Biological Invasions

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 355–363 | Cite as

Species-Rich Scandinavian Grasslands are Inherently Open to Invasion

  • Ove Eriksson
  • Sofia Wikström
  • Åsa Eriksson
  • Regina Lindborg
Article

Abstract

Invasion of native habitats by alien or generalist species is recognized worldwide as one of the major causes behind species decline and extinction. One mechanism determining community invasibility, i.e. the susceptibility of a community to invasion, which has been supported by recent experimental studies, is species richness and functional diversity acting as barriers to invasion. We used Scandinavian semi-natural grasslands, exceptionally species-rich at small spatial scales, to examine this mechanism, using three grassland generalists and one alien species as experimental invaders. Removal of two putative functional groups, legumes and dominant non-legume forbs, had no effect on invasibility except a marginally insignificant effect of non-legume forb removal. The amount of removed biomass and original plot species richness had no effect on invasibility. Actually, invasibility was high already in the unmanipulated community, leading us to further examine the relationship between invasion and propagule pressure, i.e. the inflow of seeds into the community. Results from an additional experiment suggested that these species-rich grasslands are effectively open to invasion and that diversity may be immigration driven. Thus, species richness is no barrier to invasion. The high species diversity is probably in itself a result of the community being highly invasible, and species have accumulated at small scales during centuries of grassland management.

Keywords

functional diversity plant community invasibility seed dispersal seedling recruitment semi-natural grasslands 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brown, RL, Fridley, JD 2003Control of plant species diversity and community invasibility by species immigration: seed richness versus seed densityOikos1021524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown, RL, Peet, RK 2003Diversity and invasibility of southern Appalachian plant communitiesEcology843239Google Scholar
  3. Byers, JE, Noonburg, EG 2003Scale dependent effects of biotic resistance to biological invasionEcology8414281433Google Scholar
  4. Cousins, SAO, Eriksson, O 2002The influence of management history and habitat on plant species richness in a rural hemiboreal landscapeLandscape Ecology17517529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crawley, MJ 1987

    What makes a community invasible?

    Gray, AJCrawley, MJEdwards, PJ eds. Colonization, Succession and StabilityBlackwellOxford429453
    Google Scholar
  6. Davis, MA, Grime, JP, Thompson, K 2000Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibilityJournal of Ecology88528534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Díaz, S, Cabido, M 2001Vive la différence: plant functional diversity matters to ecosystem processesTrends in Ecology and Evolution16646655Google Scholar
  8. Díaz, S, Symstad, AJ, Chapin, FS,III, Wardle, D, Huenneke, LF 2003Functional diversity revealed by removal experimentsTrends in Ecology and Evolution18140146Google Scholar
  9. Dukes, JS 2001Biodiversity and invasibility in grassland microcosmsOecologia126563568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dukes, JS 2002Species composition and diversity affect grassland susceptibility and response to invasionEcological Applications12602617Google Scholar
  11. Ekstam U and Forshed N (1992) If grassland management ceases: vascular plants as indicator species in meadows and pastures. Naturvårdsverket, Värnamo [in Swedish, with English summary]Google Scholar
  12. Elton, CS 1958The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and PlantsMethuenLondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Eriksson, Å, Eriksson, O 2000Population dynamics of the perennial Plantago media in semi-natural grasslandsJournal of Vegetation Science11245252Google Scholar
  14. Eriksson, O, Jakobsson, A 1998Abundance, distribution and life histories of grassland plants: a comparative study of 81 speciesJournal of Ecology86922933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eriksson, O, Cousins, SAO, Bruun, HH 2002Land-use history and fragmentation of traditionally managed grasslands in ScandinaviaJournal of Vegetation Science13743748Google Scholar
  16. Foster, BL, Smith, VH, Dickson, TL, Hildebrand, T 2002Invasibility and compositional stability in a grassland community: relationships to diversity and extrinsic factorsOikos99300307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hector, A, Dobson, K, Minns, A, Bazeley-White, E, Lawton, JH 2001Community diversity and invasion resistance: an experimental test in a grassland ecosystem and a review of comparable studiesEcological Research96819831Google Scholar
  18. Hubbell, SP 2001The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and BiogeographyPrinceton University PressPrincetonGoogle Scholar
  19. Karlsson, T 1997The vascular plants of Sweden – a checklistSvensk Botanisk Tidskrift91241560Google Scholar
  20. Kennedy, TA, Naeem, S, Howe, KM, Knops, JMH, Tilman, D, Reich, P 2002Biodiversity as a barrier to ecological invasionNature417636638PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kiviniemi, K 2002Population dynamics of Agrimonia eupatoria and Geum rivale, two perennial grassland speciesPlant Ecology159153169Google Scholar
  22. Kiviniemi, K, Eriksson, O 2002Size-related deterioration of semi-natural grassland fragments in SwedenDiversity and Distributions82129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Knops, JMH, Tilman, D, Haddad, NM, Naeem, S, Mitchell, CE, Haarstad, J, Ritchie, ME, Howe, KM, Reich, PB, Siemann, E, Groth, J 1999Effects of plant species richness on invasion dynamics, disease outbreaks, insect abundances and diversityEcology Letters2286293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kolb, A, Alpert, P, Enters, D, Holzapfel, C 2002Patterns of invasion within a grassland communityJournal of Ecology90871881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Körner, Ch 1994

    Scaling from species to vegetation: the usefulness of functional groups

    Schulze, E-DMooney, HA eds. Biodiversity and Ecosystem FunctionSpringer-VerlagBerlin117140
    Google Scholar
  26. Levine, JM 2000Species diversity and biological invasions: relating local process to community patternScience288852854PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Levine, JM, D’Antonio, CM 1999Elton revisited: a review of evidence linking diversity and invasibilityOikos871526Google Scholar
  28. Löfgren, P, Eriksson, O, Lehtilä, K 2000Population dynamics and the effect of disturbance in the monocarpic herb Carlina vulgaris (Asteraceae)Annales Botanici Fennici37183192Google Scholar
  29. Lonsdale, WM 1999Global patterns of plant invasions and the concept of invasibilityEcology8015221536Google Scholar
  30. Loreau, M, Mouquet, N 1999Immigration and the maintenance of local species diversityAmerican Naturalist154427440PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Lyons, KG, Schwartz, MW 2001Rare species loss alters ecosystem function – invasion resistanceEcology Letters4358365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mack, RN, Simberloff, D, Lonsdale, WM, Evans, H, Clout, M, Bazzaz, FA 2000Biotic invasions: causes, epirdemiology, global consequences, and controlEcological Applications10689710Google Scholar
  33. Mouquet, N, Leadley, P, Mériguet, J, Loreau, M 2004Immigration and local competition in herbaceous plant communities: a three-year seed-sowing experimentOikos1047790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Naeem, S, Knops, JMH, Tilman, D, Howe, KM, Kennedy, T, Gale, S 2000Plant diversity increases resistance to invasion in the absence of covarying extrinsic factorsOikos9197108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Noble, IR, Gitay, H 1996A functional classification for predicting the dynamics of landscapesJournal of Vegetation Science7329336Google Scholar
  36. Palmer, MW, Maurer, TA 1997Does diversity beget diversity? A case study of crops and weedsJournal of Vegetation Science8235240Google Scholar
  37. Poschlod, P, Bonn, S 1998Changing dispersal processes in the central European landscape since the last ice age: an explanation for the actual decrease of plant species richness in different habitats?Acta Botanica Neerlandica472744Google Scholar
  38. Prieur-Richard, A-H, Lavorel, S, Grigulis, K, Dos Santos, A 2000Plant community diversity and invasibility by exotics: invasion of Mediterranean old fields by Conyza bonariensis and Conyza canadensis Ecology Letters3412422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Prieur-Richard, A-H, Lavorel, S, Dos Santos, A, Grigulis, K 2002Mechanisms of resistance of Mediterranean annual communities to invasion by Conyza bonariensis: effects of native functional compositionOikos99338346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Robinson, GR, Quinn, JF, Stanton, ML 1995Invasibility of experimental habitat islands in a California winter annual grasslandEcology76786794Google Scholar
  41. Ryberg, M. 1971The deciduous woods on the Näset peninsula at Tullgarn, Province of Södermanland Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar.4th series14580Google Scholar
  42. Sax, DF, Gaines, SD 2003Species diversity: from global decrease to local increaseTrends in Ecology and Evolution18561566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stohlgren, TJ, Binkley, D, Chong, GW, Kalkhan, MA, Schell, LD, Bull, KA, Otsuki, Y, Newman, G, Bashkin, M, Son, Y 1999Exotic plant species invade hotspots of native plant diversityEcological Monographs692546Google Scholar
  44. Stohlgren, TJ, Barnett, DT, Kartesz, JT 2003The rich gets richer: patterns of plant invasions in the United StatesFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment11114Google Scholar
  45. Symstad, AJ 2000A test of the effects of functional group richness and composition of grassland invasibilityEcology8199109Google Scholar
  46. Tilman, D 1997Community invasibility, recruitment limitation, and grassland biodiversityEcology788192Google Scholar
  47. Troumbis, AY, Galanidis, A, Kokkoris, GD 2002Components of short-term invasibility in experimental Mediterranean grasslandsOikos98239250CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ove Eriksson
    • 1
  • Sofia Wikström
    • 1
  • Åsa Eriksson
    • 1
  • Regina Lindborg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations