Local and intermediated-intensity soil disturbances increase the colonization and expansion dynamics of an invasive plant in Southern Patagonian rangelands

Abstract

Disturbances are important drivers in natural ecosystems, affecting the vegetation structure and functioning. Invasions of exotic plant species are often associated to disturbances in a complex manner, because they depend on the type, intensity, spatial and temporal arrangement of disturbances, and the particular abiotic and biotic context. Field studies that evaluate the dynamics of plant invasions under different disturbance regimes have a great importance for the understanding of the disturbance effects on invasion spread. In this work we evaluated, through a field manipulative experiment, the early colonization and expansion dynamics of an aggressive invader of grasslands, Hieracium pilosella L., under two disturbance types. We used a split-plot experiment by crossing three levels for a local, sporadic, of increasing intensity disturbance [i.e., 1- undisturbed, 2- vegetation mowing, and 3- ploughing], within two levels for an extensive and chronic disturbance (i.e., grazed and ungrazed). In the range of intensities of disturbance evaluated, the intermediate intensity (i.e., mowing) accelerated the colonization when it is grazed and the expansion of H. pilosella in ungrazed condition. In contrast, lower and higher intensity disturbances, such as ungrazed and ploughing treatments decelerated both invasion processes. Changes in resource availability, interspecific competition and particular characteristics of the invader, i.e., high light requirements, prostrate growth and the presence of stolons, could explain these early invasion patterns.

References

  1. Anchorena, J., A. Cingolani, E. Livraghi, M.B. Collantes and S. Stoffella. 2001. Manejo del pastoreo de ovejas en Tierra del Fuego. EDIPUBLI S.A., Buenos Aires. ISBN 987-99049-2-3.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Augustine, D.J. and S.J. McNaughton. 1998. Ungulate effects on the functional species composition of plant communities: herbivore selectivity and plant tolerance. J. Wildl. Manag. 62: 1165–1183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Belsky, A.J. 1992. Effects of grazing, competition, disturbance and fire on species composition and diversity in grassland communities. J. Veg. Sci. 3: 187–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bishop, G.F. and A.J. Davy. 1994. Hieracium pilosella L. (Pilosella officinarum F. Schultz & Schultz-Bip.). J. Ecol. 82: 195–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Catford, J.A., C.C. Daehler, H.T. Murphy, A.W. Sheppard, B.D. Hardesty, D.A. Westcott, M. Rejmánek, P.J. Bellingham, J. Pergl, C.C. Horvitz and P.E. Hulme. 2012. The intermediate disturbance hypothesis and plant invasions: Implications for species richness and management. Perspect. Plant. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 14: 231–241.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Chapman, H.M., D. Parh and N. Oraguzie. 2000. Genetic structure and colonizing success of a clonal, weedy species, Pilosella officinarum (Asteraceae). Heredity 84: 401–409.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Cipriotti, P.A., R.B. Rauber, M.B. Collantes, K. Braun and C. Escartín. 2010. Hieracium pilosella invasion in the Tierra del Fuego steppe, Southern Patagonia. Biol. Inv. 12: 2523–2535.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Collantes, M.B., J. Anchorena and A.M. Cingolani. 1999. The steppes of Tierra del Fuego: floristic and growthform patterns controlled by soil fertility and moisture. Plant. Ecol. 140: 61–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Collantes, M.B., J. Anchorena, S. Stoffella, C. Escartín and R. Rauber. 2009. Wetlands in the fueguian steppe (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina). Folia Geobot. 44: 227–245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Covacevich, N. 2009. Magallanes: veinte años de pilosella. Revista Tierra Adentro Nº 83. http://www.inia.cl/ biblioteca-digital/. Accessed 19 November 2012

  11. De Rosario-Martinez H. 2013. phia: Post-Hoc Interaction Analysis. R package version 0.1-2. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=phia

  12. Di Rienzo J.A., Casanoves F., Balzarini M.G., Gonzalez L., Tablada M., Robledo C.W. 2008. InfoStat, versión 2008. Grupo InfoStat, FCA, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Duggin, J.A. and C.B. Gentle. 1998. Experimental evidence on the importance of disturbance intensity for invasion of Lantana camara L. in dry rainforest-open forest ecotones in north- eastern NSW, Australia. Forest Ecol. Manag. 109: 279–292.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Dunn, P. 2013. tweedie: Tweedie exponential family models. R package version 2.1.7.

  15. El-Shaarawi A.H., Zhu R. and H. Joe. 2011. Modelling species abundance using the Poisson–Tweedie family. Environmetrics 22: 152–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Fan, J. and W. Harris. 1996. Effects of soil fertility and cutting frequency on interference among Hieracium pilosella, H. praealtum, Rumex acetosella, and Festuca novae-zelandiae. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 39: 1–32.

  17. Ferraro, D.O. and M. Oesterheld. 2002. Effect of defoliation on grass growth. A quantitative review. Oikos 98:125–133.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Fleischner, T.L. 1994. Ecological costs of livestock grazing in Western North America. Conserv. Biol. 8: 629–644.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Foran, B.D., J. Bates, P. Murray, G. Heward and D. Pickens. 1992. A paddock based survey of management factors relating to mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) dominance in Central Otago. In: G.G. Hunter, C.R. Mason, D.M. Robertson, (eds.), Vegetation Change in Tussock Grasslands, with Emphasis on Hawkweeds. Occasional Publication No. 2. New Zealand Ecological Society, Christchurch. pp. 64–67.

  20. Grime J.P. 1977. Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. Am. Nat. 111: 169–1194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Grime, J.P. 1979. Plant Strategies and Vegetation Process. Wiley, Chichester.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Gros, R., L.J. Monrozier, F. Bartoli, J.L. Chotte and P. Faivre. 2004. Relationships between soil physico-chemical properties and microbial activity along a restoration chronosequence of alpine grasslands following ski run construction. Appl. Soil Ecol. 27: 7–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Grove, P.B., A.F. Mark and K.J.M. Dickinson. 2002. Vegetation monitoring of recently protected tussock grasslands in the southern South Island, New Zealand. J. Royal Soc. N. Z. 32: 379–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Guo,Y-J., L. Han, G-D. Li, J-G. Han, G-L. Wang, Z-Y. Li and B. Wilson. 2012. The effects of defoliation on plant community, root biomass and nutrient allocation and soil chemical properties on semi-arid steppes in northern China. J. Arid. Env. 78: 128–134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hierro, J.L., D. Villarreal, Ö. Eren, J.M. Graham and R.M. Callaway. 2006. Disturbance facilitates invasion: the effects are stronger abroad than at home. Am. Nat. 168: 144–156.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  26. Higgins, S.I. and D.M. Richardson. 1996. A review of models of alien plant spread. Ecol. Modell. 87: 249–265.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hobbs, R.J. 1989. The nature and effects of disturbance relative to invasions. In: J.A. Drake, F. diCastri, R. Groves, F. Kruger, H. Mooney, M. Rejmanek and M. Williamson (eds.), Biological Invasions: A Global Perspective. Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK, pp. 389–405.

  28. Hobbs, R.J. and L.F. Huenneke. 1992. Disturbance, diversity, and invasion: implications for conservation. Conserv. Biol. 6: 324–337.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Højsgaard, S., U. Halekoh and J. Yan. 2006. The R package geepack for generalized estimating equations. J. Stat. Softw. 15: 1–11.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Hothorn, T., F. Bretz and P. Westfall. 2008. Simultaneous inference in general parametric models. Biom. J. 50: 346–363.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  31. Jenkins, T.A. 1992. A review of characteristics of mouse-ear hawk-weed (Hieracium pilosella). In: G.G. Hunter, C.R. Mason, D.M. Robertson, (eds.), Vegetation Change in Tussock Grasslands, With Emphasis on Hawkweeds. Occasional Publication No. 2, New Zealand Ecological Society, Christchurch. pp. 15–23.

  32. Jentsch, A. 2001. The significance of disturbance for vegetation dynamics. A case study in dry acidic grasslands. PhD Thesis, Bielefeld University.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Jesson, L., D. Kelly and A. Sparrow. 2000. The importance of dispersal, disturbance, and competition for exotic plant invasions in Arthur´s Pass National Park, New Zealand. N. Z. J. Bot. 38: 451–468.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Johnstone, I.M. 1986. Plant invasion windows: a time-based classification of invasion potential. Biol. Rev. 61: 369–394.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Köhler, B., A. Gigon, P. Edwards, B. Krüsi, R. Langenauer, A. Lüscher and P. Ryser. 2005. Changes in the species composition and conservation value of limestone grasslands in Northern Switzerland after 22 years of contrasting managements. Perspect. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 7: 51–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Koltunow A.M., S.D. Johnson and R.A. Bicknell. 1998. Sexual and apomictic development in Hieracium. Sex Plant Reproduction 11:213–230

  37. Kowarik, I. 2008. On the role of alien species in urban flora and vegetation. In: J.M. Marzluff, E. Shulenberger, W. Endlicher, M. Alberti, G. Bradley, C. Ryan, C. ZumBrunnen and U. Simon (eds.), Urban Ecology: An International Perspective on the Interaction Between Humans and Nature. Springer, New York. pp. 321–338.

  38. Łaska, G. 2001. The disturbance and vegetation dynamics: a review and an alternative framework. Plant Ecol. 157: 77–99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Linderman, M.A., L. An, S. Bearer, G. He, Z. Ouyang and J. Liu. 2006. Interactive effects of natural and human disturbances on vegetation dynamics across landscapes. Ecol. Appl. 16: 452–463.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  40. López-Fando, C. and M.T. Pardo. 2009. Changes in soil chemical characteristics with different tillage practices in a semi-arid environment. Soil Tillage Res. 104: 278–284.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Makepeace, W., A.T. Dobson and D. Scott. 1985. Interference phenomena due to mouse-ear and king devil hawkweed. N. Z. J. Bot. 23: 79–90.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. McCann, K. 2007. Protecting biostructure. Biodiversity researchers have focused on diversity at the cost of ignoring the networks of interactions between organisms that characterize ecosystems. Nature 446: 29.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  43. McIntyre, S. and S. Lavorel. 1994. How environmental and disturbance factors shape composition in temperate Australian grassland communities. J. Veg. Sci. 5: 373–384.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Meurk, C.D., S. Walker, R.S. Gibson and P. Espie. 2002. Changes in vegetation in grazed and ungrazed Mackenzie Basin grasslands, New Zealand, 1990–2000. N. Z. J. Ecol. 26: 95–106.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Milchunas, D.G. and W.K. Lauenroth. 1993. Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environments. Ecol. Monogr. 63: 327–366.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. O’Connor, K.F., A.H. Nordmeyer and K. Svavarsdóttir. 1999. Changes in biomass and soil nutrient pools of tall tussock grasslands in New Zealand. In: O. Arnalds and S. Archer (eds.), Case Studies of Rangeland Desertification. Proceedings from an international workshop in Iceland. Rala Report No. 200. Agricultural Research Institute, Reykjavik. pp. 125–145.

  47. Pausas, J.G., F. Lloret and M. Vilà. 2006. Simulating the effects of different disturbance regimes on Cortadeira selloana invasion. Biol. Conserv. 128: 128–135.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Pinheiro, J., D. Bates, S. DebRoy and D. Sarkar. 2009. The nlme package: linear and nonlinear mixed effects models. URL: http://cran.r-project.org/src/contrib/Descriptions/nlme.html.

  49. Rauber, R.B. 2011. Invasión de Hieracium pilosella L. en pastizales de Tierra del Fuego. Ph.D. Thesis. Universidad de Buenos Aires.

  50. Rauber, R.B., M.B. Collantes, P.A. Cipriotti and J. Anchorena. 2012. Biotic and abiotic constraints to a plant invasion in vegetation communities of Tierra del Fuego. Austral Ecol. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2012.02427.x

  51. Renne, I.J., B.F. Tracy and I.A. Colonna. 2006. Shifts in grassland invasibility: effects of soil resources, disturbance, composition, and invader size. Ecology 87: 2264–2277.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. Rogstad, A., T.M. Bean, A. Olsson and G.M. Casady. 2009. Fire and invasive species management in hot deserts: resources, strategies, tactics, and response. Rangelands 31: 6–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Rose, A.B., L.R. Basher, S.K. Wiser, K.H. Platt and I.H. Lynn. 1998. Factors predisposing short-tussock grasslands to Hieracium invasion in Marlborough, New Zealand. N. Z. J. Ecol. 22: 121–140.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Rose, A.B., K.H. Platt and C.M. Frampton. 1995. Vegetation change over 25 years in a New Zealand short- tussock grassland: effects of sheep grazing and exotic invasions. N. Z. J. Ecol. 19:163–174.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Rotundo, J.L. and M.R. Aguiar. 2005. Litter effects on plant regeneration in arid lands: a complex balance between seed retention, seed longevity and soil–seed contact. J. Ecol. 93: 829–838.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Scheepens, J.F. 2004. Sexual Versus Vegetative Reproduction In Hieracium Pilosella In Different Habitat Types. Lund University Applied Work - Project Report

  57. Schurr, F.M., W.J. Bond, G.F. Midgley and S.I. Higgins. 2005. A mechanistic model for secondary seed dispersal by wind and its experimental validation. J. Ecol. 93: 1017–1028.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Serra, J. 1990. Relevamiento pasturas implantadas en Tierra del Fuego. Informe técnico, Consejo Federal de Inversiones, Buenos Aires.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Shea, K., Roxburgh, S.H. and Raushert, E.S.J. 2004. Moving from pattern to process: coexistence mechanisms under intermediate disturbance regimes. Ecol. Lett. 7: 491–508.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Sørensen, T. 1948. A method of establishing groups of equal amplitude in plant sociology based on similarity of species content. Det Kong. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr. (Copenhagen) 5:1–34.

  61. Spence, L.A., J.V. Ross, S.K. Wiser, R.B. Allen and D.A. Coomes. 2011. Disturbance affects short-term facilitation, but not long-term saturation, of exotic plant invasion in New Zealand forest. Proc. R. Soc. B 278: 1457–1466.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  62. Stockfisch, N., T. Forstreuter and W. Ehlers. 1999. Ploughing effects on soil organic matter after twenty years of conservation tillage in Lower Saxony, Germany. Soil Tillage Res. 52: 91–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Stöcklin J. and E. Winkler. 2004. Optimum reproduction and dispersal strategies of a clonal plant in a metapopulation: a simulation study with Hieracium pilosella. Evol. Ecol. 18: 563–584.

  64. Treskonova, M. 1991. Changes in the structure of tall tussock grasslands and infestation by species of Hieracium in the Mackenzie Country, New Zealand. N. Z. J. Ecol. 15:65–78.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Vander Kloet, S.P. 1978. Biogeography of Hieracium pilosella L. in North America with special reference to Nova Scotia. Proc. N. S. Inst. Sci. 28: 127–134.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Vavra, M., C.G. Parks and M.J. Wisdom. 2007. Biodiversity, exotic plant species, and herbivory: the good, the bad, and the ungulate. Ecol. Manag. 246: 66–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Walker, S., J.B. Wilson and W.G. Lee. 2005. Does fluctuating resource availability increase invasibility? Evidence from field experiments in New Zealand short tussock grassland. Biol. Inv. 7: 195–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Walter, H. and E.O. Box. 1983. Climate of Patagonia. In: West, N.E. (ed.) Ecosystems of the World, Vol. 5. Temperate deserts and semi-deserts. Elsevier, Oxford. pp. 432–435.

  69. West, N.E. 1993. Biodiversity of rangelands. J. Range Manag. 46: 2–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. White, P.S. and A. Jentsch. 2001. The search for generality in studies of disturbance and ecosystem dynamics. In: Esser, K., U. Lüttge, J.W. Kadereit and W. Beyschlag (eds.), Prog. Bot. 62. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. pp. 399–450.

  71. White P.S. and S.T.A. Pickett. 1985. Natural disturbance and patch dynamics: an introduction. In: S.T.A. Pickett and P.S. White (eds.), The Ecology of Natural Disturbance and Patch Dynamics. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida. pp. 3–13.

  72. Wilson, H. 1992. Regeneration after fire on the Leibig Range, Mount Cook National Park; the role of hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) during the first 20 years. In: G.G. Hunter, C.R. Mason, D.M. Robertson, (eds.), Vegetation Change in Tussock Grasslands, With Emphasis on Hawkweeds. Occasional Publication No.2, New Zealand Ecological Society, Christchurch. p 44.

  73. Winkler, E. and J. Stöcklin. 2002. Sexual and vegetative reproduction of Hieracium pilosella L. under competition and disturbance: a grid-based simulation model. Ann. Bot. 89: 525–536.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  74. Zuur, A.F., E.N. Ieno, N.J. Walker, A.A. Saveliev and G.M. Smith. 2009. Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R. Springer. New York, USA.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. B. Rauber.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rauber, R.B., Cipriotti, P.A. & Collantes, M.B. Local and intermediated-intensity soil disturbances increase the colonization and expansion dynamics of an invasive plant in Southern Patagonian rangelands. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 15, 87–93 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.15.2014.1.9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Exotic species
  • Hieracium pilosella
  • Plant invasion
  • Plant spread
  • Sheep grazing