Animal-Mediated Dispersal and Disturbance: Driving Forces Behind Alien Plant Naturalization
Nonindigenous (NI) plants did not evolve in the ecosystems they colonize. Therefore, relationships that develop between NI plants and indigenous (IN) animals are evolutionarily and ecologically novel and may have unexpected community-and ecosystem-level consequences (Brown 1989). This problem of uniqueness suggests that development of generalizations about animal/NI plant interactions, potentially useful for habitat management and conservation purposes, may be difficult and impractical. It also points to the importance of studying the ecology of NI plants on a species-specific basis (Wagner 1993). Yet, NI species pose serious ongoing problems that must be dealt with in a timely manner (Lubchenco et al. 1991); and the species-specific approach can be slow and costly.
KeywordsNiche Shift California Grassland Amur Honeysuckle Animal Disperser Erodium Cicutarium
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