in second-generation plants, suggesting that invasive potential through enemy release has a genetic basis. Conclusions The findings support two predictions of the EICA hypothesis – a genetically determined difference between native and invasive plants in plant vigour and response to enemies – and point to the importance of experiments that control for maternal effects and include the entire spectrum of native range enemies. PMID:22492331

  7. Alienation, Dogmatism and Acquiescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ray, John J.

    1984-01-01

    Examined the issue of acquiescence by administering a balanced dogmatism scale and a balanced alienation scale to a random sample of Australians (N=118). Results showed that dogmatism and alienation did not correlate when acquiescence was controlled. (LLL)

  8. 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...

  9. 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. PMID:16922315

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:22484518

  12. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. . PMID:27008777

  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. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Holly M; Bergmann, Erik J; Venugopal, P Dilip; Riley, Christopher B; Shrewsbury, Paula M; Raupp, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests. PMID:27581756

  15. Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As global changes reshuffle plant communities, invasive plants may benefit. Unfortunately, potential interactions among global changes and limited mechanistic understanding make it difficult to predict invasions in future environments. Here we show that elevated CO2 can strongly promote invasion by ...

  16. Species-driven changes in nitrogen cycling can provide a mechanism for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Laungani, Ramesh; Knops, Johannes M H

    2009-07-28

    Traits that permit successful invasions have often seemed idiosyncratic, and the key biological traits identified vary widely among species. This fundamentally limits our ability to determine the invasion potential of a species. However, ultimately, successful invaders must have positive growth rates that longer term result in higher biomass accumulation than competing established species. In many terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen limits plant growth, and is a key factor determining productivity and the outcome of competition among species. Plant nitrogen use may provide a powerful framework to evaluate the invasive potential of a species in nitrogen-limiting ecosystems. Six mechanisms influence plant nitrogen use or acquisition: photosynthetic tissue allocation, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-leaching losses, gross nitrogen mineralization, and plant nitrogen residence time. Here we show that among these alternatives, the key mechanism allowing invasion for Pinus strobus into nitrogen limited grasslands was its higher nitrogen residence time. This higher nitrogen residence time created a positive feedback that redistributed nitrogen from the soil into the plant. This positive feedback allowed P. strobus to accumulate twice as much nitrogen in its tissues and four times as much nitrogen to photosynthetic tissues, as compared with other plant species. In turn, this larger leaf nitrogen pool increased total plant carbon gain of P. strobus two- to sevenfold as compared with other plant species. Thus our data illustrate that plant species can change internal ecosystem nitrogen cycling feedbacks and this mechanism can allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other plant species. PMID:19592506

  17. Different Traits Determine Introduction, Naturalization and Invasion Success In Woody Plants: Proteaceae as a Test Case

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A major aim of invasion ecology is to identify characteristics of successful invaders. However, most plant groups studied in detail (e.g. pines and acacias) have a high percentage of invasive taxa. Here we examine the global introduction history and invasion ecology of Proteaceae—a large plant family with many taxa that have been widely disseminated by humans, but with few known invaders. To do this we compiled a global list of species and used boosted regression tree models to assess which factors are important in determining the status of a species (not introduced, introduced, naturalized or invasive). At least 402 of 1674 known species (24%) have been moved by humans out of their native ranges, 58 species (14%) have become naturalized but not invasive, and 8 species (2%) are invasive. The probability of naturalization was greatest for species with large native ranges, low susceptibility to Phytophthora root-rot fungus, large mammal-dispersed seeds, and with the capacity to resprout. The probability of naturalized species becoming invasive was greatest for species with large native ranges, those used as barrier plants, tall species, species with small seeds, and serotinous species. The traits driving invasiveness of Proteaceae were similar to those for acacias and pines. However, while some traits showed a consistent influence at introduction, naturalization and invasion, others appear to be influential at one stage only, and some have contrasting effects at different stages. Trait-based analyses therefore need to consider different invasion stages separately. On their own, these observations provide little predictive power for risk assessment, but when the causative mechanisms are understood (e.g. Phytophthora susceptibility) they provide valuable insights. As such there is considerable value in seeking the correlates and mechanisms underlying invasions for particular taxonomic or functional groups. PMID:24086442

  18. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    PubMed

    Vorsino, Adam E; Fortini, Lucas B; Amidon, Fred A; Miller, Stephen E; Jacobi, James D; Price, Jonathan P; Gon, Sam 'ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions. PMID:24805254

  19. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    PubMed

    Vorsino, Adam E; Fortini, Lucas B; Amidon, Fred A; Miller, Stephen E; Jacobi, James D; Price, Jonathan P; '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 <0.7 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:24991934

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Resolving whether botanic gardens are on the road to conservation or a pathway for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2015-06-01

    A global conservation goal is to understand the pathways through which invasive species are introduced into new regions. Botanic gardens are a pathway for the introduction of invasive non-native plants, but a quantitative assessment of the risks they pose has not been performed. I analyzed data on the living collections of over 3000 botanic gardens worldwide to quantify the temporal trend in the representation of non-native species; the relative composition of threatened, ornamental, or invasive non-native plant species; and the frequency with which botanic gardens implement procedures to address invasive species. While almost all of the world's worst invasive non-native plants occurred in one or more living collections (99%), less than one-quarter of red-listed threatened species were cultivated (23%). Even when cultivated, individual threatened species occurred in few living collections (7.3), while non-native species were on average grown in 6 times as many botanic gardens (44.3). As a result, a botanic garden could, on average, cultivate four times as many invasive non-native species (20) as red-listed threatened species (5). Although the risk posed by a single living collection is small, the probability of invasion increases with the number of botanic gardens within a region. Thus, while both the size of living collections and the proportion of non-native species cultivated have declined during the 20th century, this reduction in risk is offset by the 10-fold increase in the number of botanic gardens established worldwide. Unfortunately, botanic gardens rarely implement regional codes of conduct to prevent plant invasions, few have an invasive species policy, and there is limited monitoring of garden escapes. This lack of preparedness is of particular concern given the rapid increase in living collections worldwide since 1950, particularly in South America and Asia, and highlights past patterns of introduction will be a poor guide to determining future

  3. The Role of Fuel Breaks in the Invasion of Nonnative Plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, Kyle E.; Keeley, Jon E.; Beyers, Jan L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary Fuel reduction projects have become an increasingly important component of state and federal fuels management programs. However, an unintended result of some pre-fire fuel manipulation projects may be the introduction of nonnative invasive plants. The establishment of nonnative plants within fuel breaks is a serious concern because the presence of invasive species in areas treated to reduce fuels could make adjacent wildland areas more susceptible to invasion, particularly following widespread disturbances such as fires. This report presents the results of a research project investigating the relationship between fuel reduction treatments and the invasion of nonnative plants. Throughout the rest of this document, we will collectively refer to these treatments as fuel breaks, although we sampled a range of fuel breaks described variously as fuel breaks, shaded fuel breaks, defensible fuel reduction zones, defensible fuel profile zones, fuel reduction projects, fuel management zones, wildfire protection zones, and community protection zones.

  4. 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...

  5. A comprehensive test of evolutionarily increased competitive ability in a highly invasive plant species

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Srijana; Gruntman, Michal; Bilton, Mark; Seifan, Merav; Tielbörger, Katja

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims A common hypothesis to explain plants' invasive success is that release from natural enemies in the introduced range selects for reduced allocation to resistance traits and a subsequent increase in resources available for growth and competitive ability (evolution of increased competitive ability, EICA). However, studies that have investigated this hypothesis have been incomplete as they either did not test for all aspects of competitive ability or did not select appropriate competitors. Methods Here, the prediction of increased competitive ability was examined with the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) in a set of common-garden experiments that addressed these aspects by carefully distinguishing between competitive effect and response of invasive and native plants, and by using both intraspecific and interspecific competition settings with a highly vigorous neighbour, Urtica dioica (stinging nettle), which occurs in both ranges. Key Results While the intraspecific competition results showed no differences in competitive effect or response between native and invasive plants, the interspecific competition experiment revealed greater competitive response and effect of invasive plants in both biomass and seed production. Conclusions The use of both intra- and interspecific competition experiments in this study revealed opposing results. While the first experiment refutes the EICA hypothesis, the second shows strong support for it, suggesting evolutionarily increased competitive ability in invasive populations of L. salicaria. It is suggested that the use of naturally co-occurring heterospecifics, rather than conspecifics, may provide a better evaluation of the possible evolutionary shift towards greater competitive ability. PMID:25301818

  6. Sampling and Complementarity Effects of Plant Diversity on Resource Use Increases the Invasion Resistance of Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Dan H.; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Wei Z.; Yuan, Yue; Li, Bin; Wang, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Background Although plant diversity is postulated to resist invasion, studies have not provided consistent results, most of which were ascribed to the influences of other covariate environmental factors. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore the mechanisms by which plant diversity influences community invasibility, an experiment was conducted involving grassland sites varying in their species richness (one, two, four, eight, and sixteen species). Light interception efficiency and soil resources (total N, total P, and water content) were measured. The number of species, biomass, and the number of seedlings of the invading species decreased significantly with species richness. The presence of Patrinia scabiosaefolia Fisch. ex Trev. and Mosla dianthera (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxburgh) Maxim. significantly increased the resistance of the communities to invasion. A structural equation model showed that the richness of planted species had no direct and significant effect on invasion. Light interception efficiency had a negative effect on the invasion whereas soil water content had a positive effect. In monocultures, Antenoron filiforme (Thunb.) Rob. et Vaut. showed the highest light interception efficiency and P. scabiosaefolia recorded the lowest soil water content. With increased planted-species richness, a greater percentage of pots showed light use efficiency higher than that of A. filiforme and a lower soil water content than that in P. scabiosaefolia. Conclusions/Significance The results of this study suggest that plant diversity confers resistance to invasion, which is mainly ascribed to the sampling effect of particular species and the complementarity effect among species on resources use. PMID:26556713

  7. Differential plant invasiveness is not always driven by host promiscuity with bacterial symbionts.

    PubMed

    Klock, Metha M; Barrett, Luke G; Thrall, Peter H; Harms, Kyle E

    2016-01-01

    Identification of mechanisms that allow some species to outcompete others is a fundamental goal in ecology and invasive species management. One useful approach is to examine congeners varying in invasiveness in a comparative framework across native and invaded ranges. Acacia species have been widely introduced outside their native range of Australia, and a subset of these species have become invasive in multiple parts of the world. Within specific regions, the invasive status of these species varies. Our study examined whether a key mechanism in the life history of Acacia species, the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, influences acacia invasiveness on a regional scale. To assess the extent to which species varying in invasiveness correspondingly differ with regard to the diversity of rhizobia they associate with, we grew seven Acacia species ranging in invasiveness in California in multiple soils from both their native (Australia) and introduced (California) ranges. In particular, the aim was to determine whether more invasive species formed symbioses with a wider diversity of rhizobial strains (i.e. are more promiscuous hosts). We measured and compared plant performance, including aboveground biomass, survival, and nodulation response, as well as rhizobial community composition and richness. Host promiscuity did not differ among invasiveness categories. Acacia species that varied in invasiveness differed in aboveground biomass for only one soil and did not differ in survival or nodulation within individual soils. In addition, acacias did not differ in rhizobial richness among invasiveness categories. However, nodulation differed between regions and was generally higher in the native than introduced range. Our results suggest that all Acacia species introduced to California are promiscuous hosts and that host promiscuity per se does not explain the observed differences in invasiveness within this region. Our study also highlights the utility of assessing potential

  8. Differential plant invasiveness is not always driven by host promiscuity with bacterial symbionts

    PubMed Central

    Klock, Metha M.; Barrett, Luke G.; Thrall, Peter H.; Harms, Kyle E.

    2016-01-01

    Identification of mechanisms that allow some species to outcompete others is a fundamental goal in ecology and invasive species management. One useful approach is to examine congeners varying in invasiveness in a comparative framework across native and invaded ranges. Acacia species have been widely introduced outside their native range of Australia, and a subset of these species have become invasive in multiple parts of the world. Within specific regions, the invasive status of these species varies. Our study examined whether a key mechanism in the life history of Acacia species, the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, influences acacia invasiveness on a regional scale. To assess the extent to which species varying in invasiveness correspondingly differ with regard to the diversity of rhizobia they associate with, we grew seven Acacia species ranging in invasiveness in California in multiple soils from both their native (Australia) and introduced (California) ranges. In particular, the aim was to determine whether more invasive species formed symbioses with a wider diversity of rhizobial strains (i.e. are more promiscuous hosts). We measured and compared plant performance, including aboveground biomass, survival, and nodulation response, as well as rhizobial community composition and richness. Host promiscuity did not differ among invasiveness categories. Acacia species that varied in invasiveness differed in aboveground biomass for only one soil and did not differ in survival or nodulation within individual soils. In addition, acacias did not differ in rhizobial richness among invasiveness categories. However, nodulation differed between regions and was generally higher in the native than introduced range. Our results suggest that all Acacia species introduced to California are promiscuous hosts and that host promiscuity per se does not explain the observed differences in invasiveness within this region. Our study also highlights the utility of assessing potential

  9. 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

  10. A Spatially Explicit Dual-Isotope Approach to Map Regions of Plant-Plant Interaction after Exotic Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Hellmann, Christine; Werner, Christiane; Oldeland, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Understanding interactions between native and invasive plant species in field settings and quantifying the impact of invaders in heterogeneous native ecosystems requires resolving the spatial scale on which these processes take place. Therefore, functional tracers are needed that enable resolving the alterations induced by exotic plant invasion in contrast to natural variation in a spatially explicit way. 15N isoscapes, i.e., spatially referenced representations of stable nitrogen isotopic signatures, have recently provided such a tracer. However, different processes, e.g. water, nitrogen or carbon cycles, may be affected at different spatial scales. Thus multi-isotope studies, by using different functional tracers, can potentially return a more integrated picture of invader impact. This is particularly true when isoscapes are submitted to statistical methods suitable to find homogeneous subgroups in multivariate data such as cluster analysis. Here, we used model-based clustering of spatially explicit foliar δ15N and δ13C isoscapes together with N concentration of a native indicator species, Corema album, to map regions of influence in a Portuguese dune ecosystem invaded by the N2-fixing Acacia longifolia. Cluster analysis identified regions with pronounced alterations in N budget and water use efficiency in the native species, with a more than twofold increase in foliar N, and δ13C and δ15N enrichment of up to 2‰ and 8‰ closer to the invader, respectively. Furthermore, clusters of multiple functional tracers indicated a spatial shift from facilitation through N addition in the proximity of the invader to competition for resources other than N in close contact. Finding homogeneous subgroups in multi-isotope data by means of model-based cluster analysis provided an effective tool for detecting spatial structure in processes affecting plant physiology and performance. The proposed method can give an objective measure of the spatial extent of influence of

  11. 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

  12. Buffelgrass-Integrated modeling of an invasive plant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holcombe, Tracy R.

    2011-01-01

    Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) poses a problem in the deserts of the United States, growing in dense stands and introducing a wildfire risk in an ecosystem not adapted to fire. The Invasive Species Science Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center has worked with many partners to develop a decision support model and a data management system to address the problem. The decision support model evaluates potential strategies for resource use and allocation. The data management system is a portal where users can submit, view, and download buffelgrass data. These tools provide a case study showcasing how the FORT is working to address the urgent issue of invasive species in the United States.

  13. The coregulator Alien

    PubMed Central

    Papaioannou, Maria; Melle, Christian; Baniahmad, Aria

    2007-01-01

    Alien has characteristics of a corepressor for selected members of the nuclear hormone receptor (NHR) superfamily and also for transcription factors involved in cell cycle regulation and DNA repair. Alien mediates gene silencing and represses the transactivation of specific NHRs and other transcription factors to modulate hormone response and cell proliferation. Alien is a highly conserved protein and is expressed in a wide variety of tissues. Knockout of the gene encoding Alien in mice is embryonic lethal at a very early stage, indicating an important evolutionary role in multicellular organisms. From a mechanistic perspective, the corepressor function of Alien is in part mediated by histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity. In addition, Alien seems to modulate nucleosome assembly activity. This suggests that Alien is acting on chromatin not only through recruitment of histone-modifying activities, but also through enhancing nucleosome assembly. PMID:18174916

  14. Links between Plant Invasion, Anthropogenic Nitrogen Enrichment, and Wildfires: A Systematic Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felker-Quinn, E.; Gooding Lassiter, M.; Maxwell, A.; Housego, R.; Young, B.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires can become positive feedbacks in climate change scenarios, because wildfires release large amounts of carbon sequestered in plants and soil to the atmosphere, and because their frequency increases with increasing temperatures. Invasive plants represent an important biotic link between anthropogenic activity and wildfire, as many of these species benefit from human disturbance while increasing fire frequency and severity. A robust body of literature addresses the response of invasive species to nitrogen enrichment, and a separate body of research assesses the feedbacks between invasive plant species and wildfire. We have undertaken a systematic review of these fields in order to evaluate the hypothesis that anthropogenic nitrogen loading contributes to increasing wildfires by promoting the growth and spread of fire-adapted invasive plant species. We identified invasive plant species using the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS), a Forest Service database that evaluates fire ecology of species identified as being of concern by land managers. We used information contained in the FEIS as well as more recent studies to characterize species on a continuum from fire-adapted to fire-intolerant based on traits related to interactions of fire with survival, reproduction, and spread. Of the 107 invasive plant species with fire ecology reports in the FEIS, we have initially classified 18 as fire-adapted, possessing traits that intensify fire regimes. Additionally, 33 species are fire-tolerant, benefiting from fire primarily because it creates a high-resource, low-competition environment. In continuing work, we are evaluating the responses of the invasive plant species to increased anthropogenic nitrogen with a focus on traits such as germination, productivity, and survival, as these traits contribute to wildfire frequency and severity. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U

  15. Improving methods to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions: lessons from 40 years of research.

    PubMed

    Stricker, Kerry Bohl; Hagan, Donald; Flory, S Luke

    2015-01-01

    Methods used to evaluate the ecological impacts of biological invasions vary widely from broad-scale observational studies to removal experiments in invaded communities and experimental additions in common gardens and greenhouses. Different methods provide information at diverse spatial and temporal scales with varying levels of reliability. Thus, here we provide a synthetic and critical review of the methods used to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions and provide recommendations for future research. We review the types of methods available and report patterns in methods used, including the duration and spatial scale of studies and plant functional groups examined, from 410 peer-reviewed papers published between 1971 and 2011. We found that there has been a marked increase in papers published on plant invasion impacts since 2003 and that more than half of all studies employed observational methods while <5 % included predictive modelling. Most of the studies were temporally and spatially restricted with 51 % of studies lasting <1 year and almost half of all studies conducted in plots or mesocosms <1 m(2). There was also a bias in life form studied: more than 60 % of all studies evaluated impacts of invasive forbs and graminoids while <16 % focused on invasive trees. To more effectively quantify invasion impacts, we argue that longer-term experimental research and more studies that use predictive modelling and evaluate impacts of invasions on ecosystem processes and fauna are needed. Combining broad-scale observational studies with experiments and predictive modelling may provide the most insight into invasion impacts for policy makers and land managers seeking to reduce the effects of plant invasions. PMID:25829379

  16. Improving methods to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions: lessons from 40 years of research

    PubMed Central

    Stricker, Kerry Bohl; Hagan, Donald; Flory, S. Luke

    2015-01-01

    Methods used to evaluate the ecological impacts of biological invasions vary widely from broad-scale observational studies to removal experiments in invaded communities and experimental additions in common gardens and greenhouses. Different methods provide information at diverse spatial and temporal scales with varying levels of reliability. Thus, here we provide a synthetic and critical review of the methods used to evaluate the impacts of plant invasions and provide recommendations for future research. We review the types of methods available and report patterns in methods used, including the duration and spatial scale of studies and plant functional groups examined, from 410 peer-reviewed papers published between 1971 and 2011. We found that there has been a marked increase in papers published on plant invasion impacts since 2003 and that more than half of all studies employed observational methods while <5 % included predictive modelling. Most of the studies were temporally and spatially restricted with 51 % of studies lasting <1 year and almost half of all studies conducted in plots or mesocosms <1 m2. There was also a bias in life form studied: more than 60 % of all studies evaluated impacts of invasive forbs and graminoids while <16 % focused on invasive trees. To more effectively quantify invasion impacts, we argue that longer-term experimental research and more studies that use predictive modelling and evaluate impacts of invasions on ecosystem processes and fauna are needed. Combining broad-scale observational studies with experiments and predictive modelling may provide the most insight into invasion impacts for policy makers and land managers seeking to reduce the effects of plant invasions. PMID:25829379

  17. Rhizosphere bacterial communities associated with insect root herbivory of an invasive plant, Euphorbia esula/virgata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The invasive perennial plant of Eurasian origin Euphorbia esula/virgata has been successfully controlled over large areas in North America with a synergism between larvae of Aphthona spp. and soilborne plant pathogens. However, a multitude of sites is not yet under control. Possible effects of rhizo...

  18. Pathways of invasive plant spread to Alaska: III. contaminants in crop and grass seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants disperse to new areas via numerous pathways. Study of these pathways helps to focus limited budgets for prevention and early detection. This study examined seed contaminants in imported crop and grass seed as pathway for plant dispersal to Alaska. Crop and grass seed were purchased f...

  19. Rhizosphere bacterial communities associated with insect root herbivory of an invasive plant, Euphorbia esula/virgata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The invasive perennial plant of Eurasian origin, Euphorbia esula/virgata L., has been successfully controlled over large areas in North America with a synergism between larvae of Aphthona spp. and soilborne plant pathogens. However, a multitude of sites is not yet under control. Studies are needed o...

  20. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer N; Emlen, Douglas J; Pearson, Dean E

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  1. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Emlen, Douglas J.; Pearson, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders’ web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe’s architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  2. REMOTE SENSING AND GEOSPATIAL MODELING FOR MONITORING INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remote sensing is used to show the actual distribution of distinctive invasive weeds such as leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.), whereas landscape modeling can show the potential distribution over an area. Geographic information system data and hyperspectral imagery [NASA JPL’s Airborne Visible Infra...

  3. Biological invasions and the study of vertebrate dispersal of plants: Opportunities and integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westcott, David A.; Fletcher, Cameron S.

    2011-11-01

    Biological invasions are a key threat to natural ecosystems and consequently a major focus of ecological research. Even though it is dispersal processes that result in the movement of invasive populations through landscapes, dispersal ecology has played a relatively minor role in invasion ecology research. This is particularly true for vertebrate-dispersed plants. To encourage thinking around these issues and a greater involvement of dispersal ecologists in invasion research, we review contributions made to invasion ecology by dispersal ecology and highlight opportunities that the study of biological invasions offers for improving our understanding of dispersal processes. We suggest that by working in the context of invasions dispersal ecologists are not only able to contribute to the development of process-based management but also gain new opportunities for developing and testing predictions in their field. Because biological invasions are perturbations of natural systems they provide excellent opportunities for both natural and manipulative experimentation with potential for a range of forms of replication. Significantly, the need to develop a predictive understanding of population-level patterns of spread in order to manage invasives demands a shift away from studying individual vectors to developing predictions that integrate across all vectors and processes in the dispersal loop. This is a significant development for dispersal ecology and is a major opportunity for dispersal ecologists to contribute to a current environmental issue.

  4. Impact of herbivory on performance of Vincetoxicum spp., invasive weeds in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alien invasive vines Vincetoxicum rossicum and Vincetoxicum nigrum (swallow-wort) are of major concern in eastern North America, where both species invade forested landscapes and threaten faunal and plant diversity. Among the few native natural enemies reported in Eurasia, the specialist chryso...

  5. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  6. Different Responses of an Invasive Clonal Plant Wedelia trilobata and its Native Congener to Gibberellin: Implications for Biological Invasion.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Qi, Shan-Shan; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Wan, Ling-Yun; Huang, Ping; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-02-01

    The invasive clonal plant Wedelia trilobata contains higher levels of ent-kaurane diterpenes, which are precursors of gibberellins (GAs), and higher rates of clonal growth than its native congener W. chinensis in invaded habitats. We hypothesized that the higher levels of endogenous GAs facilitate greater ramet growth in W. trilobata compared with W. chinensis. We quantified endogenous levels of GA1+3 in the two species and compared their growth responses to the changes of endogenous and exogenous GA3 by using short-term and long-term hydroponics experiments. After a period of homogeneous cultivation, levels of endogenous GA1+3 were higher in W. trilobata than in W. chinensis. The reduction of endogenous GAs repressed the emergence of adventitious roots and the growth of W. trilobata in the initial cultivation stage, and inhibited its shoot elongation and biomass. Levels of endogenous GA1+3 were positively correlated with the length of shoots and adventitious roots of W. trilobata. Adventitious roots of W. trilobata also emerged earlier and grew faster when treated with exogenous GA3. In contrast, exogenous GA3 treatment inhibited the length of adventitious roots in W. chinensis, and levels of endogenous GA1+3 did not correlate with shoot or adventitious root length. Our study suggests that GAs accelerate the rapid clonal growth of W. trilobata, more than that of its native congener W. chinensis, illustrating the relationship between plant hormones and the clonal growth of invasive plants. These findings are important for understanding the mechanisms associated with the invasiveness of clonal plants and their potential management. PMID:26879680

  7. Facilitation and Competition among Invasive Plants: A Field Experiment with Alligatorweed and Water Hyacinth

    PubMed Central

    Wundrow, Emily J.; Carrillo, Juli; Gabler, Christopher A.; Horn, Katherine C.; Siemann, Evan

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems that are heavily invaded by an exotic species often contain abundant populations of other invasive species. This may reflect shared responses to a common factor, but may also reflect positive interactions among these exotic species. Armand Bayou (Pasadena, TX) is one such ecosystem where multiple species of invasive aquatic plants are common. We used this system to investigate whether presence of one exotic species made subsequent invasions by other exotic species more likely, less likely, or if it had no effect. We performed an experiment in which we selectively removed exotic rooted and/or floating aquatic plant species and tracked subsequent colonization and growth of native and invasive species. This allowed us to quantify how presence or absence of one plant functional group influenced the likelihood of successful invasion by members of the other functional group. We found that presence of alligatorweed (rooted plant) decreased establishment of new water hyacinth (free-floating plant) patches but increased growth of hyacinth in established patches, with an overall net positive effect on success of water hyacinth. Water hyacinth presence had no effect on establishment of alligatorweed but decreased growth of existing alligatorweed patches, with an overall net negative effect on success of alligatorweed. Moreover, observational data showed positive correlations between hyacinth and alligatorweed with hyacinth, on average, more abundant. The negative effect of hyacinth on alligatorweed growth implies competition, not strong mutual facilitation (invasional meltdown), is occurring in this system. Removal of hyacinth may increase alligatorweed invasion through release from competition. However, removal of alligatorweed may have more complex effects on hyacinth patch dynamics because there were strong opposing effects on establishment versus growth. The mix of positive and negative interactions between floating and rooted aquatic plants may influence local

  8. Effects of Invasive-Plant Management on Nitrogen-Removal Services in Freshwater Tidal Marshes.

    PubMed

    Alldred, Mary; Baines, Stephen B; Findlay, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Establishing relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function is an ongoing endeavor in contemporary ecosystem and community ecology, with important practical implications for conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem services. Removal of invasive plant species to conserve native diversity is a common management objective in many ecosystems, including wetlands. However, substantial changes in plant community composition have the potential to alter sediment characteristics and ecosystem services, including permanent removal of nitrogen from these systems via microbial denitrification. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping and removing invasive plants is needed to manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. We monitored small-scale removals of Phragmites australis over four years to determine their effects on potential denitrification rates relative to three untreated Phragmites sites and adjacent sites dominated by native Typha angustifolia. Sediment ammonium increased following the removal of vegetation from treated sites, likely as a result of decreases in both plant uptake and nitrification. Denitrification potentials were lower in removal sites relative to untreated Phragmites sites, a pattern that persisted at least two years following removal as native plant species began to re-colonize treated sites. These results suggest the potential for a trade-off between invasive-plant management and nitrogen-removal services. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping versus removing invasive plants is needed to adequately manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. PMID:26914688

  9. Effects of Invasive-Plant Management on Nitrogen-Removal Services in Freshwater Tidal Marshes

    PubMed Central

    Alldred, Mary; Baines, Stephen B.; Findlay, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Establishing relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function is an ongoing endeavor in contemporary ecosystem and community ecology, with important practical implications for conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem services. Removal of invasive plant species to conserve native diversity is a common management objective in many ecosystems, including wetlands. However, substantial changes in plant community composition have the potential to alter sediment characteristics and ecosystem services, including permanent removal of nitrogen from these systems via microbial denitrification. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping and removing invasive plants is needed to manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. We monitored small-scale removals of Phragmites australis over four years to determine their effects on potential denitrification rates relative to three untreated Phragmites sites and adjacent sites dominated by native Typha angustifolia. Sediment ammonium increased following the removal of vegetation from treated sites, likely as a result of decreases in both plant uptake and nitrification. Denitrification potentials were lower in removal sites relative to untreated Phragmites sites, a pattern that persisted at least two years following removal as native plant species began to re-colonize treated sites. These results suggest the potential for a trade-off between invasive-plant management and nitrogen-removal services. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping versus removing invasive plants is needed to adequately manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. PMID:26914688

  10. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    PubMed

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity. PMID:25015121

  11. Plant Community Responses to Simultaneous Changes in Temperature, Nitrogen Availability, and Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Gornish, Elise S.; Miller, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking. Methods and Results In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community. Conclusions and Significance This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment. PMID:25879440

  12. Consequences of plant invasions on compartmentalization and species’ roles in plant–pollinator networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Compartmentalization—the organization of ecological interaction networks into subsets of species that do not interact with other subsets (true compartments) or interact more frequently among themselves than with other species (modules)—has been identified as a key property for the functioning, stability and evolution of ecological communities. Invasions by entomophilous invasive plants may profoundly alter the way interaction networks are compartmentalized. We analysed a comprehensive dataset of 40 paired plant–pollinator networks (invaded versus uninvaded) to test this hypothesis. We show that invasive plants have higher generalization levels with respect to their pollinators than natives. The consequences for network topology are that—rather than displacing native species from the network—plant invaders attracting pollinators into invaded modules tend to play new important topological roles (i.e. network hubs, module hubs and connectors) and cause role shifts in native species, creating larger modules that are more connected among each other. While the number of true compartments was lower in invaded compared with uninvaded networks, the effect of invasion on modularity was contingent on the study system. Interestingly, the generalization level of the invasive plants partially explains this pattern, with more generalized invaders contributing to a lower modularity. Our findings indicate that the altered interaction structure of invaded networks makes them more robust against simulated random secondary species extinctions, but more vulnerable when the typically highly connected invasive plants go extinct first. The consequences and pathways by which biological invasions alter the interaction structure of plant–pollinator communities highlighted in this study may have important dynamical and functional implications, for example, by influencing multi-species reciprocal selection regimes and coevolutionary processes. PMID:24943368

  13. Impacts of Climate Variability on Non-native Plant Invasion in the Western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, B. A.

    2006-12-01

    Plant invasions are changing ecosystem structure and function throughout the United States. In many areas of the west, invasive species such as tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) dominate landscapes. Expansion of these species is occurring at a staggering rate, and invasion rates may change in the future as native ecosystems become more or less susceptible to invasion because of changes in climate. For example, evidence suggests that some plant invaders are favored under increased ambient CO2 levels, potentially leading to increased invasion with continued greenhouse gas emissions. In this work, I predict how western invasive plant species may also be affected by changes in climate variability. According to IPCC reports, rising ocean temperatures may change the frequency and intensity of El Niño events, potentially resulting in wetter El Niño years and/or more extreme and lengthier drought. In semi-arid systems, changing frequency or magnitude of extreme weather events may further shift the competitive balance between native and invasive species. For example, cheatgrass and yellow starthistle, both annual invaders, display high inter-annual variability in response to water availability. As a result, plants are larger and produce more seeds than native competitors during extreme wet years. This phenological response is so strong in cheatgrass communities that it can be observed in regional satellite records. Further, dense cheatgrass growth leads to a secondary feedback in the form of wildfire; higher density cheatgrass increases fire frequency in shrublands and enables further cheatgrass colonization. In this work, I synthesize knowledge of invasive plant phenological response under different climate conditions, drawing on information gathered through geographical mapping efforts at state or regional levels by university and agency researchers. Using the ranges of climate tolerance from current

  14. Crabs mediate interactions between native and invasive salt marsh plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-Yun; Shao, Jun-Jiong; Wu, Xin-Ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  15. Crabs Mediate Interactions between Native and Invasive Salt Marsh Plants: A Mesocosm Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-yun; Shao, Jun-jiong; Wu, Xin-ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  16. Seed dispersal by white-tailed deer: implications for long-distance dispersal, invasion, and migration of plants in eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Myers, Jonathan A; Vellend, Mark; Gardescu, Sana; Marks, P L

    2004-03-01

    For many plant species in eastern North America, short observed seed dispersal distances (ranging up to a few tens of meters) fail to explain rapid rates of invasion and migration. This discrepancy points to a substantial gap in our knowledge of the mechanisms by which seeds are dispersed long distances. We investigated the potential for white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus Zimm.), the dominant large herbivore in much of eastern North America, to disperse seeds via endozoochory. This is the first comprehensive study of seed dispersal by white-tailed deer, despite a vast body of research on other aspects of their ecology. More than 70 plant species germinated from deer feces collected over a 1-year period in central New York State, USA. Viable seeds included native and alien herbs, shrubs, and trees, including several invasive introduced species, from the full range of habitat types in the local flora. A mean of >30 seeds germinated per fecal pellet group, and seeds were dispersed during all months of the year. A wide variety of presumed dispersal modes were represented (endo- and exozoochory, wind, ballistic, ant, and unassisted). The majority were species with small-seeded fruits having no obvious adaptations for dispersal, underscoring the difficulty of inferring dispersal ability from diaspore morphology. Due to their broad diet, wide-ranging movements, and relatively long gut retention times, white-tailed deer have tremendous potential for effecting long-distance seed dispersal via ingestion and defecation. We conclude that white-tailed deer represent a significant and previously unappreciated vector of seed dispersal across the North American landscape, probably contributing an important long-distance component to the seed shadows of hundreds of plant species, and providing a mechanism to help explain rapid rates of plant migration. PMID:14740288

  17. Use of exotic plants to control Spartina alterniflora invasion and promote mangrove restoration.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ting; Liu, Shuchao; Feng, Zhili; Liu, Gang; Gan, Qian; Peng, Shaolin

    2015-01-01

    In coastal China, the exotic invasive Spartina alterniflora is preventing the establishment of native mangroves. The use of exotic species, control of exotic plant invasion, and restoration of native plant communities are timely research issues. We used exotic Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham and S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. to control invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel through replacement control for five years, which concurrently promoted the restoration of native mangroves. This process includes three stages. I: In a mangrove area invaded by S. alterniflora, exotic S. apetala and S. caseolaris grew rapidly due to their relatively fast-growing character and an allelopathic effect. II: Fast-growing S. apetala and S. caseolaris eradicate S. alterniflora through shading and allelopathy. III: The growth of native mangrove was promoted because exotic plant seedlings cannot regenerate in the understory shade, whereas native mesophytic mangrove plants seedlings can grow; when the area experiences extreme low temperatures in winter or at other times, S. apetala dies, and native mangrove species grow to restore the communities. This model has important implications for addressing the worldwide problems of "how to implement the ecological control of invasion using exotic species" and "how to concurrently promote native community restoration during the control of exotic invasion". PMID:26291074

  18. Invasive cells in animals and plants: searching for LECA machineries in later eukaryotic life

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Invasive cell growth and migration is usually considered a specifically metazoan phenomenon. However, common features and mechanisms of cytoskeletal rearrangements, membrane trafficking and signalling processes contribute to cellular invasiveness in organisms as diverse as metazoans and plants – two eukaryotic realms genealogically connected only through the last common eukaryotic ancestor (LECA). By comparing current understanding of cell invasiveness in model cell types of both metazoan and plant origin (invadopodia of transformed metazoan cells, neurites, pollen tubes and root hairs), we document that invasive cell behavior in both lineages depends on similar mechanisms. While some superficially analogous processes may have arisen independently by convergent evolution (e.g. secretion of substrate- or tissue-macerating enzymes by both animal and plant cells), at the heart of cell invasion is an evolutionarily conserved machinery of cellular polarization and oriented cell mobilization, involving the actin cytoskeleton and the secretory pathway. Its central components - small GTPases (in particular RHO, but also ARF and Rab), their specialized effectors, actin and associated proteins, the exocyst complex essential for polarized secretion, or components of the phospholipid- and redox- based signalling circuits (inositol-phospholipid kinases/PIP2, NADPH oxidases) are aparently homologous among plants and metazoans, indicating that they were present already in LECA. Reviewer: This article was reviewed by Arcady Mushegian, Valerian Dolja and Purificacion Lopez-Garcia. PMID:23557484

  19. Using composting for control seed germination of invasive plant (water hyacinth) in Extremadura (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrador, Juana; Gordillo, Judit; Ruiz, Trinidad; Albano, Eva; Moreno, Marta M.

    2016-04-01

    The biotransformation of the invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) by composting has been showed as a viable alternative to offset the economic cost of eliminating an invasive plant giving a value to the by-product; however, as result of the propagative plant capacity, it was necessary to check if the composting process could eliminate the germination seed rate. Despite the high temperatures and the biochemical biotransformation processes of the composting components, in the case of seed water hyacinth, with a recovery rate of 100%, damage was observed in some parts of the seed anatomy such as in the outer teguments; however, other parts of the seed coat and the endosperm maintained their integrity. A microscopic analysis revealed that the embryo was noticeable and this was supported by the rate of seed germination observed (3.5 ± 0.96%). The results indicate that the use of water hyacinth for compost production is not completely safe from an environmental perspective. Keywords: Eichhornia crassipes, water hyacinth, invasive plant, seed anatomy, seed germination rate, compost. References: Ruiz T., Martín de Rodrigo E., Lorenzo G., Albano E., Morán R., Sánchez J.M. 2008. The Water Hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes: an invasive plant in the Guadiana River Basin (Spain). Aquatic Invasions Volume 3, Issue 1:42-53.

  20. High risk of plant invasion in the understory of eucalypt plantations in South China

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Dongmei; Huang, Yong; Zhou, Xi-Le; Chen, Bin; Ma, Jinshuang; Yan, Yue-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Eucalypt plantations expand rapidly out of their natural distribution zones, thus inducing a concern on their effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We compare the understory plant diversity of 46 plots of eucalypt plantations, including early and later stages in rotation, with that of 21 plots of contrast vegetation, including other types of plantations and secondary shrub grassland, in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, South China. Although the overall plant diversity did not change significantly in eucalypt plantations relative to the contrast vegetation, the community structures changed dramatically. The Asteraceae family, which is the most important source of destructive invasive plant species in China, is ranked 3rd (7.42%) and 7th (3.14%) in species importance in the early and later stages in eucalypt plantations, respectively. Nevertheless, Asteraceae is ranked 15th (1.73%) in other types of plantations and 21st (0.94%) in secondary shrub grassland. Significant increases in the richness and frequency of invasive species were also observed in eucalypt plantations. Among the 20 invasive species recorded in the eucalypt plantations, 9 species were destructive invasive species and 7 of these species belonged to Asteraceae. This study highlights an enhanced plant invasion risk in eucalypt plantations in South China, particularly by Asteraceae. PMID:26686825

  1. Alien species as a driver of recent extinctions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, Céline; Cassey, Phillip; Blackburn, Tim M

    2016-02-01

    We assessed the prevalence of alien species as a driver of recent extinctions in five major taxa (plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), using data from the IUCN Red List. Our results show that alien species are the second most common threat associated with species that have gone completely extinct from these taxa since AD 1500. Aliens are the most common threat associated with extinctions in three of the five taxa analysed, and for vertebrate extinctions overall. PMID:26888913

  2. The Haustorium, a Specialized Invasive Organ in Parasitic Plants.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Satoko; Cui, Songkui; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Shirasu, Ken

    2016-04-29

    Parasitic plants thrive by infecting other plants. Flowering plants evolved parasitism independently at least 12 times, in all cases developing a unique multicellular organ called the haustorium that forms upon detection of haustorium-inducing factors derived from the host plant. This organ penetrates into the host stem or root and connects to its vasculature, allowing exchange of materials such as water, nutrients, proteins, nucleotides, pathogens, and retrotransposons between the host and the parasite. In this review, we focus on the formation and function of the haustorium in parasitic plants, with a specific emphasis on recent advances in molecular studies of root parasites in the Orobanchaceae and stem parasites in the Convolvulaceae. PMID:27128469

  3. Simulated acid rain alters litter decomposition and enhances the allelopathic potential of the invasive plant Wedelia trilobata (Creeping Daisy)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species and acid rain cause global environmental problems. Limited information exists, however, concerning the effects of acid rain on the invasiveness of these plants. For example, creeping daisy, an invasive exotic allelopathic weed, has caused great damage in southern China where acid ra...

  4. Public Perception of Invasive Plant Species: Assessing the Impact of Workshop Activities to Promote Young Students' Awareness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schreck Reis, Catarina; Marchante, Helia; Freitas, Helena; Marchante, Elizabete

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are one of the main threats to biodiversity worldwide. Even though they are identified and recognized as such by the Portuguese law, the majority of the population is not yet aware of this problem. Aiming to increase awareness about biological invasions among young students, a workshop on Invasive Plant Species was organized at…

  5. Estimating suitable environments for invasive plant species across large landscapes: A remote sensing strategy using Landsat 7 ETM+

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The key to reducing ecological and economic damage caused by invasive plant species is to locate and eradicate new invasions before they threaten native biodiversity and ecological processes. We used Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery to estimate suitable environments for four invasive pl...

  6. Southwest Exotic Mapping Program 2007: Occurrence Summary and Maps of Select Invasive, Non-native Plants in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Guertin, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Introduction An important aspect of management of invasive, non-native plants (invasive plants) is information on the type, location, and magnitude of infestations. Regional development of this information requires an integrated program of data collection, management, and delivery. The Southwest Exotic Plant Mapping Program (SWEMP), coordinated through the U.S. Geological Survey's Southwest Biological Science Center, annually compiles occurrence records for infestations of invasive plants. Operating since 1998, the SWEMP team has accepted occurrence records contributed voluntarily by federal, tribal, state, and private collaborators and has compiled these contributions accumulatively with previous versions of SWEMP. The SWEMP 2007 regional database update, SWEMP07, contains 62,000 records for 221 plant species with records dating as far back as 1911 and up to December, 2006. Records include invasive plants in Arizona, eastern California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. SWEMP07 is available through the Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse (http://sbsc.wr.usgs.gov/research/projects/swepic/swepic.asp, click SWEMP). Not all invasive plants are non-native and not all invasive plants are even invasive. The Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council (2006) defined an invasive species as 'a species that is (1) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and, (2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health'. SWEMP uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/) to determine if a plant is native or not to Arizona. As SWEMP does not independently assess the current or potential impact of invasive plants, we include most non-native plant records contributed. We have not included agricultural crops that are non-native, for example apples, oranges, etc. In this open-file-report, we use the SWEMP07 update to summarize the occurrence of invasive plants in Arizona and

  7. 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. PMID:26599567

  8. Invasion strategies in clonal aquatic plants: are phenotypic differences caused by phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation?

    PubMed Central

    Riis, Tenna; Lambertini, Carla; Olesen, Birgit; Clayton, John S.; Brix, Hans; Sorrell, Brian K.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims The successful spread of invasive plants in new environments is often linked to multiple introductions and a diverse gene pool that facilitates local adaptation to variable environmental conditions. For clonal plants, however, phenotypic plasticity may be equally important. Here the primary adaptive strategy in three non-native, clonally reproducing macrophytes (Egeria densa, Elodea canadensis and Lagarosiphon major) in New Zealand freshwaters were examined and an attempt was made to link observed differences in plant morphology to local variation in habitat conditions. Methods Field populations with a large phenotypic variety were sampled in a range of lakes and streams with different chemical and physical properties. The phenotypic plasticity of the species before and after cultivation was studied in a common garden growth experiment, and the genetic diversity of these same populations was also quantified. Key Results For all three species, greater variation in plant characteristics was found before they were grown in standardized conditions. Moreover, field populations displayed remarkably little genetic variation and there was little interaction between habitat conditions and plant morphological characteristics. Conclusions The results indicate that at the current stage of spread into New Zealand, the primary adaptive strategy of these three invasive macrophytes is phenotypic plasticity. However, while limited, the possibility that genetic diversity between populations may facilitate ecotypic differentiation in the future cannot be excluded. These results thus indicate that invasive clonal aquatic plants adapt to new introduced areas by phenotypic plasticity. Inorganic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous were important in controlling plant size of E. canadensis and L. major, but no other relationships between plant characteristics and habitat conditions were apparent. This implies that within-species differences in plant size can be explained

  9. Arbuscular mycorrhizal assemblages in native plant roots change in the presence of invasive exotic grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hawkes, C.V.; Belnap, J.; D'Antonio, C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized with PCR amplification of the ITS region, cloning, and sequencing. We saw a significant effect of the presence of exotic grasses on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi colonizing native plant roots. In the three native grasses, richness of mycorrhizal fungi decreased; in the native forb at the California site, the number of fungal RFLP patterns increased in the presence of exotics. The exotic grasses also caused the composition of the mycorrhizal community in native roots to shift dramatically both in California, with turnover of Glomus spp., and Utah, with replacement of Glomus spp. by apparently non-mycorrhizal fungi. Invading plants may be able to influence the network of mycorrhizal fungi in soil that is available to natives through either earlier root activity or differential carbon provision compared to natives. Alteration of the soil microbial community by plant invasion can provide a mechanism for both successful invasion and the resulting effects of invaders on the ecosystem. ?? Springer 2006.

  10. Will climate change increase the risk of plant invasions into mountains?

    PubMed

    Petitpierre, Blaise; McDougall, Keith; Seipel, Tim; Broennimann, Olivier; Guisan, Antoine; Kueffer, Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Mountain ecosystems have been less adversely affected by invasions of non-native plants than most other ecosystems, partially because most invasive plants in the lowlands are limited by climate and cannot grow under harsher high-elevation conditions. However, with ongoing climate change, invasive species may rapidly move upwards and threaten mid-, and then high-elevation mountain ecosystems. We evaluated this threat by modeling the current and future habitat suitability for 48 invasive plant species in Switzerland and New South Wales, Australia. Both regions had contrasting climate interactions with elevation, resulting in possible different responses of species distributions to climate change. Using a species distribution modeling approach that combines data from two spatial scales, we built high-resolution species distribution models (≤ 250 m) that account for the global climatic niche of species and also finer variables depicting local climate and disturbances. We found that different environmental drivers limit the elevation range of invasive species in each of the two regions, leading to region-specific species responses to climate change. The optimal suitability for plant invaders is predicted to markedly shift from the lowland to the montane or subalpine zone in Switzerland, whereas the upward shift is far less pronounced in New South Wales where montane and subalpine elevations are already suitable. The results suggest that species most likely to invade high elevations in Switzerland will be cold-tolerant, whereas species with an affinity to moist soils are most likely to invade higher elevations in Australia. Other plant traits were only marginally associated with elevation limits. These results demonstrate that a more systematic consideration of future distributions of invasive species is required in conservation plans of not yet invaded mountainous ecosystems. PMID:27209793

  11. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crall, Alycia W.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P 2) = 47.42, P < 0.01). From these findings, we conclude that habitat suitability models can be

  12. Strategies for preventing invasive plant outbreaks after prescribed fire in ponderosa pine forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, Amy J.; Newton, Wesley E.; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Land managers use prescribed fire to return a vital process to fire-adapted ecosystems, restore forest structure from a state altered by long-term fire suppression, and reduce wildfire intensity. However, fire often produces favorable conditions for invasive plant species, particularly if it is intense enough to reveal bare mineral soil and open previously closed canopies. Understanding the environmental or fire characteristics that explain post-fire invasive plant abundance would aid managers in efficiently finding and quickly responding to fire-caused infestations. To that end, we used an information-theoretic model-selection approach to assess the relative importance of abiotic environmental characteristics (topoedaphic position, distance from roads), pre-and post-fire biotic environmental characteristics (forest structure, understory vegetation, fuel load), and prescribed fire severity (measured in four different ways) in explaining invasive plant cover in ponderosa pine forest in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Environmental characteristics (distance from roads and post-fire forest structure) alone provided the most explanation of variation (26%) in post-fire cover of Verbascum thapsus (common mullein), but a combination of surface fire severity and environmental characteristics (pre-fire forest structure and distance from roads) explained 36–39% of the variation in post-fire cover of Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) and all invasives together. For four species and all invasives together, their pre-fire cover explained more variation (26–82%) in post-fire cover than environmental and fire characteristics did, suggesting one strategy for reducing post-fire invasive outbreaks may be to find and control invasives before the fire. Finding them may be difficult, however, since pre-fire environmental characteristics explained only 20% of variation in pre-fire total invasive cover, and less for individual species. Thus, moderating fire intensity or targeting areas

  13. Modeling the Impact of Spatial Structure on Growth Dynamics of Invasive Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, James T.; Johnson, Mark P.; Walshe, Ray

    2013-07-01

    Invasive nonindigenous plant species can have potentially serious detrimental effects on local ecosystems and, as a result, costly control efforts often have to be put in place to protect habitats. An example of an invasive problem on a global scale involves the salt marsh grass species from the genus Spartina. The spread of Spartina anglica in Europe and Asia has drawn much concern due to its ability to convert coastal habitats into cord-grass monocultures and to alter the native food webs. However, the patterns of invasion of Spartina species are amenable to spatially-explicit modeling strategies that take into account both temporal and spatio-temporal processes. In this study, an agent-based model of Spartina growth on a simulated mud flat environment was developed in order to study the effects of spatial pattern and initial seedling placement on the invasion dynamics of the population. The spatial pattern of an invasion plays a key role in the rate of spread of the species and understanding this can lead to significant cost savings when designing efficient control strategies. We present here a model framework that can be used to explicitly represent complex spatial and temporal patterns of invasion in order to be able to predict quantitatively the impact of these factors on invasion dynamics. This would be a useful tool for assessing eradication strategies and choosing optimal control solutions in order to be able to minimize future control costs.

  14. Belowground advantages in construction cost facilitate a cryptic plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, Joshua S.; Wheaton, Christine N.; Mozdzer, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    The energetic cost of plant organ construction is a functional trait that is useful for understanding carbon investment during growth (e.g. the resource acquisition vs. tissue longevity tradeoff), as well as in response to global change factors like elevated CO2 and N. Despite the enormous importance of roots and rhizomes in acquiring soil resources and responding to global change, construction costs have been studied almost exclusively in leaves. We sought to determine how construction costs of aboveground and belowground organs differed between native and introduced lineages of a geographically widely dispersed wetland plant species (Phragmites australis) under varying levels of CO2 and N. We grew plants under ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2, as well as under two levels of soil nitrogen. We determined construction costs for leaves, stems, rhizomes and roots, as well as for whole plants. Across all treatment conditions, the introduced lineage of Phragmites had a 4.3 % lower mean rhizome construction cost than the native. Whole-plant construction costs were also smaller for the introduced lineage, with the largest difference in sample means (3.3 %) occurring under ambient conditions. In having lower rhizome and plant-scale construction costs, the introduced lineage can recoup its investment in tissue construction more quickly, enabling it to generate additional biomass with the same energetic investment. Our results suggest that introduced Phragmites has had an advantageous tissue investment strategy under historic CO2 and N levels, which has facilitated key rhizome processes, such as clonal spread. We recommend that construction costs for multiple organ types be included in future studies of plant carbon economy, especially those investigating global change. PMID:24938305

  15. Linear plasmids in plant mitochondria: peaceful coexistences or malicious invasions?

    PubMed

    Handa, Hirokazu

    2008-01-01

    Plant mitochondria contain small extrachromosomal DNAs in addition to a large and complex main mitochondrial genome. These molecules can be regarded as extrachromosomal replicons or plasmids, of which there are two forms, circular and linear. Linear mitochondrial plasmids are present in many fungi and in some plants, but they seem to be absent from most animal cells. They usually have a common structural feature, called an invertron, that is characterized by the presence of terminal inverted repeats and proteins covalently attached to their 5 termini. Linear mitochondrial plasmids possess one to six ORFs that can encode unknown proteins but often code for the DNA and RNA polymerases. Although the functions of most linear plasmids in plant mitochondria are unknown, some plasmids may be associated with mitochondrial genome rearrangements and may have phenotypic effects due to their integration into mitochondrial genome. The Brassica 11.6-kb plasmid, one of the linear mitochondrial plasmids in plants, shows a non-maternal inheritance, in contrast to mitochondrial genomes. The origin of these plasmids is still a mystery, but indirect evidence indicates the possibility of horizontal transfer from fungal mitochondria. In this review, the main features of these unique DNAs present in plant mitochondria are described. PMID:18326073

  16. Emergence and performance of two invasive Swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum spp.) in contrasting soil types and soil pH

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alien invasive vines black and pale swallow-wort are currently spreading across eastern North America, invading parklands, old fields, restored forest sites, and other natural areas. These plants spread by wind-borne seed and can form dense stands where they become established. Although their cu...

  17. Connecting differential responses of native and invasive riparian plants to climate change and environmental alteration.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Neal E; Richardson, Curtis J; Ho, Mengchi

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to impact river systems in the southeastern United States through alterations of temperature, patterns of precipitation and hydrology. Future climate scenarios for the southeastern United States predict (1) surface water temperatures will warm in concert with air temperature, (2) storm flows will increase and base flows will decrease, and (3) the annual pattern of synchronization between hydroperiod and water temperature will be altered. These alterations are expected to disturb floodplain plant communities, making them more vulnerable to establishment of invasive species. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate whether native and invasive riparian plant assemblages respond differently to alterations of climate and land use. To study the response of riparian wetlands to watershed and climate alterations, we utilized an existing natural experiment imbedded in gradients of temperature and hydrology-found among dammed and undammed rivers. We evaluated a suite of environmental variables related to water temperature, hydrology, watershed disturbance, and edaphic conditions to identify the strongest predictors of native and invasive species abundances. We found that native species abundance is strongly influenced by climate-driven variables such as temperature and hydrology, while invasive species abundance is more strongly influenced by site-specific factors such as land use and soil nutrient availability. The patterns of synchronization between plant phenology, annual hydrographs, and annual water temperature cycles may be key factors sustaining the viability of native riparian plant communities. Our results demonstrate the need to understand the interactions between climate, land use, and nutrient management in maintaining the species diversity of riparian plant communities. Future climate change is likely to result in diminished competitiveness of native plant species, while the competitiveness of invasive species will increase

  18. Hosts and parasites as aliens.

    PubMed

    Taraschewski, H

    2006-06-01

    Over the past decades, various free-living animals (hosts) and their parasites have invaded recipient areas in which they had not previously occurred, thus gaining the status of aliens or exotics. In general this happened to a low extent for hundreds of years. With variable frequency, invasions have been followed by the dispersal and establishment of non-indigenous species, whether host or parasite. In the literature thus far, colonizations by both hosts and parasites have not been treated and reviewed together, although both are usually interwoven in various ways. As to those factors permitting invasive success and colonization strength, various hypotheses have been put forward depending on the scientific background of respective authors and on the conspicuousness of certain invasions. Researchers who have tried to analyse characteristic developmental patterns, the speed of dispersal or the degree of genetic divergence in populations of alien species have come to different conclusions. Among parasitologists, the applied aspects of parasite invasions, such as the negative effects on economically important hosts, have long been at the centre of interest. In this contribution, invasions by hosts as well as parasites are considered comparatively, revealing many similarities and a few differences. Two helminths, the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, of cattle and sheep and the swimbladder nematode, Anguillicola crassus, of eels are shown to be useful as model parasites for the study of animal invasions and environmental global change. Introductions of F. hepatica have been associated with imports of cattle or other grazing animals. In various target areas, susceptible lymnaeid snails serving as intermediate hosts were either naturally present and/or were introduced from the donor continent of the parasite (Europe) and/or from other regions which were not within the original range of the parasite, partly reflecting progressive stages of a global biota change. In several

  19. Alienation and Illness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kobasa, Suzanne C.

    Reviews of studies of four groups (business executives, lawyers, Army officers, and working women) which demonstrate the health-damaging effects of alienation in certain life situations show that, when under stress, members of these groups who feel alienated fall ill, medically and/or psychiatrically. Three models are described which may explain…

  20. The aliens are hiding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2015-06-01

    In reply to the physicsworld.com news story “Trail goes cold on alien hotspots, for now” (28 April, http://ow.ly/MeOpZ; see also p5), which described the results of a survey that looked for unexplained pockets of infrared radiation that could have been produced by advanced alien civilizations.

  1. Alienation from School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hascher, Tina; Hagenauer, Gerda

    2010-01-01

    Two studies aimed at understanding the time course of alienation from school and school factors that may influence alienation from school during early adolescence. In Study 1, 434 students from grade 5-8 participated (cross-sectional design). In Study 2, we followed 356 students from grade 6-7 (longitudinal design). The results confirm the…

  2. Predicting trends of invasive plants richness using local socio-economic data: An application in North Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    Santos, Mario; Freitas, Raul; Crespi, Antonio L.; Hughes, Samantha Jane; Cabral, Joao Alexandre

    2011-10-15

    This study assesses the potential of an integrated methodology for predicting local trends in invasive exotic plant species (invasive richness) using indirect, regional information on human disturbance. The distribution of invasive plants was assessed in North Portugal using herbarium collections and local environmental, geophysical and socio-economic characteristics. Invasive richness response to anthropogenic disturbance was predicted using a dynamic model based on a sequential modeling process (stochastic dynamic methodology-StDM). Derived scenarios showed that invasive richness trends were clearly associated with ongoing socio-economic change. Simulations including scenarios of growing urbanization showed an increase in invasive richness while simulations in municipalities with decreasing populations showed stable or decreasing levels of invasive richness. The model simulations demonstrate the interest and feasibility of using this methodology in disturbance ecology. - Highlights: {yields} Socio-economic data indicate human induced disturbances. {yields} Socio-economic development increase disturbance in ecosystems. {yields} Disturbance promotes opportunities for invasive plants.{yields} Increased opportunities promote richness of invasive plants.{yields} Increase in richness of invasive plants change natural ecosystems.

  3. Effects of earthworm invasion on plant species richness in northern hardwood forests.

    PubMed

    Holdsworth, Andrew R; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2007-08-01

    The invasion of non-native earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) into a small number of intensively studied stands of northern hardwood forest has been linked to declines in plant diversity and the local extirpation of one threatened species. It is unknown, however, whether these changes have occurred across larger regions of hardwood forests, which plant species are most vulnerable, or with which earthworm species such changes are associated most closely. To address these issues we conducted a regional survey in the Chippewa and Chequamegon national forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin (U.S.A.), respectively. We sampled earthworms, soils, and vegetation, examined deer browse in 20 mature, sugar-maple-dominated forest stands in each national forest, and analyzed the relationship between invasive earthworms and vascular plant species richness and composition. Invasion by Lumbricus was a strong indicator of reduced plant richness in both national forests. The mass of Lumbricus juveniles was significantly and negatively related to plant-species richness in both forests. In addition, Lumbricus was a significant factor affecting plant richness in a full model that included multiple variables. In the Chequamegon National Forest earthworm mass was associated with higher sedge cover and lower cover of sugar maple seedlings and several forb species. The trends were similar but not as pronounced in Chippewa, perhaps due to lower deer densities and different earthworm species composition. Our results provide regional evidence that invasion by Lumbricus species may be an important mechanism in reduced plant-species richness and changes in plant communities in mature forests dominated by sugar maples. PMID:17650250

  4. Testing Carea varipes and Neostauropus alternus as biological control agents for the Florida invasive plant species Rhodomyrtus tomentosa.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (RT) a native plant to Southeastern Asia, commonly known as downy rose myrtle, is invasive to the regions of Central and South Florida. Introduced in the early 1920’s, this weed is currently considered a Category I invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. RT...

  5. Lower resistance and higher tolerance of invasive host plants: biocontrol agents reach high densities but exert weak control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Invasive plants often have novel biotic interactions in their introduced ranges. Changes in herbivore defense traits are important for the effectiveness of biological control, because insect natural enemies may rapidly build up their populations on invasive plants due to decreased resistance but...

  6. Human infrastructure and invasive plant occurrence across rangelands of southwestern Wyoming, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manier, Daniel J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Schell, Spencer

    2014-01-01

    Although human influence across rural landscapes is often discussed, interactions between the native, natural systems and human activities are challenging to measure explicitly. We assessed the distribution of introduced, invasive species as related to anthropogenic infrastructure and environmental conditions across southwestern Wyoming. to discern direct correlations as well as covariate influences between land use, land cover, and abundance of invasive plants, and assess the supposition that these features affect surrounding rangeland conditions. Our sample units were 1 000 m long and extended outward from target features, which included roads, oil and gas well pads, pipelines, power lines, and featureless background sites. Sample sites were distributed across the region using a stratified, random design with a frame that represented features and land-use intensity. In addition to land-use gradients, we captured a representative, but limited, range of variability in climate, soils, geology, topography, and dominant vegetation. Several of these variables proved significant, in conjunction with distance from anthropogenic features, in regression models of invasive plant abundance. We used general linear models to demonstrate and compare associations between invasive plant frequency and Euclidian distance from features, natural logarithm transformed distances (log-linear), and environmental variables which were presented as potential covariates. We expected a steep curvilinear (log or exponential) decline trending towards an asymptote along the axis representing high abundance near features with rapid decrease beyond approximately 50–100 m. Some of the associations we document exhibit this pattern, but we also found some invasive plant distributions that extended beyond our expectations, suggesting a broader distribution than anticipated. Our results provide details that can inform local efforts for management and control of invasive species, and they provide

  7. Light limitation and litter of an invasive clonal plant, Wedelia trilobata, inhibit its seedling recruitment

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Miao, Shi-Li; Zhai, De-Li; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Invasive clonal plants have two reproduction patterns, namely sexual and vegetative propagation. However, seedling recruitment of invasive clonal plants can decline as the invasion process proceeds. For example, although the invasive clonal Wedelia trilobata (Asteraceae) produces numerous seeds, few seedlings emerge under its dense population canopy in the field. In this study it is hypothesized that light limitation and the presence of a thick layer of its own litter may be the primary factors causing the failure of seedling recruitment for this invasive weed in the field. Methods A field survey was conducted to determine the allocation of resources to sexual reproduction and seedling recruitment in W. trilobata. Seed germination was also determined in the field. Effects of light and W. trilobata leaf extracts on seed germination and seedling growth were tested in the laboratory. Key Results Wedelia trilobata blooms profusely and produces copious viable seeds in the field. However, seedlings of W. trilobata were not detected under mother ramets and few emerged seedlings were found in the bare ground near to populations. In laboratory experiments, low light significantly inhibited seed germination. Leaf extracts also decreased seed germination and inhibited seedling growth, and significant interactions were found between low light and leaf extracts on seed germination. However, seeds were found to germinate in an invaded field after removal of the W. trilobata plant canopy. Conclusions The results indicate that lack of light and the presence of its own litter might be two major factors responsible for the low numbers of W. trilobata seedlings found in the field. New populations will establish from seeds once the limiting factors are eliminated, and seeds can be the agents of long-distance dispersal; therefore, prevention of seed production remains an important component in controlling the spread of this invasive clonal plant. PMID:24825293

  8. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Invasive Plant Universe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Audet, Richard H.

    2005-01-01

    With such curriculum gaps, it is hardly surprising that middle school children's understanding of botany is limited and riddled with misconceptions. Knowing that plants supply the oxygen to sustain most life forms and provide the primary energy source of most food webs is a core idea of science. Investigating non-native species is one way to…

  9. Fire, plant invasions, and erosion events on western rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of rangeland in the western United States have been invaded by annual and woody plants that have increased the role of wildland fire. Altered fire regimes pose significant implications for runoff and erosion. In this paper we synthesize what is known about fire impacts on rang...

  10. Socioeconomic legacy yields an invasion debt

    PubMed Central

    Essl, Franz; Dullinger, Stefan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Hulme, Philip E.; Hülber, Karl; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Kleinbauer, Ingrid; Krausmann, Fridolin; Kühn, Ingolf; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Vilà, Montserrat; Genovesi, Piero; Gherardi, Francesca; Desprez-Loustau, Marie-Laure; Roques, Alain; Pyšek, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Globalization and economic growth are widely recognized as important drivers of biological invasions. Consequently, there is an increasing need for governments to address the role of international trade in their strategies to prevent species introductions. However, many of the most problematic alien species are not recent arrivals but were introduced several decades ago. Hence, current patterns of alien-species richness may better reflect historical rather than contemporary human activities, a phenomenon which might be called “invasion debt.” Here, we show that across 10 taxonomic groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, fungi, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, terrestrial insects, and aquatic invertebrates) in 28 European countries, current numbers of alien species established in the wild are indeed more closely related to indicators of socioeconomic activity from the year 1900 than to those from 2000, although the majority of species introductions occurred during the second half of the 20th century. The strength of the historical signal varies among taxonomic groups, with those possessing good capabilities for dispersal (birds, insects) more strongly associated with recent socioeconomic drivers. Nevertheless, our results suggest a considerable historical legacy for the majority of the taxa analyzed. The consequences of the current high levels of socioeconomic activity on the extent of biological invasions will thus probably not be completely realized until several decades into the future. PMID:21173227

  11. Fire Alters Emergence of Invasive Plant Species from Soil Surface-Deposited Seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Fire is recognized as an important process controlling ecosystem structure and function. Restoration of fire regimes is complicated by global concerns about exotic plants invasions, yet little is known of how the two may interact. Characterizing relationships between fire conditions and the vi...

  12. ARE INVASIVE RIPARIAN PLANTS ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED BIOTIC CONDITION OF FAUNA IN WESTERN US STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Yes. Records on the presence or absence of 12 invasive riparian plant taxa and observations on macroinvertebrate and vertebrate communities within streams were collected at over 1000 stream reaches. The sampled reaches were selected on a probability basis to represent the populat...

  13. Microsatellite markers for the invasive plant species white sweetclover (Melilotus alba) and yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe specific primers and conditions to amplify eight tetranucleotide, one trinucleotide, and one dinucleotide microsatellite DNA loci isolated from an enriched genomic library of Melilotus alba, an invasive plant species throughout North America. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2...

  14. The role of adaptive trans-generational plasticity in biological invasions of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trans-generational plasticity (TGP) that confers greater offspring fitness is likely to be an important mechanism contributing to the spread of some invasive plant species. TGP is predicted for populations found in habitats with predictable spatial or temporal resource heterogeneity, and that have ...

  15. Petrified Forest National Park Invasive Plant Species Survey and Mapping; 2002-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Hunt, Randall; Arundel, Terry R.; Guertin, P.

    2009-01-01

    We conducted a survey for invasive nonnative plant species at Petrified Forest National Park from 2002 through 2005. The survey employed a unique sampling design consisting of a grid of consecutive one-hectare cells as the sampling units. Our use of predetermined sampling units allowed all observations to be referenced to a fixed area with geographic coordinates that easily transferred to a geographic information system. Our field team surveyed 2,730 sampling units in three select areas for at least 1 year and 879 sampling units for 4 years. During this period we identified 40 different invasive plant species; more than half the invasive plants (22 species) were annual forbs and grasses. Four invasive plant species occurred in 25 percent or more of all sampling units observed in one or more years: Bromus tectorum, Erodium cicutarium, Salsola tragus, and Sisymbrium altissimum. Salsola tragus was the most abundant species in all years and occurred in more than 55 percent of all sampling units surveyed each year.

  16. Does the Data Resolution/origin Matter? Satellite, Airborne and Uav Imagery to Tackle Plant Invasions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müllerová, Jana; Brůna, Josef; Dvořák, Petr; Bartaloš, Tomáš; Vítková, Michaela

    2016-06-01

    Invasive plant species represent a serious threat to biodiversity and landscape as well as human health and socio-economy. To successfully fight plant invasions, new methods enabling fast and efficient monitoring, such as remote sensing, are needed. In an ongoing project, optical remote sensing (RS) data of different origin (satellite, aerial and UAV), spectral (panchromatic, multispectral and color), spatial (very high to medium) and temporal resolution, and various technical approaches (object-, pixelbased and combined) are tested to choose the best strategies for monitoring of four invasive plant species (giant hogweed, black locust, tree of heaven and exotic knotweeds). In our study, we address trade-offs between spectral, spatial and temporal resolutions required for balance between the precision of detection and economic feasibility. For the best results, it is necessary to choose best combination of spatial and spectral resolution and phenological stage of the plant in focus. For species forming distinct inflorescences such as giant hogweed iterative semi-automated object-oriented approach was successfully applied even for low spectral resolution data (if pixel size was sufficient) whereas for lower spatial resolution satellite imagery or less distinct species with complicated architecture such as knotweed, combination of pixel and object based approaches was used. High accuracies achieved for very high resolution data indicate the possible application of described methodology for monitoring invasions and their long-term dynamics elsewhere, making management measures comparably precise, fast and efficient. This knowledge serves as a basis for prediction, monitoring and prioritization of management targets.

  17. Experimental test of biotic resistance to an invasive herbivore provided by potential plant mutualists

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the influence of resident species on the success of invaders is a core objective in the study and management of biological invasions. We asked whether facultative, food-for-protection mutualism between resident, nectar-feeding ants and extra floral nectar-bearing plants confers biotic...

  18. Use of exotic plants to control Spartina alterniflora invasion and promote mangrove restoration

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ting; Liu, Shuchao; Feng, Zhili; Liu, Gang; Gan, Qian; Peng, Shaolin

    2015-01-01

    In coastal China, the exotic invasive Spartina alterniflora is preventing the establishment of native mangroves. The use of exotic species, control of exotic plant invasion, and restoration of native plant communities are timely research issues. We used exotic Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham and S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. to control invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel through replacement control for five years, which concurrently promoted the restoration of native mangroves. This process includes three stages. I: In a mangrove area invaded by S. alterniflora, exotic S. apetala and S. caseolaris grew rapidly due to their relatively fast-growing character and an allelopathic effect. II: Fast-growing S. apetala and S. caseolaris eradicate S. alterniflora through shading and allelopathy. III: The growth of native mangrove was promoted because exotic plant seedlings cannot regenerate in the understory shade, whereas native mesophytic mangrove plants seedlings can grow; when the area experiences extreme low temperatures in winter or at other times, S. apetala dies, and native mangrove species grow to restore the communities. This model has important implications for addressing the worldwide problems of “how to implement the ecological control of invasion using exotic species” and “how to concurrently promote native community restoration during the control of exotic invasion”. PMID:26291074

  19. 76 FR 18713 - Malheur National Forest; Oregon; Malheur National Forest Site-Specific Invasive Plants Treatment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-05

    ... Treatment Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Correction--Notice of intent to prepare an... Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a similar project (Federal Register...-malheur@fs.fed.us . Please put ``Malheur NF Invasive Plants Treatment Project'' occurs in the subject...

  20. Biocontrol attack exacerbates pollen-limitation in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollen-limited seed set is rarely studied in invasive plants despite the fact that >50% of the most problematic invaders in North America are pollinator-dependent. Further, pollinators are rarely considered in the use biocontrol agents to manage invaders. The ecological literature shows that herbivo...

  1. Re-use of invasive plants (water hyacinth) as organic fertilizer through composting and vermicomposting (Extremadura, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrador, Juana; Gordillo, Judit; Ruiz, Trinidad; Moreno, Marta M.

    2015-04-01

    The water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is an invasive plant that is native of the Amazon basin and whose capacity for growth and propagation causes major conservation problems with considerable socioeconomic repercussions. The greatest damage due to its fast expansion has been in the middle reaches of the River Guadiana in the SW Iberian Peninsula, where was detected in the Autumn of 2004. Due to its rapid expansion, mechanical extraction was carried out by the Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadiana (CHG) of Spain's Ministry of the Environment since the affected zone is an important area of irrigation farming and hydraulic works and this alien plant weed provoked acute social alarm (Ruiz et al., 2008). In this work we used composting and vermicomposting techniques as an environmental alternative to assess the possibilities of biotransformation of the water hyacinth biomass removed mechanically from the Guadiana River Basin (Spain). Four compost piles 1.5 x 10 m size, mechanically tumbled and with no forced ventilation (turning windrows system), were constructed outdoor. Each compost pile was considered as a different treatment: CC1: fresh water hyacinth / wheat straw (1:1 vol/vol); CC2: fresh water hyacinth / sheep manure rich in wheat straw (1:1 vol/vol); CC3: fresh water hyacinth / sheep manure rich in wheat straw (2:1 vol/vol) + Bokachi EM Activator (200 g m-2) to favor the composting process; CC4: fresh water hyacinth / sheep manure rich in wheat straw (1:1 vol/vol) + Bokachi EM Activator (200 g m-2). The vermicomposting process was performed on mesh coated wooden boxes (0.34 m3) covered with a shadow mesh with the aim of harmonizing the environmental conditions. The quantities of water hyacinth biomass used were identical in volume (120 l) but with different state or composition: fresh and chopped biomass (VCF); dry and chopped biomass (VCS); fresh and pre-composted biomass with sheep manure rich in wheat straw (VCP). Identical worm density, irrigation

  2. A herbivory-induced increase in the proportion of floating seeds in an invasive plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukano, Yuya; Hirayama, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Koichi

    2014-04-01

    It is important to determine the factors prompting seed dispersal because for plant species seed dispersal is the only opportunity to disperse into a new habitat. Previous studies showed that the maternal stress, such as high density and low nutrient levels, induces the adaptive plastic increase of the dispersal ability in seed heteromorphic plants. In this study, we examined whether herbivory can change the relative proportion of dispersal-related seed heteromorphism (floating or non floating seeds) in an invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Because A. artemisiifolia often distributes in the riparian habitat, floating seeds might contribute to the long distance dispersal by hydrochory. Floating ability and seed weight were compared between plants damaged by a specialist herbivore Ophraella communa and undamaged plants. The damaged plants produced lighter and more likely floating seeds than the undamaged plants. However, multi-regression analysis revealed that the probability of floating was affected by seed weight but was not affected by herbivore treatment (damaged vs. undamaged plants). These results suggest that the increased proportion of floating seeds was not a direct response to the herbivore signal but an indirect response through the herbivore's effect on the reduction of seed weight. Plants damaged by herbivores might not only decrease seed production and quality but also increase the dispersal ability. These responses in dispersal ability against the herbivores might contribute to the spread of invasive plants.

  3. Optimal eradication: when to stop looking for an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Regan, Tracey J; McCarthy, Michael A; Baxter, Peter W J; Dane Panetta, F; Possingham, Hugh P

    2006-07-01

    The notion of being sure that you have completely eradicated an invasive species is fanciful because of imperfect detection and persistent seed banks. Eradication is commonly declared either on an ad hoc basis, on notions of seed bank longevity, or on setting arbitrary thresholds of 1% or 5% confidence that the species is not present. Rather than declaring eradication at some arbitrary level of confidence, we take an economic approach in which we stop looking when the expected costs outweigh the expected benefits. We develop theory that determines the number of years of absent surveys required to minimize the net expected cost. Given detection of a species is imperfect, the optimal stopping time is a trade-off between the cost of continued surveying and the cost of escape and damage if eradication is declared too soon. A simple rule of thumb compares well to the exact optimal solution using stochastic dynamic programming. Application of the approach to the eradication programme of Helenium amarum reveals that the actual stopping time was a precautionary one given the ranges for each parameter. PMID:16796564

  4. Role of invasive Melilotus officinalis in two native plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Riper, Laura C.; Larson, Diane L.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the impact of the exotic nitrogen-fixing legume Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. on native and exotic species cover in two Great Plains ecosystems in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Melilotus is still widely planted and its effects on native ecosystems are not well studied. Melilotus could have direct effects on native plants, such as through competition or facilitation. Alternatively, Melilotus may have indirect effects on natives, e.g., by favoring exotic species which in turn have a negative effect on native species. This study examined these interactions across a 4-year period in two contrasting vegetation types: Badlands sparse vegetation and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) mixed-grass prairie. Structural equation models were used to analyze the pathways through which Melilotus, native species, and other exotic species interact over a series of 2-year time steps. Melilotus can affect native and exotic species both in the current year and in the years after its death (a lag effect). A lag effect is possible because the death of a Melilotus plant can leave an open, potentially nitrogen-enriched site on the landscape. The results showed that the relationship between Melilotus and native and exotic species varied depending on the habitat and the year. In Badlands sparse vegetation, there was a consistent, strong, and positive relationship between Melilotus cover and native and exotic species cover suggesting that Melilotus is acting as a nurse plant and facilitating the growth of other species. In contrast, in western wheatgrass prairie, Melilotus was acting as a weak competitor and had no consistent effect on other species. In both habitats, there was little evidence for a direct lag effect of Melilotus on other species. Together, these results suggest both facilitative and competitive roles for Melilotus, depending on the vegetation type it invades.

  5. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Plant origin and ploidy influence gene expression and life cycle characteristics in an invasive weed

    PubMed Central

    Broz, Amanda K; Manter, Daniel K; Bowman, Gillianne; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2009-01-01

    Background Ecological, evolutionary and physiological studies have thus far provided an incomplete picture of why some plants become invasive; therefore we used genomic resources to complement and advance this field. In order to gain insight into the invasive mechanism of Centaurea stoebe we compared plants of three geo-cytotypes, native Eurasian diploids, native Eurasian tetraploids and introduced North American tetraploids, grown in a common greenhouse environment. We monitored plant performance characteristics and life cycle habits and characterized the expression of genes related to constitutive defense and genome stability using quantitative PCR. Results Plant origin and ploidy were found to have a significant effect on both life cycle characteristics and gene expression, highlighting the importance of comparing appropriate taxonomic groups in studies of native and introduced plant species. We found that introduced populations of C. stoebe exhibit reduced expression of transcripts related to constitutive defense relative to their native tetraploid counterparts, as might be expected based on ideas of enemy release and rapid evolution. Measurements of several vegetative traits were similar for all geo-cytotypes; however, fecundity of tetraploids was significantly greater than diploids, due in part to their polycarpic nature. A simulation of seed production over time predicts that introduced tetraploids have the highest fecundity of the three geo-cytotypes. Conclusion Our results suggest that characterizing gene expression in an invasive species using populations from both its native and introduced range can provide insight into the biology of plant invasion that can complement traditional measurements of plant performance. In addition, these results highlight the importance of using appropriate taxonomic units in ecological genomics investigations. PMID:19309502

  7. Mapping invasive wetland plants in the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve using quickbird satellite imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laba, M.; Downs, R.; Smith, S.; Welsh, S.; Neider, C.; White, S.; Richmond, M.; Philpot, W.; Baveye, P.

    2008-01-01

    The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) program is a nationally coordinated research and monitoring program that identifies and tracks changes in ecological resources of representative estuarine ecosystems and coastal watersheds. In recent years, attention has focused on using high spatial and spectral resolution satellite imagery to map and monitor wetland plant communities in the NERRs, particularly invasive plant species. The utility of this technology for that purpose has yet to be assessed in detail. To that end, a specific high spatial resolution satellite imagery, QuickBird, was used to map plant communities and monitor invasive plants within the Hudson River NERR (HRNERR). The HRNERR contains four diverse tidal wetlands (Stockport Flats, Tivoli Bays, Iona Island, and Piermont), each with unique water chemistry (i.e., brackish, oligotrophic and fresh) and, consequently, unique assemblages of plant communities, including three invasive plants (Trapa natans, Phragmites australis, and Lythrum salicaria). A maximum-likelihood classification was used to produce 20-class land cover maps for each of the four marshes within the HRNERR. Conventional contingency tables and a fuzzy set analysis served as a basis for an accuracy assessment of these maps. The overall accuracies, as assessed by the contingency tables, were 73.6%, 68.4%, 67.9%, and 64.9% for Tivoli Bays, Stockport Flats, Piermont, and Iona Island, respectively. Fuzzy assessment tables lead to higher estimates of map accuracies of 83%, 75%, 76%, and 76%, respectively. In general, the open water/tidal channel class was the most accurately mapped class and Scirpus sp. was the least accurately mapped. These encouraging accuracies suggest that high-resolution satellite imagery offers significant potential for the mapping of invasive plant species in estuarine environments. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Combining local- and large-scale models to predict the distributions of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Chad C; Acker, Steven A; Halpern, Charles B

    2010-03-01

    Habitat distribution models are increasingly used to predict the potential distributions of invasive species and to inform monitoring. However, these models assume that species are in equilibrium with the environment, which is clearly not true for most invasive species. Although this assumption is frequently acknowledged, solutions have not been adequately addressed. There are several potential methods for improving habitat distribution models. Models that require only presence data may be more effective for invasive species, but this assumption has rarely been tested. In addition, combining modeling types to form "ensemble" models may improve the accuracy of predictions. However, even with these improvements, models developed for recently invaded areas are greatly influenced by the current distributions of species and thus reflect near- rather than long-term potential for invasion. Larger scale models from species' native and invaded ranges may better reflect long-term invasion potential, but they lack finer scale resolution. We compared logistic regression (which uses presence/absence data) and two presence-only methods for modeling the potential distributions of three invasive plant species on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, USA. We then combined the three methods to create ensemble models. We also developed climate envelope models for the same species based on larger scale distributions and combined models from multiple scales to create an index of near- and long-term invasion risk to inform monitoring in Olympic National Park (ONP). Neither presence-only nor ensemble models were more accurate than logistic regression for any of the species. Larger scale models predicted much greater areas at risk of invasion. Our index of near- and long-term invasion risk indicates that < 4% of ONP is at high near-term risk of invasion while 67-99% of the Park is at moderate or high long-term risk of invasion. We demonstrate how modeling results can be used to guide the

  9. Toward Consensus-Based Actions that Balance Invasive Plant Management and Conservation of At-Risk Fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvaitis, John A.; Norment, Jeffrey L.; Boland, Kelly; O'Brien, Kate; Stevens, Rachel; Keirstead, Donald; Lee, Thomas; Oehler, James D.; Taylor, Jeffery M.; Bickford, Susan; Tarr, Matthew D.

    2013-12-01

    Limiting the spread of invasive plants has become a high priority among natural resource managers. Yet in some regions, invasive plants are providing important habitat components to native animals that are at risk of local or regional extirpation. In these situations, removing invasive plants may decrease short-term survival of the at-risk taxa. At the same time, there may be a reluctance to expand invaded habitats to benefit at-risk species because such actions may increase the distribution of invasive plants. Such a dilemma can result in "management paralysis," where no action is taken either to reduce invasive plants or to expand habitats for at-risk species. A pragmatic solution to this dilemma may be to develop an approach that considers site-specific circumstances. We constructed a "discussion tree" as a means of initiating conversations among various stakeholders involved with managing habitats in the northeastern USA to benefit several at-risk taxa, including New England cottontails ( Sylvilagus transitionalis). Major components of this approach include recognition that expanding some invaded habitats may be essential to prevent extirpation of at-risk species, and the effective control of invasive plants is dependent on knowledge of the status of invasives on managed lands and within the surrounding landscape. By acknowledging that management of invasive plants is a complex issue without a single solution, we may be successful in limiting their spread while still addressing critical habitat needs.

  10. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants

    PubMed Central

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  11. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-07-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  12. Duration of emission of volatile organic compounds from mechanically damaged plant leaves

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical biological control of invasive alien weeds depends on the use of arthropod herbivores that are sufficiently host specific to avoid risk of injuring nontarget plants. Host plant specificity is usually evaluated by using a combination of behavioral and developmental experiments under choice...<