Invasive Species (invasive + species)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Invasive Species

  • alien invasive species

  • Terms modified by Invasive Species

  • invasive species management

  • Selected Abstracts


    ABSTRACT. Under what cultural and political conditions do certain species become successful invaders? What impact does species invasion have on human culture and politics? The work assembled in this special issue of the Geographical Review suggests complex interspecies interactions that complicate any answer to these questions. It demonstrates the need to advance a more integrative human/environment approach to species invasion than has hitherto been seen. Reviewing the concepts demonstrated in these articles and applying them to case histories of Mimosaceae (a family that includes genera such as Acacia, Prosopis, and Mimosa) invasion, two general principles become clear. The status and identification of any species as an invader, weed, or exotic are conditioned by cultural and political circumstances. Furthermore, because the human "preparation of landscape" is a prerequisite for most cases of invasion, and because species invasions impact local culture and politics in ways that often feed back into the environmental system, specific power-laden networks of human and non-human actors tend to create the momentum for invasion. It is therefore possible to argue a more general cultural and political account of contemporary species expansion: It is not species but sociobiological networks that are invasive. [source]

    Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species: Economic Benefits of Intervention Guided by Ecological Predictions

    bioeconomía; economía de las invasiones; invasiones biológicas; Orconectes rusticus; predicciones ecológicas Abstract:,Preventing the invasion of freshwater aquatic species is the surest way to reduce their impacts, but it is also often expensive. Hence, the most efficient prevention programs will rely on accurate predictions of sites most at risk of becoming invaded and concentrate resources at those sites. Using data from Vilas County, Wisconsin (U.S.A.), collected in the 1970s, we constructed a predictive occurrence model for rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and applied it to an independent data set of 48 Vilas County lakes to predict which of these were most likely to become invaded between 1975 and 2005. We nested this invasion model within an economic framework to determine whether targeted management, derived from our quantitative predictions of likely invasion sites, would increase the economic value of lakes in the independent data set. Although the optimum expenditure on lake protection was high, protecting lakes at this level would have produced net economic benefits of at least $6 million over the last 30 years. We did not attempt to determine the value of nonmarket benefits of protection; thus, our results are likely to underestimate the total benefits from preventing invasions. Our results demonstrate that although few data are available early in an invasion, these data may be sufficient to support targeted, effective, and economically rational management. In addition, our results show that ecological predictions are becoming sufficiently accurate that their application in management can produce net economic benefits. Resumen:,La prevención de la invasión de especies dulceacuícolas es la manera más segura de reducir sus impactos, pero a menudo es costosa. Por lo tanto, los programas de prevención más eficientes dependerán de predicciones precisas de los sitios con mayor riesgo de ser invadidos y concentrarán recursos en esos sitios. Utilizando datos recolectados en los 70s en el Condado Vilas, Wisconsin (E.U.A.), desarrollamos un modelo predictivo de la ocurrencia de Orconectes rusticus y lo aplicamos en un conjunto de datos independientes de 48 lagos en el Condado de Vilas para predecir cuales fueron más susceptibles de ser invadidos entre 1975 y 2005. Anidamos este modelo de invasión en un marco económico para determinar si los objetivos de manejo, derivados de nuestras predicciones cuantitativas de sitios susceptibles a la invasión, incrementarían el valor económico de los lagos del conjunto independiente de datos. Aunque el gasto óptimo para la protección de lagos fue alto, la protección de lagos a este nivel podría haber producido beneficios económicos por un mínimo de $6 millones en los últimos 30 años. No intentamos determinar el valor de los beneficios no comerciables de la protección; por lo tanto, es probable que nuestros resultados subestimen los beneficios totales de la prevención de invasiones. Nuestros resultados demuestran que, aunque se disponga de pocos datos del inicio de una invasión, esos datos pueden ser suficientes para fundamentar acciones de manejo efectivas y económicamente racionales. Adicionalmente, nuestros resultados muestran que las predicciones ecológicas se están volviendo tan precisas que su aplicación en el manejo puede producir beneficios económicos netos. [source]

    The Ozone Component of Global Change: Potential Effects on Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Yield, Product Quality and Interactions with Invasive Species

    Fitzgerald Booker
    The productivity, product quality and competitive ability of important agricultural and horticultural plants in many regions of the world may be adversely affected by current and anticipated concentrations of ground-level ozone (O3). Exposure to elevated O3 typically results in suppressed photosynthesis, accelerated senescence, decreased growth and lower yields. Various approaches used to evaluate O3 effects generally concur that current yield losses range from 5% to 15% among sensitive plants. There is, however, considerable genetic variability in plant responses to O3. To illustrate this, we show that ambient O3 concentrations in the eastern United States cause substantially different levels of damage to otherwise similar snap bean cultivars. Largely undesirable effects of O3 can also occur in seed and fruit chemistry as well as in forage nutritive value, with consequences for animal production. Ozone may alter herbicide efficacy and foster establishment of some invasive species. We conclude that current and projected levels of O3 in many regions worldwide are toxic to sensitive plants of agricultural and horticultural significance. Plant breeding that incorporates O3 sensitivity into selection strategies will be increasingly necessary to achieve sustainable production with changing atmospheric composition, while reductions in O3 precursor emissions will likely benefit world food production and reduce atmospheric concentrations of an important greenhouse gas. [source]

    Selection of preadapted populations allowed Senecio inaequidens to invade Central Europe

    Oliver Bossdorf
    ABSTRACT Invasive species often evolve rapidly in response to the novel biotic and abiotic conditions in their introduced range. Such adaptive evolutionary changes might play an important role in the success of some invasive species. Here, we investigated whether introduced European populations of the South African ragwort Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae) have genetically diverged from native populations. We carried out a greenhouse experiment where 12 South African and 11 European populations were for several months grown at two levels of nutrient availability, as well as in the presence or absence of a generalist insect herbivore. We found that, in contrast to a current hypothesis, plants from introduced populations had a significantly lower reproductive output, but higher allocation to root biomass, and they were more tolerant to insect herbivory. Moreover, introduced populations were less genetically variable, but displayed greater plasticity in response to fertilization. Finally, introduced populations were phenotypically most similar to a subset of native populations from mountainous regions in southern Africa. Taking into account the species' likely history of introduction, our data support the idea that the invasion success of Senecio inaequidens in Central Europe is based on selective introduction of specific preadapted and plastic genotypes rather than on adaptive evolution in the introduced range. [source]

    Invasive species of Heracleum in Europe: an insight into genetic relationships and invasion history

    árka Jahodová
    ABSTRACT Several species of the genus Heracleum (Umbelliferae) were introduced into Europe from south-west Asia in the 19th century and are now widespread in many countries. At least three invasive taxa with unresolved relationships to one another are thought to occur in Europe: Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier, H. sosnowskyi Manden, and H. persicum Desf. ex Fischer. They are tall plants forming extensive stands with a high cover. To elucidate genetic relationships between the species, and gain insight into their invasion history, samples were collected from native ranges in Asia and invaded ranges of the three species in Europe and analysed using amplified fragment length polymorphism. Five other Heracleum species were also studied and in total, 189 samples from 72 populations were analysed. The results confirmed that there are three distinct tall Heracleum species invading in Europe. Within each of the three species, plants collected in the invaded range are genetically close to those from their native ranges. A close genetic relationship between the three invasive Heracleum species in Europe was also found. A high overall genetic variability detected in the invaded range suggests that the majority of invading populations were not affected by a genetic bottleneck and that rapid evolution, drift, or hybridization played a role in genetic structuring of invading populations. For H. mantegazzianum, genetic distance of populations in the native range significantly decreased with geographical distance, but not in the invaded range. It is likely that the current pattern of genetic diversity in Europe resulted from multiple introductions of all three species. [source]

    A comparison of invasive and non-invasive dayflowers (Commelinaceae) across experimental nutrient and water gradients

    Jean H. Burns
    ABSTRACT Little is known about the traits and mechanisms that determine whether or not a species will be invasive. Invasive species are those that establish and spread after being introduced to a novel habitat. A number of previous studies have attempted to correlate specific plant traits with invasiveness. However, many such studies may be flawed because they fail to account for shared evolutionary history or fail to measure performance directly. It is also clear that performance is context dependent. Thus, an approach that corrects for relatedness and incorporates multiple experimental conditions will provide additional information on performance traits of invasive species. I use this approach with two or three pairs of invasive and closely related non-invasive species of Commelinaceae grown over experimental gradients of nutrient and water availability. Invasive species have been introduced, established, and spread outside their native range; non-invasive species have been introduced, possibly (but not necessarily) established, but are not known to have spread outside their native range. The invasive species had higher relative growth rates (RGR) than non-invasive congeners at high nutrient availabilities, but did not differ from non-invasive species at low nutrient availabilities. This is consistent with a strategy where these particular invasive species are able to rapidly use available resources. Relative growth rates were also higher for two out of three invasive species across a water availability gradient, but RGR did not differ in plasticity between the invasive and non-invasive species. This suggests that nutrient addition, but not changes in water availability, might favour invasion of dayflowers. This approach is novel in comparing multiple pairs of invasive and non-invasive congeners across multiple experimental conditions and allows evaluation of the robustness of performance differences. It also controls for some of the effects of relatedness that might confound multispecies comparisons. [source]

    Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 3 2005
    Martin A. Schlaepfer
    Abstract Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic. [source]

    Advances in insect biotechnology for human welfare

    Thomas A. MILLER
    Abstract Biotechnology is the latest scientific breakthrough in the history of agriculture. Yet despite the promise of developing new tools for pest and disease control, transgenic organisms have encountered a mixed reception by the lay and scientific public alike. Yields are unable to keep pace with rising costs resulting in a decline in traditional farming. Switching to a new organic growing paradigm is occurring in Korea and the United States today. These new approaches ignore traditional tools that were responsible for the increased yields that support the current affluence and allowed us to protect crops while buying time to find more ecologically-friendly methods. The perception that we understand crop diseases and pests is false and those making this assumption risk destabilizing global food production. There are new pests and diseases that are very difficult to control without these traditional non-organic methods. Invasive species continue to arrive at high rates adding to the burden of farming. Global climate change is already causing changes in the pest and disease complexes and is forcing the entomologist and plant pathologist to make drastic changes to adjust to them. [source]

    Faster returns on ,leaf economics' and different biogeochemical niche in invasive compared with native plant species

    Abstract Plant-invasive success is one of the most important current global changes in the biosphere. To understand which factors explain such success, we compared the foliar traits of 41 native and 47 alien-invasive plant species in Oahu Island (Hawaii), a location with a highly endemic flora that has evolved in isolation and is currently vulnerable to invasions by exotic plant species. Foliar traits, which in most cases presented significant phylogenetic signal, i.e. closely related species tended to resemble each other due to shared ancestry, separated invasive from native species. Invasive species had lower leaf mass per area and enhanced capacities in terms of productivity (photosynthetic capacity) and nutrient capture both of macro- (N, P, K) and microelements (Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn). All these differences remain highly significant after removing the effects of phylogenetic history. Alien-invasive species did not show higher efficiency at using limiting nutrient resources, but they got faster leaf economics returns and occupied a different biogeochemical niche, which helps to explain the success of invasive plants and suggests that potential increases in soil nutrient availability might favor further invasive plant success. [source]

    Population structure and intraspecific aggression in the invasive ant species Anoplolepis gracilipes in Malaysian Borneo

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 7 2007
    Abstract Invasive species are one of the main sources of the ongoing global loss of biodiversity. Invasive ants are known as particularly damaging invaders and their introductions are often accompanied by population-level behavioural and genetic changes that may contribute to their success. Anoplolepis gracilipes is an invasive ant that has just recently received increased attention due to its negative impact on native ecosystems. We examined the behaviour and population structure of A. gracilipes in Sabah, Malaysia. A total of 475 individuals from 24 colonies were genotyped with eight microsatellite markers. Intracolonial relatedness was high, ranging from 0.37 to 1 (mean ± SD: 0.82 ± 0.04), while intercolonial relatedness was low (0.0 ± 0.02, range ,0.5,0.76). We compared five distinct sampling regions in Sabah and Brunei. A three-level hierarchical F-analysis revealed high genetic differentiation among colonies within the same region, but low genetic differentiation within colonies or across regions. Overall levels of heterozygosity were unusually high (mean HO = 0.95, mean HE = 0.71) with two loci being entirely heterozygous, indicating an unusual reproductive system in this species. Bioassays revealed a negative correlation between relatedness and aggression, suggesting kinship as one factor facilitating supercolony formation in this species. Furthermore, we genotyped one individual per nest from Sabah (22 nests), Sarawak (one nest), Brunei (three nests) and the Philippines (two nests) using two mitochondrial DNA markers. We found six haplotypes, two of which included 82.1% of all sequences. Our study shows that the sampled area in Sabah consists of a mosaic of differently interrelated nests in different stages of colony establishment. While some of the sampled colonies may belong to large supercolonies, others are more likely to represent recently introduced or dispersed propagules that are just beginning to expand. [source]

    Role of sexual reproduction in the spread of an invasive clonal plant Solidago canadensis revealed using intersimple sequence repeat markers

    Abstract Invasive species, second only to habitat loss as a cause of biodiversity loss, pose serious threats to native biodiversity and ecosystems. Little is known about the mechanisms that some exotic plants use to become invasive in their non-native ranges. Solidago canadensis, native to North America, was intentionally introduced to many countries where it has become an invasive plant. To understand the roles that reproductive mode plays in successful invasion of exotic plants, and the relative importance of sexual reproduction and clonal growth, the genetic diversity and clonal structure of two S. canadensis populations from Shanghai, China were investigated using intersimple sequence repeats. Samples were collected in a grid pattern with intervals of 2 m among adjacent individuals within the studied area (approximately 30 m × 30 m) for each population. Results showed that the percentages of polymorphic loci for the two populations were 97.9% and 96.5% and clonal diversity measured using the Simpson Diversity Index was 1.00 for both populations. No identical genotypes were found among the analyzed samples. It is suggested from this study that sexual reproduction facilitates the establishment of new S. canadensis populations, whereas clonal expansion maintains and enlarges the established populations. Thus, limiting sexual reproduction of S. canadensis may effectively control the invasion of this species. [source]

    Native Australian frogs avoid the scent of invasive cane toads

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    Abstract Invasive species can affect the ecosystems they colonize by modifying the behaviour of native taxa; for example, avoidance of chemical cues from the invader may modify habitat use (shelter site selection) by native species. In laboratory trials, we show that metamorphs of most (but not all) native frog species on a tropical Australian floodplain avoid the scent of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus Linnaeus 1758). Cane toads also avoid conspecific scent. This response might reduce vulnerability of metamorph frogs and toads to larger predatory toads. However, similar avoidance of one type of pungency control (garlic), and the presence of this avoidance behaviour in frogs at the toad invasion front (and hence, with no prior exposure to toads), suggest that this may not be an evolved toad-specific response. Instead, our data support the simpler hypothesis that the metamorph anurans tend to avoid shelter sites that contain strong and unfamiliar scents. Temporal and spatial differences in activity of frogs versus toads, plus the abundance of suitable retreat sites during the wet season (the primary time of frog activity), suggest that avoiding toad scent will have only a minor impact on the behaviour of native frogs. However, this behavioural impact may be important when environmental conditions bring toads and frogs into closer contact. [source]

    Photosynthesis and water-use efficiency: A comparison between invasive (exotic) and non-invasive (native) species

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2008
    Abstract Invasive species have been hypothesized to out-compete natives though either a Jack-of-all-trades strategy, where they are able to utilize resources effectively in unfavourable environments, a master-of-some, where resource utilization is greater than its competitors in favourable environments, or a combination of the two (Jack-and-master). We examined the invasive strategy of Berberis darwinii in New Zealand compared with four co-occurring native species by examining germination, seedling survival, photosynthetic characteristics and water-use efficiency of adult plants, in sun and shade environments. Berberis darwinii seeds germinated more in shady sites than the other natives, but survival was low. In contrast, while germination of B. darwinii was the same as the native species in sunny sites, seedling survival after 18 months was nearly twice that of the all native species. The maximum photosynthetic rate of B. darwinii was nearly double that of all native species in the sun, but was similar among all species in the shade. Other photosynthetic traits (quantum yield and stomatal conductance) did not generally differ between B. darwinii and the native species, regardless of light environment. Berberis darwinii had more positive values of ,13C than the four native species, suggesting that it gains more carbon per unit water transpired than the competing native species. These results suggest that the invasion success of B. darwinii may be partially explained by combination of a Jack-of-all-trades scenario of widespread germination with a master-of-some scenario through its ability to photosynthesize at higher rates in the sun and, hence, gain a rapid height and biomass advantage over native species in favourable environments. [source]

    Responses of Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) to Removal of Introduced Pacific Rats from Islands

    erradicación de rata del Pacífico; especie invasora; índice de condición corporal; tuatara Abstract:,Invasive mammalian predators such as rats are now widespread on islands, but hypotheses about their effects have rarely been tested. Circumstantial evidence from New Zealand indicates that, when introduced to islands, Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) have negative effects on endemic plants, invertebrates, birds, and reptiles, including the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). We tested the effects of Pacific rats on tuatara by comparing the demographic structure and body condition of tuatara populations on three islands before and after removal of rats and on a fourth island where rats remained. In the presence of rats, juvenile tuatara constituted on average 0,5% of the sample tuatara populations. When Pacific rats were removed after at least 200 years' occupancy, the proportion of juvenile tuatara increased 3.5- to 17-fold and body condition of adult males and females also improved (sometimes dramatically). We predict that, unless Pacific rats are removed from Taranga Island, the tuatara population will collapse because of low population density and the lack of juvenile recruitment. Our results demonstrate that when invasive species exert subtle effects on recruitment and body condition, the effects on populations of long-lived endemic species may only become apparent long after the invasion. Resumen:,Actualmente, los depredadores mamíferos invasores, como las ratas, están ampliamente extendidos en islas, pero las hipótesis sobre sus efectos han sido probadas pocas veces. Evidencia circunstancial de Nueva Zelanda indica que, cuando son introducidas a islas, las ratas del Pacífico (Rattus exulans) tienen un efecto negativo sobre plantas, invertebrados, aves y reptiles endémicos, incluyendo el tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). Probamos los efectos de ratas del Pacífico sobre tuatara mediante la comparación de la estructura demográfica y la condición corporal de poblaciones de tuatara en tres islas antes y después de la remoción de ratas y en una cuarta isla donde permanecían las ratas. En la presencia de ratas, tuatara juveniles constituían, en promedio, 0,5% de las poblaciones de tuatara. Cuando las ratas eran removidas después de por lo menos 200 años de ocupación, la proporción de tuatara juveniles incremento entre 3.5 y 17 veces y la condición corporal de los machos y hembras adultas también mejoró (algunas veces dramáticamente). Pronosticamos que, a menos que las ratas del Pacífico sean removidas de la Isla Taranga, las poblaciones de tuatara se colapsarán debido a una densidad poblacional baja y por la ausencia de reclutamiento de juveniles. Nuestros resultados demuestran que cuando las especies invasoras ejercen efectos sutiles sobre el reclutamiento y la condición corporal, los efectos sobre las poblaciones de especies endémicas longevas se vuelven aparentes mucho tiempo después de la invasión. [source]

    Salvage Logging, Ecosystem Processes, and Biodiversity Conservation

    conservación de la biodiversidad; gestión forestal; procesos ecosistémicos Abstract:,We summarize the documented and potential impacts of salvage logging,a form of logging that removes trees and other biological material from sites after natural disturbance. Such operations may reduce or eliminate biological legacies, modify rare postdisturbance habitats, influence populations, alter community composition, impair natural vegetation recovery, facilitate the colonization of invasive species, alter soil properties and nutrient levels, increase erosion, modify hydrological regimes and aquatic ecosystems, and alter patterns of landscape heterogeneity. These impacts can be assigned to three broad and interrelated effects: (1) altered stand structural complexity; (2) altered ecosystem processes and functions; and (3) altered populations of species and community composition. Some impacts may be different from or additional to the effects of traditional logging that is not preceded by a large natural disturbance because the conditions before, during, and after salvage logging may differ from those that characterize traditional timber harvesting. The potential impacts of salvage logging often have been overlooked, partly because the processes of ecosystem recovery after natural disturbance are still poorly understood and partly because potential cumulative effects of natural and human disturbance have not been well documented. Ecologically informed policies regarding salvage logging are needed prior to major natural disturbances so that when they occur ad hoc and crisis-mode decision making can be avoided. These policies should lead to salvage-exemption zones and limits on the amounts of disturbance-derived biological legacies (e.g., burned trees, logs) that are removed where salvage logging takes place. Finally, we believe new terminology is needed. The word salvage implies that something is being saved or recovered, whereas from an ecological perspective this is rarely the case. Resumen:,Resumimos los impactos documentados y potenciales de la cosecha de salvamento , una forma de cosecha de madera que remueve árboles y otros materiales biológicos después de una perturbación natural. Tales operaciones pueden reducir o eliminar legados biológicos, modificar hábitats post perturbación, influir en poblaciones, alterar la composición de comunidades, impedir la recuperación de la vegetación natural, facilitar la colonización de especies invasoras, alterar las propiedades del suelo y de niveles de nutrientes, incrementar la erosión, modificar regímenes hidrológicos y ecosistemas acuáticos, y alterar patrones de heterogeneidad del paisaje. Estos impactos se pueden asignar a tres efectos amplios e interrelacionados: (1) alteración de la complejidad estructural del bosque; (2) alteración de procesos y funciones ecológicas; y (3) alteración de poblaciones de especies y de la composición de la comunidad. Algunos impactos pueden ser diferentes a o adicionales a los efectos de la cosecha de madera tradicional que no es precedida de una perturbación natural severa porque las condiciones antes, durante y después de la cosecha de salvamento pueden diferir de las que caracterizan a la cosecha de madera tradicional. Los impactos potenciales de la cosecha de salvamento a menudo han sido pasados por alto, en parte porque los procesos de recuperación del ecosistema después de una perturbación natural son poco conocidos y en parte porque los efectos acumulativos potenciales de perturbaciones naturales y humanas no han sido bien documentados. Se requieren políticas ecológicamente informadas para la cosecha de salvamento para que cuando ocurran las perturbaciones naturales se evite la toma de decisiones en situaciones de crisis. Estas políticas deberán establecer zonas exentas de salvamento y límites a las cantidades de legados biológicos derivados de la perturbación (e. g., árboles quemados, troncos) que son removidos donde se lleva a cabo la cosecha de salvamento. Finalmente, creemos que se requiere una nueva terminología. La palabra salvamento implica que algo esta siendo salvado o recuperado, y este raramente es el caso desde una perspectiva ecológica. [source]

    Conservation of Brazilian Amphibians

    The Brazilian Official List of Threatened Species and the results of a workshop for the Global Amphibian Assessment indicate that 26 species are threatened. The majority of these occur in the Atlantic Forest, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The main threat to amphibians is the destruction of their habitats through deforestation, conversion into agricultural land, mining, wildfires, and infrastructure development and urbanization. In Brazil little is known about other causes of amphibian decline observed worldwide, such as pesticides, infectious diseases, climate change, invasive species, or wildlife trade. Brazilian conservation policies include such important legal instruments as the Official List of Threatened Species and the selection of priority areas for conservation measures in all of Brazil's major biomes. Although there is little information on geographic distributions and the natural history and ecology of the large majority of the currently recognized species, a number of important regional studies for amphibian conservation are under way. New species are discovered each year. Resumen:,Brasil es el líder mundial en diversidad de anfibios, con 765 especies, la mayoría de las cuales han sido descritas en los últimos 40 años. La Lista Brasileña Oficial de Especies Amenazadas y los resultados de un taller para la Evaluación Global de Anfibios indican que 26 especies están amenazadas, la mayoría de ellas ocurre en el Bosque Atlántico, uno de los sitios de importancia para la biodiversidad global. La principal amenaza a los anfibios es la destrucción de sus hábitats por la deforestación, conversión a tierras agrícolas, minería, fuego no controlado, desarrollo de infraestructura y urbanización. En Brasil se conoce poco sobre otras causas de la declinación de anfibios observadas en todo el mundo, como pesticidas, enfermedades infecciosas, cambio climático, especies invasoras o comercio de vida silvestre. Las políticas Brasileñas de conservación incluyen importantes instrumentos legales como la Lista Oficial de Especies Amenazadas y la selección de áreas prioritarias para la conservación en todos lo biomas principales de Brasil. Existe escasa información sobre la distribución geográfica y la historia natural y ecología de la gran mayoría de las especies reconocidas actualmente, aunque se está desarrollando un importante número de estudios regionales para la conservación de anfibios. Cada año se descubren nuevas especies. [source]

    Matrix Models as a Tool for Understanding Invasive Plant and Native Plant Interactions

    competencia; invasión biológica; plantas invasoras; modelo matricial; perturbación Abstract:,Demographic matrix models are an increasingly standard way to evaluate the effects of different impacts and management approaches on species of concern. Although invasive species are now considered among the greatest threats to biodiversity, matrix methods have been little used to explore and integrate the potentially complicated effects of invasions on native species. I developed stage-structured models to assess the impacts of invasive grasses on population growth and persistence of a federally listed (U.S.A.) endemic plant, the Antioch Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides subsp. howellii [Munz] W. Klein). I used these models to evaluate two frequently made assumptions: (1) when rare plant populations decline in invaded habitats, invasive species are the cause and (2) invasive plants suppress rare plants primarily through direct resource competition. I compared two control and two removal matrices based on previous experimental work that showed variable effects of invasive grasses on different life-history stages of O. deltoides. Matrix analysis showed that these effects translated into substantial changes in population growth rates and persistence, with control matrices predicting a mean stochastic population growth rate (,) of 0.86 and removal matrices predicting growth rates from 0.92 to 0.93. Yet even the most optimistic invasive removal scenarios predicted rapid decline and a probability of extinction near one in the next 100 years. Competitive suppression of seedlings had much smaller effects on growth rates than did lowered germination, which probably resulted from thatch accumulation and reduced soil disturbance. These results indicate that although invasive grasses have important effects on the population growth of this rare plant, invasion impacts are not solely responsible for observed declines and are likely to be interacting with other factors such as habitat degradation. Further, changes in the disturbance regime may be as important a mechanism creating these impacts as direct resource competition. My results highlight the value of demographic modeling approaches in creating an integrated assessment of the threats posed by invasive species and the need for more mechanistic studies of invasive plant interactions with native plants. Resumen:,Los modelos demográficos matriciales son una forma cada vez más utilizada para evaluar los efectos de diferentes impactos y métodos de gestión sobre las especies en cuestión. Aunque actualmente se considera a las plantas invasoras entre las mayores amenazas a la biodiversidad, los modelos matriciales han sido poco utilizados para explorar e integrar los efectos potencialmente complicados de las invasiones sobre las especies nativas. Desarrollé modelos estructurados por etapas para evaluar los impactos de pastos invasores sobre el crecimiento poblacional y la persistencia de una especie de planta endémica, enlistada federalmente (E.U.A.), Oenothera deltoides ssp. howellii [Munz] W. Klein. Utilicé estos modelos para evaluar dos suposiciones frecuentes: (1) cuando las poblaciones de plantas raras declinan en hábitats invadidos, las especies invasoras son la causa y (2) las plantas invasoras suprimen a las plantas raras principalmente mediante la competencia directa por recursos. Comparé dos matrices de control y dos de remoción con base en trabajo experimental previo que mostró efectos variables de los pastos invasores sobre las diferentes etapas de la historia de vida de O. deltoides. El análisis de la matriz mostró que estos efectos se tradujeron en cambios sustanciales en las tasas de crecimiento y persistencia de la población, las matrices de control predijeron una tasa media de crecimiento poblacional estocástica (,) de 0.86 y las matrices de remoción predijeron tasas de crecimiento de 0.92-0.93. Aun los escenarios más optimistas de remoción de invasores predijeron una rápida declinación y una probabilidad de extinción en 100 años cerca de uno. La supresión competitiva de plántulas tuvo mucho menor efecto sobre las tasas de crecimiento que la disminución en la germinación, que probablemente resultó de la acumulación de paja y reducción en la perturbación del suelo. Estos resultados indican que, aunque los pastos invasores tienen efectos importantes sobre el crecimiento poblacional de esta planta rara, los impactos de la invasión no son los únicos responsables de las declinaciones observadas y probablemente están interactuando con otros factores como la degradación del hábitat. Más aun, los cambios en el régimen de perturbación pueden ser un mecanismo tan importante en la creación de estos impactos como la competencia directa por recursos. Mis resultados resaltan el valor del enfoque de los modelos demográficos para la evaluación integral de las amenazas de especies invasoras y la necesidad de estudios más mecanicistas de las interacciones de plantas invasoras con plantas nativas. [source]

    Nonindigenous Species: Ecological Explanation, Environmental Ethics, and Public Policy

    David M. Lodge
    Misunderstandings and tension exist regarding the science, values, environmental ethics, and public policy relevant to invasive species, which are the subset of nonindigenous species that cause economic or environmental damage. Although there is a natural background rate at which species invasions occur, it is much lower than the current human-induced rates at which species are being moved around the globe. Contrary to some recently voiced opinions , the fact that some species invasions occur without human assistance does not confer acceptability on all species invasions. Also, despite claims to the contrary, the reductions of native biodiversity caused by nonindigenous species are large and well documented. Even if that were not true, an emphasis on species numbers alone as a metric for the impact of nonindigenous species does not adequately incorporate the high value many humans place on the uniqueness of regional biota. Because regional biota are being homogenized by species invasions, it has become an appropriate and official public policy goal in the United States to reduce the harm done by invasive species. The goal is not, however, a reduction of numbers of nonindigenous species per se, as recently claimed by some authors, but a reduction in the damage caused by invasive species, including many sorts of environmental and economic damage. A major challenge remaining for ecology, environmental ethics, and public policy is therefore the development of widely applicable risk-assessment protocols that are acceptable to diverse constituencies. Despite apparent disagreements among scholars, little real disagreement exists about the occurrence, effects, or public-policy implications of nonindigenous species. Resumen: El público está recibiendo un mensaje confuso de ecologistas, otros académicos y periodistas sobre el tema de especies no nativas. Existen malos entendidos y tensión en relación con la ciencia, los valores, la ética ambiental y las políticas públicas relevantes a las especies invasoras, que son un subconjunto de las especies no nativas que causan daños económicos o ambientales. Aunque existe una tasa natural a la que ocurren invasiones, es mucho más baja que las actuales tasas, inducidas por humanos, a las que especies son movidas alrededor del mundo. Al contrario de algunos autores recientes, el hecho de que algunas invasiones de especies ocurren sin asistencia humana no le confiere aceptabilidad moral sobre todas las invasiones de especies. También, a pesar de recientes afirmaciones de lo contrario, las reducciones de biodiversidad nativa debido a especies no nativas son notables y están bien documentadas. Aún si no fuera verdad, el énfasis sólo en el número de especies como una medida del impacto de especies no nativas no incorpora adecuadamente el alto valor que muchos humanos reconocen en la singularidad de la biota regional. Debido a que la biota regional está siendo homogeneizada por invasiones de especies, la reducción del daño causado por especies invasoras se ha convertido en una política pública apropiada y oficial en los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, la meta no es la reducción de especies no nativas, en si, como afirman algunos autores recientes, sino una reducción de los impactos dañinos de las especies invasoras, incluyendo muchos tipos de daño económico y ambiental. Por lo tanto, un reto mayor para la ecología, la ética ambiental y la política pública es el desarrollo de protocolos de evaluación de riesgos ampliamente aplicables que sean aceptables para electores diversos. A pesar de aparentes desacuerdos entre académicos, existe poco desacuerdo real acerca de la ocurrencia, el impacto o las implicancias en política pública de las especies no nativas. [source]

    Conservation biogeography , foundations, concepts and challenges

    David M. Richardson
    Abstract Conservation biogeography involves the application of biogeographical principles, theories, and analyses to problems regarding biodiversity conservation. The field was formally defined in 2005, and considerable research has been conducted in the ensuing 5 years. This editorial sets the context for 16 contributions in a special issue of Diversity and Distributions on developments and challenges in conservation biogeography. Papers are grouped into the following main themes: species distribution modelling; data requirements; approaches for assigning conservation priorities; approaches for integrating information from numerous disparate sources; special challenges involving invasive species; and the crucial issue of determining how elements of biodiversity are likely to respond to rapid climate change. One paper provides a synthesis of requirements for a robust conservation biogeography for freshwater ecosystems. Conservation biogeography is well poised to make a significant contribution to the process of providing policy makers with objectively formulated scenarios and options for the effective management of biodiversity. The editorial, and the papers in the special issue, deliberate on many of the exciting developments in play in the field, and the many complex challenges that lie ahead. [source]

    Climate, climate change and range boundaries

    Chris D. Thomas
    Abstract Aim, A major issue in ecology, biogeography, conservation biology and invasion biology is the extent to which climate, and hence climate change, contributes to the positions of species' range boundaries. Thirty years of rapid climate warming provides an excellent opportunity to test the hypothesis that climate acts as a major constraint on range boundaries, treating anthropogenic climate change as a large-scale experiment. Location, UK and global data, and literature. Methods, This article analyses the frequencies with which species have responded to climate change by shifting their range boundaries. It does not consider abundance or other changes. Results, For the majority of species, boundaries shifted in a direction that is concordant with being a response to climate change; 84% of all species have expanded in a polewards direction as the climate has warmed (for the best data available), which represents an excess of 68% of species after taking account of the fact that some species may shift in this direction for non-climatic reasons. Other data sets also show an excess of animal range boundaries expanding in the expected direction. Main conclusions, Climate is likely to contribute to the majority of terrestrial and freshwater range boundaries. This generalization excludes species that are endemic to specific islands, lakes, rivers and geological outcrops, although these local endemics are not immune from the effects of climate change. The observed shifts associated with recent climate change are likely to have been brought about through both direct and indirect (changes to species' interactions) effects of climate; indirect effects are discussed in relation to laboratory experiments and invasive species. Recent observations of range boundary shifts are consistent with the hypothesis that climate contributes to, but is not the sole determinant of, the position of the range boundaries of the majority of terrestrial animal species. [source]

    The role of fruit traits of bird-dispersed plants in invasiveness and weed risk assessment

    Carl R. Gosper
    Abstract Aim, Birds play a major role in the dispersal of seeds of many fleshy-fruited invasive plants. The fruits that birds choose to consume are influenced by fruit traits. However, little is known of how the traits of invasive plant fruits contribute to invasiveness or to their use by frugivores. We aim to gain a greater understanding of these relationships to improve invasive plant management. Location, South-east Queensland, Australia. Methods, We measure a variety of fruit morphology, pulp nutrient and phenology traits of a suite of bird-dispersed alien plants. Frugivore richness of these aliens was derived from the literature. Using regressions and multivariate methods, we investigate relationships between fruit traits, frugivore richness and invasiveness. Results, Plant invasiveness was negatively correlated to fruit size, and all highly invasive species had quite similar fruit morphology [smaller fruits, seeds of intermediate size and few (< 10) seeds per fruit]. Lower pulp water was the only pulp nutrient trait associated with invasiveness. There were strong positive relationships between the diversity of bird frugivores and plant invasiveness, and in the diversity of bird frugivores in the study region and another part of the plants' alien range. Main conclusions, Our results suggest that weed risk assessments (WRA) and predictions of invasive success for bird-dispersed plants can be improved. Scoring criteria for WRA regarding fruit size would need to be system-specific, depending on the fruit-processing capabilities of local frugivores. Frugivore richness could be quantified in the plant's natural range, its invasive range elsewhere, or predictions made based on functionally similar fruits. [source]

    Threats and biodiversity in the mediterranean biome

    Emma C. Underwood
    ABSTRACT Aim, Global conservation assessments recognize the mediterranean biome as a priority for the conservation of the world's biodiversity. To better direct future conservation efforts in the biome, an improved understanding of the location, magnitude and trend of key threats and their relationship with species of conservation importance is needed. Location, Mediterranean-climate regions in California-Baja California, Chile, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean Basin. Methods, We undertook a systematic, pan-regional assessment of threats in the mediterranean biome including human population density, urban area and agriculture. To realize the full implications of these threats on mediterranean biodiversity, we examined their relationship with species of conservation concern: threatened mammals at the global scale and threatened plants at the subecoregional scale in California, USA. Results, Across the biome, population density and urban area increased by 13% and agriculture by 1% between 1990 and 2000. Both population density and urban area were greatest in California-Baja California and least in Australia while, in contrast, agriculture was greatest in Australia and least in California-Baja California. In all regions lowlands were most affected by the threats analysed, with the exception of population density in the Chilean matorral. Threatened species richness had a significant positive correlation with population density at global and subecoregional scales, while threatened species were found to increase with the amount of urban area and decrease as the amount of natural area and unfragmented core area increased. Main conclusions, Threats to mediterranean biodiversity have increased from 1990 to 2000, although patterns vary both across and within the five regions. The need for future conservation efforts is further underlined by the positive correlation between species of conservation concern and the increase in population density over the last decade. Challenges to reducing threats extend beyond those analysed to include human,environmental interactions and their synergistic effects, such as urbanization and invasive species and wildfires. [source]

    New York's nature: a review of the status and trends in species richness across the metropolitan region

    Linda M. Puth
    ABSTRACT Aim, The world's population is urbanizing, yet relatively little is known about the ecology of urban areas. As the largest metropolitan area in the USA, New York City is an ideal location to study the effects of urbanization. Here, we aim to produce a better understanding of the state of the research for species richness of flora and fauna across the New York metropolitan region. Location, New York metropolitan region, USA. Methods, We conducted a review of the published and grey literature, in which we targeted studies of species richness, and categorized each study by habitat, location and taxonomic group. Results, We found 79 studies reporting location-specific species richness data, resulting in 261 location-taxonomic group records. Of these, 26 records had data from multiple time periods; 17 showed decreases in species richness, six reported increases and three showed stable species richness. Of these 26 records, most declines were attributed to anthropogenic causes, such as habitat loss/degradation and invasive species, while most increases reflected recovery from major habitat loss or increases in exotic species. Overall, most records (84) were terrestrial, followed by those in freshwater (72) and mixed habitats (61). When parsed by taxonomic group, the most commonly studied groups were plants (76) and mammals (48). Main conclusions, In general, we discovered fewer studies than expected reporting species richness, especially studies reporting species richness for more than one point in time. Most studies that did contain data over time reported declines in species richness, while several studies reporting increasing or stable species richness reflected increases in exotic species. This survey provides a crucial first step in establishing baseline ecological knowledge for the New York metropolitan region that should help prioritize areas for protection, research and development. Furthermore, this research provides insights into the impacts of urbanization across the USA and beyond and should help establish similar frameworks for ecological understanding for other metropolitan regions throughout the world. [source]

    Evaluating extreme risks in invasion ecology: learning from banking compliance

    James Franklin
    ABSTRACT Increasing international trade has exacerbated the risks of ecological damage due to invasive pests and diseases. For extreme events such as invasions of damaging exotic species or natural catastrophes, there are no or very few directly relevant data, so expert opinion must be relied on heavily. Expert opinion must be as fully informed and calibrated as possible , by available data, by other experts, and by the reasoned opinions of stakeholders. We survey a number of quantitative and non-quantitative methods that have shown promise for improving extreme risk analysis, particularly for assessing the risks of invasive pests and pathogens associated with international trade. We describe the legally inspired regulatory regime for banks, where these methods have been brought to bear on extreme ,operational risks'. We argue that an ,advocacy model' similar to that used in the Basel II compliance regime for bank operational risks and to a lesser extent in biosecurity import risk analyses is ideal for permitting the diversity of relevant evidence about invasive species to be presented and soundly evaluated. We recommend that the process be enhanced in ways that enable invasion ecology to make more explicit use of the methods found successful in banking. [source]

    Selection of preadapted populations allowed Senecio inaequidens to invade Central Europe

    Oliver Bossdorf
    ABSTRACT Invasive species often evolve rapidly in response to the novel biotic and abiotic conditions in their introduced range. Such adaptive evolutionary changes might play an important role in the success of some invasive species. Here, we investigated whether introduced European populations of the South African ragwort Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae) have genetically diverged from native populations. We carried out a greenhouse experiment where 12 South African and 11 European populations were for several months grown at two levels of nutrient availability, as well as in the presence or absence of a generalist insect herbivore. We found that, in contrast to a current hypothesis, plants from introduced populations had a significantly lower reproductive output, but higher allocation to root biomass, and they were more tolerant to insect herbivory. Moreover, introduced populations were less genetically variable, but displayed greater plasticity in response to fertilization. Finally, introduced populations were phenotypically most similar to a subset of native populations from mountainous regions in southern Africa. Taking into account the species' likely history of introduction, our data support the idea that the invasion success of Senecio inaequidens in Central Europe is based on selective introduction of specific preadapted and plastic genotypes rather than on adaptive evolution in the introduced range. [source]

    A rapid technique for assessing the suitability of areas for invasive species applied to New Zealand's rivers

    Cathy Kilroy
    ABSTRACT Early responses to incursions of non-indigenous species (NIS) into new areas include modelling and surveillance to define the organisms' potential and actual distributions. For well-studied invasive species, predictive models can be developed based on quantitative data describing environmental tolerances. In late 2004, an invasive freshwater diatom Didymosphenia geminata, an NIS for which we had no such quantitative data, was detected in a New Zealand river. We describe a procedure used to rapidly develop a classification of suitability for all New Zealand's rivers, based on two sources of information. First, from a review of the limited available literature and unpublished data, we determined that temperature, hydrological and substrate stability, light availability, and water pH were the most important environmental gradients determining D. geminata's broad-scale distribution and capacity for establishing and forming blooms in rivers. The second information source was a GIS-based river network developed for a national classification of New Zealand's rivers, with associated data describing environmental characteristics of each section of the network. We used six variables that were available for every section of the network as surrogates for the environmental gradients that determine suitability. We then determined the environmental distance of all the river sections in the network from our assessment of the optimal conditions conducive to D. geminata blooms. The analysis suggested that > 70% of New Zealand's river sections (stream order > 3) fell into the two highest suitability categories (on a five-point scale). At the time of writing, D. geminata had spread to 12 catchments, all of which were within these two categories. The technique is applicable in initial responses to incursions of NIS where quantitative information is limited, and makes optimal use of available qualitative information. Our assessment contributed to evaluations of the potential ecological, social, and economic impacts of D. geminata and is currently being used to stratify site selection for ongoing surveillance. [source]

    Modelling chorotypes of invasive vertebrates in mainland Spain

    Raimundo Real
    ABSTRACT We investigated the existence of chorotypes , assemblages of species with similar geographical ranges , of invasive species in a host territory, and their potential use to advocate similar control or management strategies for species in the same chorotype. We analysed the distribution of 13 exotic terrestrial vertebrate species (six birds, six mammals, and one reptile) with well-known distributions in mainland Spain. We used the presence/absence data on a grid of 10 km × 10 km UTM cells from the Atlases of terrestrial vertebrates of Spain. These data were aggregated to a grid of 50 km × 50 km UTM cells, because it entailed no loss of meaningful information and allowed dealing with a much lower number of cells. Using cluster analysis and a probabilistic assessment of the classification, we identified seven significant chorotypes: four multispecific and three monospecific. The compound chorotypes grouped together species that tended to share certain characteristics about their introduction, release cause, establishment, and spread. We modelled the chorotypes using a favourability function based on a generalized linear model and 31 variables related to spatial situation, topography, lithology, climatic stability, energy availability, water availability, disturbances, productivity, and human activity. Climatic factors affected the favourability for every chorotype, whereas human variables had a high influence in the distribution of three chorotypes involving eight species. On the basis of these variables, we identified favourable areas for all the chorotypes in mainland Spain. The favourability for a chorotype in an area may be a useful criterion for evaluating the local conservation concern due to the whole set of species. Favourable but unoccupied areas can be used to infer possible colonization areas for each chorotype. We recommend using chorotypes to optimize broad-scale surveillance of invasive species. [source]

    Inferring historical introduction pathways with mitochondrial DNA: the case of introduced Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) into New Zealand

    Steve E. Corin
    ABSTRACT The threat imposed by invasive species and difficulties associated with control and management places more impetus on trying to prevent their introduction. The identification of introduction pathways is a vital component towards this goal. In this study, we use a genetic marker-based approach to retrospectively investigate the pathway of origin of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) into New Zealand. We intensively sample the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, from the entire known range of Argentine ants in New Zealand. No genetic variation was found in New Zealand. In order to identify likely introduction pathways, we use two alternative genetic analyses and suggest that a tcs approach that collapses identical haplotypes and calculates the probability of parsimony is superior to standard phylogenetic tree-building algorithms. A minimum spanning network allowed relationships to be examined among sequences collated from previous international studies. The cytochrome b sequence, when compared to a global database, matched that from an Australian population. That Australia is the potential source of Argentine ants is in agreement with the New Zealand interception record, as goods from Australia have the highest number of interception records of Argentine ants. Our approach can easily be duplicated for other organisms and the methodology can be more widely applied to help aid further efforts to identify the routes of transmission for other invasive species and allow us to efficiently direct our biosecurity monitoring effort. [source]

    Prediction and validation of the potential global distribution of a problematic alien invasive species , the American bullfrog

    Gentile Francesco Ficetola
    ABSTRACT Predicting the probability of successful establishment and invasion of alien species at global scale, by matching climatic and land use data, is a priority for the risk assessment. Both large- and local-scale factors contribute to the outcome of invasions, and should be integrated to improve the predictions. At global scale, we used climatic and land use layers to evaluate the habitat suitability for the American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana, a major invasive species that is among the causes of amphibian decline. Environmental models were built by using Maxent, a machine learning method. Then, we integrated global data with information on richness of native communities and hunting pressure collected at the local scale. Global-scale data allowed us to delineate the areas with the highest suitability for this species. Predicted suitability was significantly related to the invasiveness observed for bullfrog populations historically introduced in Europe, but did not explain a large portion of variability in invasion success. The integration of data at the global and local scales greatly improved the performance of models, and explained > 57% of the variance in introduction success: bullfrogs were more invasive in areas with high suitability and low hunting pressure over frogs. Our study identified the climatic factors entailing the risk of invasion by bullfrogs, and stresses the importance of the integration of biotic and abiotic data collected at different spatial scales, to evaluate the areas where monitoring and management efforts need to be focused. [source]

    Residence time and potential range: crucial considerations in modelling plant invasions

    John R. U. Wilson
    ABSTRACT A prime aim of invasion biology is to predict which species will become invasive, but retrospective analyses have so far failed to develop robust generalizations. This is because many biological, environmental, and anthropogenic factors interact to determine the distribution of invasive species. However, in this paper we also argue that many analyses of invasiveness have been flawed by not considering several fundamental issues: (1) the range size of an invasive species depends on how much time it has had to spread (its residence time); (2) the range size and spread rate are mediated by the total extent of suitable (i.e. potentially invasible) habitat; and (3) the range size and spread rate depend on the frequency and intensity of introductions (propagule pressure), the position of founder populations in relation to the potential range, and the spatial distribution of the potential range. We explored these considerations using a large set of invasive alien plant species in South Africa for which accurate distribution data and other relevant information were available. Species introduced earlier and those with larger potential ranges had larger current range sizes, but we found no significant effect of the spatial distribution of potential ranges on current range sizes, and data on propagule pressure were largely unavailable. However, crucially, we showed that: (1) including residence time and potential range always significantly increases the explanatory power of the models; and (2) residence time and potential range can affect which factors emerge as significant determinants of invasiveness. Therefore, analyses not including potential range and residence time can come to misleading conclusions. When these factors were taken into account, we found that nitrogen-fixing plants and plants invading arid regions have spread faster than other species, but these results were phylogenetically constrained. We also show that, when analysed in the context of residence time and potential range, variation in range size among invasive species is implicitly due to variation in spread rates, and, that by explicitly assuming a particular model of spread, it is possible to estimate changes in the rates of plant invasions through time. We believe that invasion biology can develop generalizations that are useful for management, but only in the context of a suitable null model. [source]