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Special Issue "Biological Invasion"

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A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. R. Travis Belote (Website)

The Wilderness Society, Research Department, Northern Rockies Regional Office, 503 W Mendenhall St., Bozeman, MT 59715, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invasions of non-native species into ecosystems can have important ecological and economic consequences. Some estimates suggest that invasive species are the second greatest threat to biological diversity worldwide and cost economies billions of dollars through resource losses and control programs. Relationships between biodiversity and biological invasions are typically considered from two perspectives. One perspective focuses on how biological invaders impact biodiversity of native ecosystems by competing with or preying on native species. Non-native species introduced to ecosystems may interact with native resident species that are "naïve," and thus vulnerable, to novel invasive predators, pests, pathogens, habitat transformers, or competitors. The other perspective focuses on how biodiversity of resident communities may impede biological invaders because ecosystems with greater numbers of species may resist colonization by non-native species. Clearly important reciprocal relationships, and potential feedbacks, between biological diversity and biological invasions of ecosystems exist. This issue will broadly focus on relationships between biological diversity and biological invasions including testing conceptual theories and the application of theories from various ecosystems.

Dr. R. Travis Belote
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biological diversity
  • invasibility
  • biological invasions
  • invasive species impacts

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Invasion Age and Invader Removal Alter Species Cover and Composition at the Suisun Tidal Marsh, California, USA
Diversity 2011, 3(2), 235-251; doi:10.3390/d3020235
Received: 1 January 2011 / Revised: 6 May 2011 / Accepted: 10 May 2011 / Published: 19 May 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wetland ecosystems are vulnerable to plant species invasions, which can greatly alter species composition and ecosystem functioning. The response of these communities to restoration can vary following invader removal, but few studies have evaluated how recent and long-term invasions can affect the [...] Read more.
Wetland ecosystems are vulnerable to plant species invasions, which can greatly alter species composition and ecosystem functioning. The response of these communities to restoration can vary following invader removal, but few studies have evaluated how recent and long-term invasions can affect the plant community’s restoration potential. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) has invaded thousands of hectares of marshland in the San Francisco Estuary, California, United States of America, while the effects of invasion and removal of this weed remain poorly studied. In this study, perennial pepperweed was removed along a gradient of invasion age in brackish tidal marshes of Suisun Marsh, within the Estuary. In removal plots, resident plant cover significantly increased during the 2-year study period, particularly in the densest and oldest parts of the perennial pepperweed colonies, while species richness did not change significantly. In bare areas created by removal of perennial pepperweed, recolonization was dominated by three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus). Ultimately, removal of invasive perennial pepperweed led to reinvasion of the resident plant community within two years. This study illustrates that it is important to consider invasion age, along with exotic species removal, when developing a restoration strategy in wetland ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasion)
Open AccessArticle Invasion by Exotic Earthworms Alters Biodiversity and Communities of Litter- and Soil-dwelling Oribatid Mites
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 155-175; doi:10.3390/d3010155
Received: 3 January 2011 / Revised: 23 February 2011 / Accepted: 4 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exotic earthworms are drivers of biotic communities in invaded North American forest stands. Here we used ecologically important oribatid mite (Arachnida: Acari) communities, as model organisms to study the responses of litter- and soil-dwelling microarthropod communities to exotic earthworm invasion in a [...] Read more.
Exotic earthworms are drivers of biotic communities in invaded North American forest stands. Here we used ecologically important oribatid mite (Arachnida: Acari) communities, as model organisms to study the responses of litter- and soil-dwelling microarthropod communities to exotic earthworm invasion in a northern temperate forest. Litter- and soil-dwelling mites were sampled in 2008–2009 from forest areas: (1) with no earthworms; (2) those with epigeic and endogeic species, including Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister; and (3) those with epigeic, endogeic, and anecic earthworms including L. terrestris L. Species richness and diversity of litter- and soil-dwelling (0–2 cm soil depth) oribatid mites was 1–2 times higher in sites without earthworms than in sites with worms. Similarly, litter-dwelling oribatid mites were between 72 and 1,210 times more abundant in earthworm-free sites than in sites with worms. Among earthworm invaded sites, abundance of litter-dwelling oribatid mites in sites without the anecic L. terrestris was twice as high in May and 28 times higher in October, compared to sites with L. terrestris. Species richness, diversity, and abundance of oribatid mites were greater in litter-layers than in the soil-layers that showed a varied response to earthworm invasion. Species compositions of both litter- and soil-dwelling oribatid mite communities of forests with no earthworms were markedly different from those with earthworms. We conclude that exotic earthworm invasions are associated with significant declines of species diversity, numbers, and compositional shifts in litter- and soil-inhabiting communities. These faunal shifts may contribute to earthworm effects on soil processes and food web dynamics in historically earthworm-free, northern temperate forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasion)

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