Non-native Plant Species (non-native + plant_species)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Implications of Climatic Warming for Conservation of Native Trees and Shrubs in Florida

David W. Crumpacker
Climatic-envelope models are useful for simultaneous investigation of many plant species whose range-limiting mechanisms are poorly known. They are most effectively applied in regions with strong temperature and moisture gradients and low relief. Their required databases are often relatively easy to obtain. We provide an example involving the effect of six annual warming scenarios, ranging from +1° C to +2° C and from +10% to ,20% annual precipitation (some have greater warming in winter than in summer), on 117 native woody species in Florida (U.S.A.). Tree species at their southern range boundaries in several parts of Florida are likely to be negatively affected by as little as 1° C warming if it is greater in winter than in summer or is accompanied by a 20% decrease in annual precipitation. Potential species responses to an identical type of 1° C warming may be different for some conservation areas in the same region of Florida. Potentially extensive disruption of some major woody ecosystems is predicted under certain types of 1° C annual warming and under all types of 2° C annual warming that were investigated. Additional consideration of nonclimatic factors suggests that many potential effects on species and ecosystems are not underestimates of actual effects over a 100-year period of warming. We recommend monitoring for decreased fertility and viability of ecologically important, temperate woody species near their southern range limits in Florida. Early detection of such changes in fitness might then provide time for mitigations designed to alleviate more serious subsequent effects on biodiversity. Control of invasive, non-native plant species and prevention of their additional introduction, human-assisted translocation of native subtropical plant species into previously temperate parts of Florida, and restoration of more natural hydrological regimes are examples of potentially useful mitigations if climatic warming continues. Resumen: Los modelos de procesos ecológicos y los modelos empíricos han sido usados para relacionar predicciones de cambio climático con los efectos en especies de plantas y vegetación. Los modelos climáticos son útiles para la investigación simultánea de muchas especies de plantas cuyos mecanismos limitantes de rango son poco conocidos. Estos modelos son más eficientemente aplicados en regiones con gradientes de temperatura y humedad fuertes y con relieve bajo. Las bases de datos requeridas son a menudo relativamente fáciles de adquirir. Proveemos un ejemplo que involucra el efecto de seis escenarios anuales de calentamiento con un rango de +1° C a +2° C y de +10% a ,20% de precipitación anual (algunos con rangos de calentamiento mayores en el invierno que en el verano), en 117 especies leñosas nativas de Florida ( E.U.A.). Las especies de árboles en sus límites de rango al sur en diversas partes de Florida son más factibles de ser negativamente afectadas por tan poco como 1° C de calentamiento, si este es mayor en el invierno que en el verano o si es acompañado por una disminución de un 20% de precipitación anual. Las respuestas potenciales de las especies a un tipo idéntico de calentamiento de 1° C puede ser diferente para algunas áreas de conservación en la misma región de Florida. Se predicen perturbaciones potencialmente extensivas en algunos ecosistemas leñosos principales investigados bajo ciertos tipos de calentamiento anual de 1° C y bajo todos los tipos de calentamiento anual de 2° C. Las consideraciones adicionales de factores no climáticos sugieren que muchos efectos potenciales sobre las especies y ecosistemas no son subestimaciones de los efectos actuales sobre un período de calentamiento de 100 años. Se recomienda el monitoreo de la disminución de la fertilidad y viabilidad de especies leñosas templadas ecológicamente importantes cerca de los límites sureños de sus rangos en la Florida. La detección temprana de estos cambios en adaptabilidad pueden proveer tiempo para mitigaciones diseñadas para aliviar efectos posteriores más serios en la biodiversidad. Algunos ejemplos de mitigaciones potencialmente útiles en caso de que el calentamiento global continúe incluyen el control de especies de plantas invasoras no nativas y la prevención de su introducción adicional, la translocación asistida por humanos de plantas nativas subtropicales en partes previamente templadas de Florida y la restauración de regimenes hidrológicos más naturales. [source]

BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH: Population expansion in an invasive grass, Microstegium vimineum: a test of the channelled diffusion model

Nathaniel P. Miller
Abstract Aim, The greatest biodiversity impact of non-native plant species is caused by rapid expansion of colonist populations. Unfortunately, invasion has rarely been documented in real time at a population scale, and demographic mechanisms of invasion remain unclear. Our goal is to describe real-time expansion of populations, using channelled diffusion as a null model. Location, The study examined three populations of the invasive annual grass Microstegium vimineum in mature second-growth forests of south-eastern Ohio and nearby West Virginia, USA. Methods, Distributions were recorded in belt transects perpendicular to population edges over a period of 3 years. A second group of belt transects documented spread along five types of potential movement corridor. Observed changes in distribution were compared with predictions from a diffusion model. A seed-sowing experiment tested seed availability, microsite quality and proximity to potential movement corridors as factors controlling population spread. Results, Population boundaries showed little change over the study period. Colonization was limited by propagule availability over distances as little as 0.25 m, and to a lesser extent by litter cover. Populations did not advance along several potential movement corridors including unpaved roads, off-road vehicle trails and footpaths. Advance was observed along deer trails and stream courses but did not conform to the wave-form distribution predicted by diffusion theory. During the study, seeds were moved out of experimental plots by sheet flow and minor flooding events along small streams. Main conclusion, At a population level, invasion is driven by processes that are episodic in time and non-random in space , probably a common condition in non-native plant species. Spatially realistic models are likely to be more useful than diffusive models in managing invasions at these scales. [source]

Phylogenetic relatedness and plant invader success across two spatial scales

Marc W. Cadotte
ABSTRACT Aim, Successful invaders often possess similar ecological traits that contribute to success in new regions, and thus under niche conservatism, invader success should be phylogenetically clustered. We asked if the degree to which non-native plant species are phylogenetically related is a predictor of invasion success at two spatial scales. Location, Australia , the whole continent and Royal National Park (south-eastern Australia). Methods, We used non-native plant species occupancy in Royal National Park, as well as estimated continental occupancy of these species from herbarium records. We then estimated phylogenetic relationships using molecular data from three gene sequences available on GenBank (matK, rbcL and ITS1). We tested for phylogenetic signals in occupancy using Blomberg's K. Results, Whereas most non-native plants were relatively scarce, there was a strong phylogenetic signal for continental occupancy, driven by the clustering of successful species in Asteraceae, Caryophyllaceae, Poaceae and Solanaceae. However, we failed to detect a phylogenetic signal at the park scale. Main Conclusions, Our results reveal that at a large spatial scale, invader success is phylogenetically clustered where ecological traits promoting success appear to be shared among close relatives, indicating that phylogenetic relationships can be useful predictors of invasion success at large spatial scales. At a smaller, landscape scale, there was no evidence of phylogenetic clustering of invasion success, and thus, relatedness plays a much reduced role in determining the relative success of invaders. [source]

The role of environmental gradients in non-native plant invasion into burnt areas of Yosemite National Park, California

Rob Klinger
ABSTRACT Fire is known to facilitate the invasion of many non-native plant species, but how invasion into burnt areas varies along environmental gradients is not well-understood. We used two pre-existing data sets to analyse patterns of invasion by non-native plant species into burnt areas along gradients of topography, soil and vegetation structure in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. A total of 46 non-native species (all herbaceous) were recorded in the two data sets. They occurred in all seven of the major plant formations in the park, but were least common in subalpine and upper montane conifer forests. There was no significant difference in species richness or cover of non-natives between burnt and unburnt areas for either data set, and environmental gradients had a stronger effect on patterns of non-native species distribution, abundance and species composition than burning. Cover and species richness of non-natives had significant positive correlations with slope (steepness) and herbaceous cover, while species richness had significant negative correlations with elevation, the number of years post-burn, and cover of woody vegetation. Non-native species comprised a relatively minor component of the vegetation in both burnt and unburnt areas in Yosemite (percentage species = 4%, mean cover < 6.0%), and those species that did occur in burnt areas tended not to persist over time. The results indicate that in many western montane ecosystems, fire alone will not necessarily result in increased rates of invasion into burnt areas. However, it would be premature to conclude that non-native species could not affect post-fire succession patterns in these systems. Short fire-return intervals and high fire severity coupled with increased propagule pressure from areas used heavily by humans could still lead to high rates of invasion, establishment and spread even in highly protected areas such as Yosemite. [source]

Interactions between non-native plant species and the floristic composition of common habitats

Summary 1We investigated the role of non-native species (neophytes) in common British plant communities using botanical data from two stratified random surveys carried out in 1990 and 1998. 2We found that from 16 851 plots surveyed in 1998 there were 123 non-native species found mostly in arable, tall grass/herb and fertile grassland habitats. Invasive non-native species, e.g. Fallopia japonica, Impatiens glandulifera and Rhododendron ponticum, were uncommon in this survey. 3Between 1990 and 1998 the total number of non-native species increased but the mean number of species per sample plot decreased. The mean cover of non-natives increased from 1.2% to 1.9%. 4There were positive spatial and temporal relationships between non-native and native species diversity. However, there was a weak negative relationship between changes in non-native cover and native diversity. 5The species composition and ecological traits of communities containing non-natives were very different from those that did not contain them. 6In the British countryside non-native species were mainly found in habitats with anthropogenic associations, high fertility, high number of ruderal species and high diversity. There is also an indication that successional shifts where competitive invasive species dominate involve non-native species. 7National-scale changes in plant community composition are likely to be closely correlated with external land-use impacts. Changes such as eutrophication, nitrogen deposition and increased fertility in infertile habitats are likely to benefit both native and non-native invasive species; however, currently these trends benefit native species much more often than non-natives. 8Non-native species are known to have significant effects on native species at local scales in many countries; however, at the landscape scale in Great Britain they are best considered as symptoms of disturbance and land-use change rather than a direct threat to biodiversity. [source]

Effects of Native and Non-Native Grassland Plant Communities on Breeding Passerine Birds: Implications for Restoration of Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie

Patricia L. Kennedy
Abstract One common problem encountered when restoring grasslands is the prominence of non-native plant species. It is unclear what effect non-native plants have on habitat quality of grassland passerines, which are among the most imperiled groups of birds. In 2004 and 2005, we compared patterns of avian reproduction and the mechanisms that might influence those patterns across a gradient of 13 grasslands in the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon that vary in the degree of non-native plant cover (0.9,53.4%). We monitored the fate of 201 nests of all the breeding species in these pastures and found no association of percent non-native cover with nest densities, clutch size, productivity, nest survival, and nestling size. Regardless of the degree of non-native cover, birds primarily fed on Coleoptera, Orthoptera, and Araneae. But as percent non-native cover in the pastures increased, Orthoptera made up a greater proportion of diet and Coleoptera made up a smaller proportion. These diet switches were not the result of changes in terrestrial invertebrate abundance but may be related to decreases in percent bare ground associated with increasing cover of non-native vegetation. Measures of nest crypticity were not associated with cover of non-native vegetation, suggesting that predation risk may not increase with increased cover of non-native vegetation. Thus, the study results show that increased non-native cover is not associated with reduced food supplies or increased predation risk for nesting birds, supporting the growing body of evidence that grasslands with a mix of native and non-native vegetation can provide suitable habitat for native grassland breeding birds. [source]

On a level field: the utility of studying native and non-native species in successional systems

Scott J. Meiners
Abstract Questions: How do successional systems contribute to our understanding of plant invasions? Why is a community-level approach important in understanding invasion? Do native and non-native plant species differ in their successional trajectories within communities? Location: Northeastern United States, in the Piedmont region of New Jersey. Previously farmed since the 1700s, ten fields were experimentally retired from agriculture beginning in 1958. Methods: Fifty years of permanent plot data were used to quantify the population demographics of the 84 most abundant species during succession. These measures were then used to compare native, non-native and non-native invasive species' population dynamics in succession. Results: Once basic life-history characteristics were accounted for, there were no differences in the population dynamics of native, non-native, and non-native invasive plant species. However, the species pool in this study was biased towards ruderal species, which largely constrained non-native species to early succession. Conclusion: Successional systems are crucial to our understanding of invasions as they constrain all species to the role of colonizer. By focusing on the whole community, rather than on individual problematic species, we found no systematic differences between native and non-native species. Thus, knowing simple life-history information about a species would be much more useful in setting management priorities than where the species originated. [source]