Native versus non-native invasions: similarities and differences in the biodiversity impacts of Pinus contorta in introduced and native ranges
Taylor, Kimberley T.
Maxwell, Bruce D.
Nunez, Martin A.
Rew, Lisa J.
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Aim To determine whether one of the most invasive pine species introduced to the Southern Hemisphere, Pinus contorta, has changed plant species richness, composition, diversity, and litter depth where it has invaded into native open forest, shrub steppe and grassland communities and to assess whether changes were similar in its native and introduced ranges. Location Río Negro Province, Argentina; Aysén and Araucanía Regions, Chile; Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Methods We measured changes in plant species richness, species composition and cover, diversity, and litter depth associated with increasing P. contorta tree cover along the invasion front at three sites in the introduced range (Argentina and Chile) and one in the native range (Montana, USA). Results Plant species richness and cover generally declined with increasing P. contorta canopy cover, at similar rates in both the introduced and native ranges. However, plant cover was not affected by P. contorta in a forested setting in the introduced range. P. contorta invasion explained more of the decline in species richness in the introduced than native range. Native species composition changed more strongly across the invasion gradient in the introduced than native range. Litter depth increased more rapidly with P. contorta cover in the native than introduced range. Main conclusions Our results highlight the potential of pines to alter plant communities whether encroaching from forests in the native range or from plantations in the introduced range. Species richness and plant cover declined in both settings; however, individual species abundance and species composition were more impacted in the introduced range than in the native range. We suggest that invading trees have a greater capacity to cause ecological impacts in their introduced than in their native range, particularly where they represent a novel life-form.
Taylor, Kimberley T., Bruce D. Maxwell, Aníbal Pauchard, Martin A. Nuñez, and Lisa J. Rew. "Native versus non-native invasions: similarities and differences in the biodiversity impacts of Pinus contorta in introduced and native ranges." Diversity and Distributions 22, no. 5 (January 2016): 578-588. DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12419.