Species richness and interacting factors control invasibility of a marine community

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Marraffini, M. L., & Geller, J. B. (2015). Species richness and interacting factors control invasibility of a marine community. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 282(1812). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0439
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TitleSpecies richness and interacting factors control invasibility of a marine community
AuthorsM. Marraffini, J. Geller
AbstractAnthropogenic vectors have moved marine species around the world leading to increased invasions and expanded species' ranges. The biotic resistance hypothesis of Elton (in The ecology of invasions by animals and plants, 1958) predicts that more diverse communities should have greater resistance to invasions, but experiments have been equivocal. We hypothesized that species richness interacts with other factors to determine experimental outcomes. We manipulated species richness, species composition (native and introduced) and availability of bare space in invertebrate assemblages in a marina in Monterey, CA. Increased species richness significantly interacted with both initial cover of native species and of all organisms to collectively decrease recruitment. Although native species decreased recruitment, introduced species had a similar effect, and we concluded that biotic resistance is conferred by total species richness. We suggest that contradictory conclusions in previous studies about the role of diversity in regulating invasions reflect uncontrolled variables in those experiments that modified the effect of species richness. Our results suggest that patches of low diversity and abundance may facilitate invasions, and that such patches, once colonized by non-indigenous species, can resist both native and non-indigenous species recruitment.
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
Date2015
Volume282
Issue1812
ISSN0962-8452
Subjectsbiotic resistance, invasions, marine fouling community, species richness
NoteInvertebrates, Ecology

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