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Open AccessArticle

Secondary Invasions Hinder the Recovery of Native Communities after the Removal of Nonnative Pines Along a Precipitation Gradient in Patagonia

1
Grupo de Ecología de Invasiones, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, CONICET, Avenida de los Pioneros 2350, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
2
Grupo de Investigaciones en Biología de la Conservación, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, CONICET, Quintral 1250, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Senior Authors.
Forests 2018, 9(7), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070394
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management of Pine Forests)
The removal of nonnative species can lead to re-invasion by nonnative species, especially in communities with multiple co-occurring invaders. Biotic and abiotic conditions shape community structure, reducing the predictability of nonnative management. We evaluated plant community recovery after the removal of nonnative pines with an emphasis on the effect of environmental conditions on the nonnative species response. We compared clearcuts (where pine plantations were removed), pine plantations, and native communities along a precipitation gradient in Patagonia. Nonnative richness and cover were higher in clearcuts compared to native communities along nearly the entire precipitation gradient, with the exception of the harshest sites. Compared to native communities, invasion resistance was lower in clearcuts in the wetter sites. Native richness and cover were lower in clearcuts relative to native communities along the gradient. Species composition in clearcuts diverged in similarity from native communities towards the wetter sites. Plantations showed an extremely lower richness and cover compared to both clearcuts and native communities. Our study highlights that clearcutting is an ineffective strategy to manage nonnatives aimed at restoring native communities and elucidates the importance of environmental context in management approaches. Taken together, our findings reinforce the important consideration of both the biotic and abiotic context of nonnative management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Argentina; invasive species; management; environmental gradient; Pinaceae; restoration; silviculture Argentina; invasive species; management; environmental gradient; Pinaceae; restoration; silviculture
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Torres, A.; Alarcón, P.A.E.; Rodríguez-Cabal, M.A.; Nuñez, M.A. Secondary Invasions Hinder the Recovery of Native Communities after the Removal of Nonnative Pines Along a Precipitation Gradient in Patagonia. Forests 2018, 9, 394.

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