Posted by: oikosasa | August 6, 2014

Non-native plant species benefit from disturbance

How are native and non-native-plants affected by various disturbances? Find out in the Oikos Early View paper “Non-native plant species benefit from disturbance: a meta-analysis” by Miia Jauni and colleagues. Below is the author’s summary of the study:

Disturbances, such as fire and grazing, are often claimed to facilitate plant species richness and plant invasions in particular, although empirical evidence is contradictory. Mixed results on the link between disturbance and plant invasions may be partly explained by differences in environmental and methodological factors among studies. To synthesize the literature on how plant species, both natives and non-natives, are affected by disturbances, we conducted a meta-analysis. More specifically, we examined how habitat and disturbance types, and methodological factors (study approach, the spatial and temporal scale of the study) modify the disturbance-diversity and disturbance-abundance relationships. We show that disturbance indeed facilitates the diversity and abundance of non-native plant species in communities where they are already present, while native plant species are less affected. However, the strength of the facilitative impact on non-natives depends primarily on disturbance type and on the measure used (species diversity or abundance), with grazing and anthropogenic disturbances leading to higher diversity and abundance of non-native plant species than other disturbance types examined.

 

Disturbance

Non-native plant species may be able to colonise disturbed patches more efficiently than native species.

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