Biological Invasions

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 245–254 | Cite as

Revegetation following Soil Disturbance and Invasion in a Californian Meadow: a 10-year History of Recovery

  • Peter M. Kotanen
Article

Abstract

Disturbance is necessary for the regeneration of many native plant species, but can also facilitate biological invasions. As a result, disturbance can play complex roles in vulnerable habitats such as remnant Californian perennial grasslands. To investigate these conflicts, plots in a northern Californian coastal grassland were experimentally disturbed in the winter of 1990–1991; these plots differed in the area and intensity (depth) of the soil disturbance applied. When these plots were revisited after 10 growing seasons, patterns of revegetation differed significantly from those observed early in recolonization (0–3 years). At the earlier samplings, exotic annual grasses rapidly increased in most disturbance types. After 10 years, these exotic annuals had retreated from the depth experiment, which had recovered to a vegetation dominated by native perennials in all but the most severely disturbed plots. In contrast, although differences between control and disturbed plots also disappeared in the area experiment, the average abundance of aliens did not decline substantially relative to 1993 levels, especially in larger disturbances. Nonetheless, populations of aliens remained small compared to the peak populations in the depth experiment, probably reflecting wetter soils at the site used for the area experiment. These results differ from those of other recent studies of soil disturbance in coastal Californian ecosystems, which indicate disturbance may result in the permanent replacement of native perennial vegetation by dense populations of exotic annual grasses. This difference may reflect the high resilience of northern coastal grasslands as well as the scale of disturbances considered by different studies.

aliens disturbance exotics feral pigs grasslands invasions restoration succession 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armesto JJ and Pickett STA (1985) Experiments on disturbance in old-field plant communities: impact on species richness and abundance. Ecology 66: 230–240Google Scholar
  2. Bartolome JW (1989) Local temporal and spatial structure. In: Huenneke LF and Mooney HA (eds) Grassland Structure and Function: California Annual Grassland, pp 73–80. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartolome JW and Gemmill B (1981) The ecological status of Stipa pulchra (Poaceae) in California. Madroño 28: 172–184Google Scholar
  4. Bartolome JW, Stroud MCand Heady HF (1980) Influence of natural mulch on forage production on differing California annual range sites. Journal of Range Management 33: 4–8Google Scholar
  5. Bazzaz FA (1968) Succession on abandoned fields in the Shawnee Hills, southern Illinois. Ecology 49: 924–936Google Scholar
  6. Byers JE (2002) Impact of non-indigenous species on natives enhanced by anthropogenic alteration of selection regimes. Oikos 97: 449–458Google Scholar
  7. D'Antonio CM and Vitousek PM (1992) Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass/fire cycle, and global change. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 23: 63–87Google Scholar
  8. Eliason SA and Allen EB (1997) Exotic grass competition in suppressing native shrubland re-establishment. Restoration Ecology 5: 245–255Google Scholar
  9. Heady HF (1958) Vegetational changes in the California annual type. Ecology 39: 402–416Google Scholar
  10. Heady HF (1988) Valley grassland. In: Barbour MG and Major J (eds) Terrestrial Vegetation of California (New Expanded Edition), pp 491–514. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Heady HF, Foin TC, Kektner JJ, Taylor DW, Barbour MG and Berry WJ (1988) Coastal prairie and northern coastal scrub. In: Barbour MG and Major J (eds) TerrestrialVegetation of California (New Expanded Edition), pp 733–760. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Heady HF, Bartolome JW, Pitt MD, Savelle GD and Stroud MC (1992) California prairie. In: Coupland RT (ed) Ecosystems of the World 8A: Natural Grasslands, pp 313–335. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  13. Hickman JC (ed) (1993) The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1400 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Hobbs RJ and Huenneke LF (1992) Disturbance, diversity, and invasion: implications for conservation. Conservation Biology 6: 324–337Google Scholar
  15. Hobbs RJ and Mooney HA (1985) Community and population dynamics of serpentine grassland annuals in relation to gopher disturbance. Oecologia 67: 342–351Google Scholar
  16. Hobbs RJ and Mooney HA (1991) Effects of rainfall variability and gopher disturbance on serpentine annual grassland dynamics. Ecology 72: 9–68Google Scholar
  17. Huberty LE, Gross KL and Miller CJ (1998) Effects of nitrogen addition on successional dynamics and species diversity in Michigan old-fields. Journal of Ecology 86: 794–803Google Scholar
  18. Huston MA (1994) Biological Diversity: the Coexistence of Species on Changing Landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 681 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Inouye RS, Huntly NJ, Tilman D, Tester JR, Stillwell M and Zinnel KC (1987) Old-field succession on a Minnesota sand plain. Ecology 68: 12–26Google Scholar
  20. Johnson S (1979) The land-use history of the Coast Range Preserve, Mendocino County, California. MSc thesis, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, 258 ppGoogle Scholar
  21. Knops JMH, Griffin JR and Royalty AC (1995) Introduced and native plants of the Hastings Reservation, central coastal California: a comparison. Biological Conservation 71: 115–123Google Scholar
  22. Kotanen PM (1994) Revegetation of meadows disturbed by feral pigs in Mendocino County, California. PhD thesis, University of California, Berkeley, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  23. Kotanen PM (1995) Responses of vegetation to a changing regime of disturbance: effects of feral pigs in a Californian coastal prairie. Ecography 18: 190–199Google Scholar
  24. Kotanen PM (1996) Revegetation following soil disturbance in a California meadow: the role of propagule supply. Oecologia 108: 652–662Google Scholar
  25. Kotanen PM (1997a) Effects of gap area and shape on recolonization by grassland plants with differing reproductive strategies. Canadian Journal of Botany 75: 352–361Google Scholar
  26. Kotanen PM (1997b) Effects of experimental soil disturbance on revegetation by natives and exotics in coastal Californian meadows. Journal of Applied Ecology 34: 631–644Google Scholar
  27. Mack RN (1986) Plant invasions into the intermountain west. In: Mooney HA and Drake JA (eds) Ecology of Biological Invasions of North America and Hawaii, pp 191–213. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Mack RN (1989) Temperate grasslands vulnerable to plant invasions: characteristics and consequences. In: Drake JA, Mooney HA, DiCastri F, Groves RH, Kruger FJ, Rejmánek M and Williamson M (eds) Biological Invasions: a Global Perspective, pp 155–179. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UKGoogle Scholar
  29. Mack RN, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Evans H, Clout M and Bazzaz FA (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications 10: 689–710Google Scholar
  30. O'Neill RV, DeAngelis DL, Waide JB and Allen TFH (1986) A Hierarchical Concept of Ecosystems. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 253 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Peart DR (1989) Species interactions in a successional grassland. II. Effects of canopy gaps, gopher mounds and grazing on colonization. Journal of Ecology 77: 267–289Google Scholar
  32. Pickett STA and White PS (eds) (1985) The Ecology of Natural Disturbance and Patch Dynamics. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida, 472 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. Pitt MD and Heady HF (1978) Responses of annual vegetation to temperature and rainfall patterns in northern California. Ecology 59: 336–350Google Scholar
  34. Platt WJ and Weis IM (1977) Resource partitioning and competition within a guild of fugitive prairie plants. American Naturalist 111: 479–513Google Scholar
  35. Richardson DM, Pyßek P, Rejmánek M, Barbour MG, Panetta D and West CJ (2000) Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Diversity and Distributions 6: 93–107Google Scholar
  36. Sakai AK, Allendorf FW, Holt JS, Lodge DM, Molofsky J, With KA, Baughman S, Cabin RJ, Cohen JE, Ellstran NC, McCauley DE, O'Neill P, Parker IM, Thompson JN and Weller SG (2001) The population biology of invasive species. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32: 305–332Google Scholar
  37. Sims PL (1988) Grasslands. In: Barbour MG and Billings WD (eds) North American Terrestrial Vegetation, pp 265–286. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  38. Sousa WP (1984) The role of disturbance in natural communities. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15: 353–391Google Scholar
  39. Stylinski CD and Allen EB (1999) Lack of native species recovery following severe exotic disturbance in southern Californian shrublands. Journal of Applied Ecology 36: 544–554Google Scholar
  40. Stromberg MR and Griffin JR (1996) Long-term patterns in coastal California grasslands in relation to cultivation, gophers, and grazing. Ecological Applications 6: 1189–1211Google Scholar
  41. Talbot MW, Biswell HM and Hormay AL (1939) Fluctuations in the annual vegetation of California. Ecology 20: 394–402Google Scholar
  42. Tilman D (1987) Secondary succession and the pattern of plant dominance along experimental nitrogen gradients. Ecological Monographs 57: 189–214Google Scholar
  43. US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (1993) Harmful non-indigenous species in the United States (OTA-F-565). US Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  44. Vitousek PM, D'Antonio CM, Loope LL and Westbrooks R (1996) Biological invasions as global environmental change. American Scientist 84: 468–478Google Scholar
  45. Zavaleta ES, Hobbs RJ and Mooney HA (2001) Viewing invasive species removal in a whole-ecosystem context. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16: 454–459Google Scholar
  46. Zink TA, Allen MF, Heindl-Tenhunen B and Allen EB (1995) The effect of a disturbance corridor on an ecological reserve. Restoration Ecology 3: 304–310Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Kotanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of Toronto at MississaugaMississaugaCanada

Personalised recommendations