Non-native plants have greater impacts because of differing per-capita effects and non-linear abundance-impact curves

Ecology Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

Invasive, non-native species can have tremendous impacts on biotic communities, where they reduce the abundance and diversity of local species. However, it remains unclear whether impacts of non-native species arise from their high abundance or whether each non-native individual has a disproportionate impact – i.e., a higher per-capita effect – on co-occurring species compared to impacts by native species. Using a long-term study of wetlands, we asked how temporal variation in dominant native and non-native plants impacted the abundance and richness of other plants in the recipient community. Non-native plants reached higher abundances than natives and had greater per-capita effects. The abundance-impact relationship between plant abundance and richness was nonlinear. Compared with increasing native abundance, increasing non-native abundance was associated with steeper declines in richness because of greater per-capita effects and nonlinearities in the abundance-impact relationship. Our study supports eco-evolutionary novelty of non-natives as a driver of their outsized impacts on communities.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Non-native plants have greater impacts because of differing per-capita effects and non-linear abundance-impact curves
Series title Ecology Letters
DOI 10.1111/ele.13284
Volume 22
Issue 8
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 1214
Last page 1220
Country United States
State Illinois