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Patchy plant distribution promotes invasion by exotics in south-western Australia

He, T.ORCID: 0000-0002-0924-3637 and Lamont, B.B. (2008) Patchy plant distribution promotes invasion by exotics in south-western Australia. Ecological Management & Restoration, 9 (1). pp. 77-82.

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Renewed interest in the importance of species diversity to biological invasions has been stimulated by concerns over the possible effect of biodiversity loss on the functioning and sustainability of ecosystems. Studies have shown that species diversity restrains exotic invasion at fine scale (Tilman 1997), while a positive relationship between diversity and invasibility at coarse scales are usually observed (Lonsdale 1999; Stohlgren et al. 2003). Recently, Melbourne et al. (2007) suggested that this switch could provide empirical insight into the role of spatial heterogeneity in invasibility, and they hypothesized that environmental heterogeneity increase invasibility and co-existence. The standard deviation of native species richness assessed in random plots within an area embodies not just the level of variation in native species richness but also implies variation in community structure including temporal and/or spatial heterogeneity between plots. We show here that successful establishment by exotic plant species is promoted by spatial variation in species occupation within the community.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2008 Ecological Society of Australia
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