Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Once A Bully, Always A Bully -- Invasive Non-Native Plants Tend To Be Aggressive Wherever They Find Themselves

Date:
November 17, 1998
Source:
Ecological Society Of America
Summary:
In the November issue of Ecological Applications, researchers Carol Horvitz and colleagues from the University of Miami report on research that suggests that nature preserves may not be as safe for conservation of native species as previously believed.

When Hurricane Andrew tore through tropical hardwood forests of southern Florida in 1992, it uprooted trees, stripped off leaves, fruits, flowers, and snapped off tree limbs. Opportunities for plants to recolonize were numerous in the wake of this natural disaster. But those most successful were invasive non-natives who had already gained a foothold in the forests before the hurricane struck.

In the November issue of Ecological Applications, researchers Carol Horvitz and colleagues from the University of Miami report on research that suggests that nature preserves may not be as safe for conservation of native species as previously believed.

"We found that in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, non-native forest species competed with native forest species for regeneration opportunities, exhibiting the same range of ecological roles as native forest species and competing for particular kinds of regeneration opportunities," said Horvitz.

If invasive species can successfully compete with natives in areas relatively free of human disturbance, explains Horvitz, they present a threat to biodiversity conservation and may considerably alter ecosystem processes.

In the case of several non-indigenous vines, not only did they form denser "blankets" than native vines, but they also inhibited the regeneration of other natives by strangling native tree seedlings and juveniles.

Horvitz points out that Florida's invasive non-natives species exhibit invasive behavior in other regions of the world, suggesting that understanding the ecological roles of such invaders in one region may help predict invasive roles in other areas.

According to the researchers, the ecological roles of invasive, non-indigenous species in forest ecosystems are poorly understood. Some analyses have proposed that such invaders become established primarily in human-disturbed areas. In contrast to these views, Horvitz and her associates suggest that successful invasion may in fact occur in natural habitats when invaders draw upon seeds, juveniles, and other sources they have sown prior to the disturbance.

Compared with native plants, the researchers found that non-native species were very similar in seed mass, and were also recruiting from diverse sources such as banks of pre-established juveniles, dormant seeds, and resprouts from pre-established adults. That meant these non-natives were not restricted to the pioneer type of life history frequently thought to be their primary option.

Horvitz's article is part of a larger series of research presented in this issue of Ecological Applications. Entitled, "Ecological Concepts in Conservation Biology: Lessons from Southeastern U.S. Ecosystems," the series presents a collection of articles which address the applicability of ecological concepts to conservation of Southeastern ecosystems.

###Ecological Applications is a quarterly journal published by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Copies of the above article are available free of charge to the press through the ESA's Public Affairs Office. Members of the press may also obtain copies of ESA's entire family of publications, which includes Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, and Conservation Ecology. Others interested in copies of articles should contact the Reprint Department at the address in the masthead.

Founded in 1915, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, organization with over 7000 members. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. For more information about the Society and its activities, access ESA's web site at: http://esa.sdsc.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecological Society Of America. "Once A Bully, Always A Bully -- Invasive Non-Native Plants Tend To Be Aggressive Wherever They Find Themselves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981117075920.htm>.
Ecological Society Of America. (1998, November 17). Once A Bully, Always A Bully -- Invasive Non-Native Plants Tend To Be Aggressive Wherever They Find Themselves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981117075920.htm
Ecological Society Of America. "Once A Bully, Always A Bully -- Invasive Non-Native Plants Tend To Be Aggressive Wherever They Find Themselves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981117075920.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins