Landscape Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 85–99 | Cite as

Evidence of biotic resistance to invasions in forests of the Eastern USA

  • Basil V. IannoneIII
  • Kevin M. Potter
  • Kelly-Ann Dixon Hamil
  • Whitney Huang
  • Hao Zhang
  • Qinfeng Guo
  • Christopher M. Oswalt
  • Christopher W. Woodall
  • Songlin Fei
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Detecting biotic resistance to biological invasions across large geographic areas may require acknowledging multiple metrics of niche usage and potential spatial heterogeneity in associations between invasive and native species diversity and dominance.

Objectives

Determine (1) if native communities are resistant to biological invasions at macroscales; (2) the metrics that best quantify biotic resistance at these scales; and (3) the degree to which the direction and magnitude of invader-native associations vary with scale and/or location.

Methods

Using a mixed-effects modeling framework to account for potential sub-regional and cross-scale variability in invader-native associations, we modeled the species richness and cover of invasive plants in 42,626 plots located throughout Eastern USA forests in relationship to plot-level estimates of native tree biomass, species richness, and evolutionary diversity.

Results

We found (1) native tree biomass and evolutionary diversity, but not species richness, to be negatively associated with invader establishment and dominance, and thus indicative of biotic resistance; (2) evidence that evolutionary diversity limits invader dominance more than it does invader establishment; (3) evidence of greater invasion resistance in parts of the agriculturally-dominated Midwest and in and around the more-contiguous forests of the Appalachian Mountains; and (4) the magnitude to which native tree biomass and evolutionary diversity limit invasion varies across the ranges of these metrics.

Conclusions

These findings illustrate the improved understanding of biotic resistance to invasions that is gained by accounting for sub-regional variability in ecological processes, and underscores the need to determine the factors leading to spatial heterogeneity in biotic resistance.

Keywords

Big data Biomass FIA Program Invasive plants Macrosystems Niche Evolutionary diversity Taxonomic diversity 

Supplementary material

10980_2015_280_MOESM1_ESM.docx (622 kb)
Supplementary material 1Appendix A1 (DOCX 622 kb)
10980_2015_280_MOESM2_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 2 Table A2 (DOCX 20 kb)
10980_2015_280_MOESM3_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 3 Table A3 (DOCX 16 kb)
10980_2015_280_MOESM4_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 4Appendix A4 (DOCX 30 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basil V. IannoneIII
    • 1
  • Kevin M. Potter
    • 2
  • Kelly-Ann Dixon Hamil
    • 3
  • Whitney Huang
    • 3
  • Hao Zhang
    • 3
  • Qinfeng Guo
    • 4
  • Christopher M. Oswalt
    • 5
  • Christopher W. Woodall
    • 6
  • Songlin Fei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Environmental ResourcesNorth Carolina State UniversityResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  4. 4.USDA Forest Service Southern Research StationResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  5. 5.USDA Forest Service Southern Research StationKnoxvilleUSA
  6. 6.USDA Forest Service Northern Research StationSaint PaulUSA

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