Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities

Firn, Jennifer, Moore, Joslin L., MacDougall, Andrew, Borer, Elizabeth, Seabloom, Eric, HilleRisLambers, Janneke, Harpole, Stanley, Cleland, Elsa, Brown , Cynthia, Knops, Johannes, Prober, Suzanne M., Pyke, David, Farrell, Kelly, Bakker, John, O'Halloran, Lydia, Adler, Peter, Collins, Scott, D'Antonio , Carla, Crawley, Michael, Wolkovich, Elizabeth, LaPierre, Kimberley, Melbourne, Brett, Hautier, Yaan, Morgan, John, Leakey, Andrew, Kay, Adam, McCulley, Rebecca, Davies, Kendi, Stevens, Carly, Chu, Cheng-Jin, Holl, Karen, Klein, Julia, Fay, Philip, Hagenah, Nicole, Kirkman, Kevin, & Buckley, Yvonne (2011) Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities. Ecology Letters, 14, pp. 274-281.

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Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at 39 sites, within eight countries, revealed that species abundances were similar at native (home) and introduced (away) sites – grass species were generally abundant home and away, while forbs were low in abundance, but more abundant at home. Sites with six or more of these species had similar community abundance hierarchies, suggesting that suites of introduced species are assembling similarly on different continents. Overall, we found that substantial changes to populations are not necessarily a pre-condition for invasion success and that increases in species abundance are unusual. Instead, abundance at home predicts abundance away, a potentially useful additional criterion for biosecurity programmes.

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39 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 53227
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Biogegraphy, Biosecurity, Disturbance, Global Meta-Study, Homogenization of Communities, Invasion Paradox, Mechanisms of Invasion, Nutrient Network, Plant Invasion, Propagule Pressure
DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01584.x
ISSN: 1461-0248
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 20 Aug 2012 22:16
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2012 22:16

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