Oecologia

, Volume 126, Issue 4, pp 563–568

Biodiversity and invasibility in grassland microcosms

  • Jeffrey S. Dukes

DOI: 10.1007/s004420000549

Cite this article as:
Dukes, J. Oecologia (2001) 126: 563. doi:10.1007/s004420000549

Abstract.

In the years since Charles Elton proposed that more diverse communities should be less susceptible to invasion by exotic species, empirical studies have both supported and refuted Elton's hypothesis. Here, I use grassland community microcosms to test the effect of functional diversity on the success of an invasive annual weed (Centaurea solstitialis L.). I found that high functional diversity reduced the success of Centaurea by reducing resource availability. An equally important, but unstudied, question is whether diversity can buffer a community against the impacts of invasive species. In this experiment, although species diversity (independent of functional diversity) did not affect the success of the invader, the invader suppressed growth of species-poor communities more strongly. Invasion of Centaurea also increased summer evapotranspiration in species-poor communities. These results suggest that loss of species diversity alone does not affect community invasibility, but that communities with fewer species may be more likely to decline as a consequence of invasion.

Biological invasions California grassland Centaurea solstitialis Competition Species richness

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 0000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey S. Dukes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5020, USA
  2. 2.Present address: Department of Biology, University of Utah, 257 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA, e-mail: dukes@biology.utah.edu, Tel.: +1-801-5817086, Fax: +1-801-5814665