Shao, Nan , Hatfield, C.A. .
Plant invasions: the interaction between life history traits, spatial habitat structure and the resident community.
WHILE it is generally recognized that knowledge and consideration of life history traits are critical in understanding how species persist or why some species become invaders, there remains a lack of understanding of if and how particular suites of life history traits influence a species performance. This is of particular interest when the speciesí habitat is confined to a subset of the environment. We used a spatial stochastic modeling approach to examine the effect of spatial habitat structure and its interaction with demographic characteristics of invading plant species on invasibility and vulnerability of plant communities. For spatial structure, we chose stream networks as they represent a unique spatially hierarchical dendritic landscape feature. The spatial organization of the stream network determines the distribution and extent of habitats and interconnectivity of the network influences how species access riverine habitat elements. We applied a factorial design which included two networks configurations that varied in spatial complexity and two distinct levels each of four invading species traits including age to reproduction, reproductive rate, competitive ability and dispersal range. All life history traits affected invader abundance but competitive ability and dispersal range explained a greater percentage of the variation in invader abundance. Network structure also interacted with species traits to affect community invisibility. Invasion rate and community vulnerability were higher with compact networks when the invading species had long dispersal range and strong competitive ability. Model results predict that highly dendritic networks may be more susceptible to invasions primarily due to the increased number of intersections that the invader encounters. If empirical studies support model results there are management implications for watersheds dealing with invasion issues in streams and riparian zones.
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1 - Rutgers University, Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, 14 College Farm Rd, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA
2 - California State University Chico, Biological Sciences, Holt Hall, Chico, California, 95929, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 4:15 PM