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Keyword: biological invasions

Seeding native species to promote ecosystem recovery after fire

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 24, 2019
The use of prescribed fire to reduce expansion of pinyon and juniper to sagebrush ecosystems is a commonly used by managers but can have unwanted consequences. In this Joint Fire Sciences Program Demonstration Project, we show how seeding native species after prescribed fire can decrease invasion of nonnative annual grasses in sites with low resistance.

Seeding native species increases resistance to annual grass invasion following prescribed burning of semiarid woodlands

Publications Posted on: March 27, 2019
Exotic grass invasions are often facilitated by disturbances, which provide opportunities for invasion by releasing pulses of resources available to invaders. Where disturbances such as prescribed fire are used as a management tool, there is a pressing need to identify ecosystem attributes associated with susceptibility to disturbance-induced invasion.

Community assembly theory as a framework for biological invasions

Publications Posted on: September 26, 2018
Biological invasions present a global problem underlain by an ecological paradox that thwarts explanation: how do some exotic species, evolutionarily naïve to their new environments, outperform locally adapted natives? We propose that community assembly theory provides a framework for addressing this question.

Forest health in a changing world: Effects of globalization and climate change on forest insect and pathogen impacts

Publications Posted on: July 15, 2016
Forests and trees throughout the world are increasingly affected by factors related to global change. Expanding international trade has facilitated invasions of numerous insects and pathogens into new regions. Many of these invasions have caused substantial forest damage, economic impacts and losses of ecosystem goods and services provided by trees.

Mechanisms of range expansion and removal of mesquite in desert grasslands of the Southwestern United States

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
During the last 150 years, two species of mesquite trees in the Southwestern United States have become increasingly common in what formerly was desert grassland. These trees have spread from nearby watercourses onto relatively xeric upland areas, decreasing rangeland grass production. Management attempts to limit or reverse this spread have been largely unsuccessful.

Indirect effects of host-specific biological control agents

Publications Posted on: December 14, 2015
Biological control is a crucial tool in the battle against biological invasions, but biocontrol agents can have a deleterious impact on native species. Recognition of risks associated with host shifting has increased the emphasis on host specificity of biocontrol agents for invasive weeds.

Weak vs. strong invaders of natural plant communities: Assessing invasibility and impact

Publications Posted on: April 21, 2015
In response to the profound threat of exotic species to natural systems, much attention has been focused on the biotic resistance hypothesis, which predicts that diverse communities should better resist invasions. While studies of natural communities generally refute this hypothesis, reporting positive relationships between native species diversity and invasibility, some local-scale studies have instead obtained negative relationships.

Biogeography of plant invasions

Publications Posted on: October 01, 2013
The fact that most of our worst animal and weed pests come from other continents is no coincidence. Biological invasions are fundamentally a biogeographic phenomenon. That is to say, there is something rather significant about taking an organism from a specific evolutionary history and ecological context and casting it into an entirely new environment that can profoundly change ecological interactions.

Biotic resistance: Exclusion of native rodent consumers releases populations of a weak invader

Publications Posted on: September 26, 2013
Biotic resistance is a commonly invoked hypothesis to explain why most exotic plant species naturalize at low abundance. Although numerous studies have documented negative impacts of native consumers on exotic plant performance, longer-term multi-generation studies are needed to understand how native consumer damage to exotics translates to their population-level suppression over large landscapes.

Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales

Publications Posted on: March 22, 2012
The introduction of non-native species into aquatic environments has been linked with local extinctions and altered distributions of native species. We investigated the effect of non-native salmonids on the occupancy of two native amphibians, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), across three spatial scales: water bodies, small catchments and large catchments.