Biological Invasions

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 473–481

Susceptibility of A Patagonian Mallín Flooded Meadow to Invasion by Exotic Species

  • E. Raffaele
Article

Abstract

Mallín wetland meadows are highly diverse, rare habitats in western Patagonia that are believed to be particularly susceptible to disturbance. I tested the hypothesis that exotic species reduce the rate and extent of recolonization by native species after disturbances. Open patches (50 × 50 cm) were subjected to artificial seeding with propagules of two exotic species. Cover of individual species in each plot was measured over the four following austral summers (1990–1993) and two late summers (1995 and 1998). The effect of a particular exotic species was not the same for all native species. For some native species, the presence of an exotic species in the plots was associated with a significant increase in cover, while a significant decrease in cover was observed for other species. Native species richness and diversity were not significantly affected by the introduction and establishment of exotic species. In addition, the failure of the exotic species to establish in the undisturbed control plots further suggests that the undisturbed mallín is resistant to invasion by exotic species. The results suggest that the small-scale changes that occurred in this community due to exotic species during recolonization were transient and almost undetectable after eight years.

disturbance invasive species mallín Patagonia regeneration wetlands 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Raffaele
    • 1
  1. 1.Depto de Ecología, Centro Regional Universitario BarilocheUniversidad del Comahue, Quintral 1250, (8400) BarilochePcia de Río NegroArgentina; e-mail

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