Navigation Links
Invading species can extinguish native plants despite recent reports
Date:1/9/2013

TORONTO, ON Ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) have found that, given time, invading exotic plants will likely eliminate native plants growing in the wild despite recent reports to the contrary.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that recent statements that invasive plants are not problematic are often based on incomplete information, with insufficient time having passed to observe the full effect of invasions on native biodiversity.

"The impacts of exotic plant invasions often take much longer to become evident than previously thought," says Benjamin Gilbert of U of T's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and lead author of the study. "This delay can create an 'extinction debt' in native plant species, meaning that these species are slowly going extinct but the actual extinction event occurs hundreds of years after the initial invasion."

Much of the debate surrounding the threat posed to biodiversity by the invasions of non-native species is fueled by recent findings that competition from introduced plants has driven remarkably few plant species to extinction. Instead, native plant species in invaded ecosystems are often relegated to patchy, marginal habitats unsuitable to their nonnative competitors.

However, Gilbert and co-author Jonathan Levine of ETH Zurich say that it is uncertain whether the colonization and extinction dynamics of the plants in marginal habitats will allow long-term native persistence.

"Of particular concern is the possibility that short term persistence of native flora in invaded habitats masks eventual extinction," says Levine.

The researchers conducted their research in a California reserve where much of the remaining native plant diversity exists in marginal areas surrounded by invasive grasses. They performed experiments in the reserve and coupled their results with quantitative models to determine the long term impacts of invasive grasses on native plants.

"Invasion has created isolated 'islands of native plants' in a sea of exotics," says Gilbert. "This has decreased the size of native habitats, which reduces seed production and increases local extinction. It also makes it much harder for native plants to recolonize following a local extinction."

"Our research also allows us to identify how new habitats for native flora could be created that would prevent extinction from happening. These habitats would still be too marginal for invaders, but placed in such a way as to create 'bridges' to other habitat patches," says Gilbert.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sean Bettam
s.bettam@utoronto.ca
416-946-7950
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. A new invading sea crab reaches the Ebro Delta
2. Low extinction rates made California a refuge for diverse plant species
3. A new fish species from Lake Victoria named in honor of the author of Darwins Dreampond
4. News for conservationists: Scientists challenge ideas about natural habitats and species diversity
5. 2 new species of orchid found in Cuba
6. Discovery of Africa moth species important for agriculture, controlling invasive plants
7. Plumes across the Pacific deliver thousands of microbial species to West Coast
8. Boreal bird species of conservation concern affected by climate change
9. 3 new species of venomous primate identified by MU researcher
10. Discovered! The new species of Borneos enigmatic primate with a toxic bite
11. Galapagos tortoises are a migrating species
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Invading species can extinguish native plants despite recent reports
(Date:3/14/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - ... - Renvoi : image disponible via AP Images ( ... --> DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation ... d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des réfugiés en Allemagne. ... produire des cartes d,identité aux réfugiés. DERMALOG dévoilera ...
(Date:3/10/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... is testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa ... help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies ... run until May 2016. --> the United ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... March 8, 2016   Valencell , the ... announced it has secured $11M in Series D ... a new venture fund being launched by UAE-based ... from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua ... continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its pioneering ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Diego area and has consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune ... the globe to participate in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... Arizona, Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of ... 31, 2015. Dr. Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on ... that Charles W. Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as ... As an executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies for a ... accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a newly patented ... regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond Page, PhD, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: