Invasive species

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Invasive species could have cascading effects on ecosystem functioning. Here the authors use experimental and remote sensing data and modelling to show that an invasive mammal causes loss of facilitative interactions between sessile ecosystem engineers in salt marshes, and lower ecosystem resilience to disturbance.

    • Marc J. S. Hensel
    • , Brian R. Silliman
    •  & Jarrett E. K. Byrnes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear whether plant-herbivore interactions systematically favour exotic plant species. Here the authors investigate plant-herbivore and plant-soil biota interactions in experimental mesocosm communities, finding that exotic plants dominate community biomass despite accumulating more invertebrate herbivores.

    • Warwick J. Allen
    • , Lauren P. Waller
    •  & Jason M. Tylianakis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether invasive species must first establish in conditions within their native climatic niche before spreading remains largely untested. This study presents the Niche Margin Index for estimating climatic niche-matching of alien mammal species to a particular site, which could be used to help predict the success of invasions.

    • Olivier Broennimann
    • , Blaise Petitpierre
    •  & Antoine Guisan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study resolves a long-standing mystery of why t haplotypes, an example of selfish genes, have persisted at unexpectedly low frequencies in wild mouse populations. It shows that multiple mating by females, which is more common at higher mouse population densities, decreases the frequency of driving t haplotypes.

    • Andri Manser
    • , Barbara König
    •  & Anna K. Lindholm
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether or not species—when introduced to a new location—eventually become invasive has been linked to the specices’ capacity to expand its niche. However, here the authors show that the extent of niche shift is smaller in non-invasive than invasive ant species, questioning this established hypothesis.

    • Olivia K. Bates
    • , Sébastien Ollier
    •  & Cleo Bertelsmeier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding why certain alien species become naturalized can shed light on biological invasion patterns. In this global analysis on thousands of taxa, van Kleunen and colleagues show that plant species of economic use are more likely to become naturalized, and that this underlies geographic patterns and phylogenetic signals in naturalization

    • Mark van Kleunen
    • , Xinyi Xu
    •  & Trevor S. Fristoe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Safeguarding protected areas from invasive species is recognised as a global conservation objective. Here, Liu et al. analyse the occurrence of terrestrial alien animal invaders in protected areas and potential drivers globally, suggesting an impending risk for uninvaded protected areas in absence of preventive actions.

    • Xuan Liu
    • , Tim M. Blackburn
    •  & Yiming Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prior studies have examined fixed traits that correlate with plant invasiveness. Here the authors use a database of population matrices to compare demographic traits of invasive species in their native and invaded ranges, finding that demographic amplification is an important predictor of invasiveness.

    • Kim Jelbert
    • , Danielle Buss
    •  & Dave Hodgson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Conservation planning rarely considers the uncertainty in management outcomes. Here, the authors develop a value of information approach to quantify uncertainty of threat management success and show that it can improve efficiency of interventions across a large sample of threatened species.

    • Sam Nicol
    • , James Brazill-Boast
    •  & Iadine Chadès
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plant functional traits may help distinguish introduced species that will become invasive from those that do not. Here, Divíšek et al. show that functional profiles of naturalized plant species are similar to natives, while those of invasive plant species exist at the edge of the functional trait space.

    • Jan Divíšek
    • , Milan Chytrý
    •  & Jane Molofsky
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of adaptive foraging in the threat of invasive pollinators to plant-pollinator systems is difficult to characterise. Here, Valdavinos et al. use network modelling to show the importance of foraging efficiency, diet overlap, plant species visitation, and degree of specialism in native pollinators.

    • Fernanda S. Valdovinos
    • , Eric L. Berlow
    •  & Neo D. Martinez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Introduced species may displace ecologically similar native species, but mechanisms are still to be established. Here, Catford et al. provide theoretical evidence of how human-mediated species invasions may overcome competition-colonisation tradeoffs, leading to the local extinction of native species.

    • Jane A. Catford
    • , Michael Bode
    •  & David Tilman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human and environmental water needs can come into conflict in dam-regulated river systems. Here, Chen and Olden investigate the potential for the use of fish–flow modeling to make recommendations for the management of native and nonnative fish species whilst providing water for society.

    • William Chen
    •  & Julian D. Olden
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Monitoring of the spread of invasive mosquitos is important both for preventing and for understanding disease outbreaks. Here the author report that a scalable citizen science system can provide accurate early warning of the invasion process of the Asian tiger mosquito in Spain, with far more scalable coverage than that of traditional surveillance methods.

    • John R. B. Palmer
    • , Aitana Oltra
    •  & Frederic Bartumeus
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Environmental factors often outweigh host heritable factors in structuring host-associated microbiomes. Here, Bowen et al. show that host lineage is crucial for determination of rhizosphere bacterial communities in Phragmites australis, a globally distributed invasive plant.

    • Jennifer L. Bowen
    • , Patrick J. Kearns
    •  & Laura A. Meyerson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) aids the growth of many legume species, but may also restrict their ability to colonize new regions lacking suitable rhizobia. Here, the authors show that symbiotic legumes are indeed less likely to become established in new regions than their non-symbiotic relatives.

    • Anna K. Simonsen
    • , Russell Dinnage
    •  & Peter H. Thrall
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Invasive brown treesnakes decimated the forest bird community on the island of Guam. Now, Rogers and colleagues document the indirect effects of the snake on trees, linking snake-initiated bird loss to reduced seed dispersal and plant recruitment on Guam compared to nearby uninvaded islands.

    • Haldre S. Rogers
    • , Eric R. Buhle
    •  & Joshua J. Tewksbury
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alien species of animals and plants can invade new regions of the earth. This study performs a global analysis of temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of alien species introductions over the past 200 years, and reports no saturation in the rate at which these invasion are increasing.

    • Hanno Seebens
    • , Tim M. Blackburn
    •  & Franz Essl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theory suggests that spatial sorting by dispersal ability can generate evolutionarily accelerated range expansions. Using the bean beetleCallosobruchus maculatus, this study shows that evolution not only increases the speed of range expansion, as predicted, but also increases variability.

    • Brad M. Ochocki
    •  & Tom E. X. Miller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spatial structure provides unique opportunities for evolution during range expansions. Here, the authors show experimentally using the red flour beetle,Tribolium castaneum, that dispersal and growth can evolve through spatial processes, increasing expansion speed and its variance.

    • Christopher Weiss-Lehman
    • , Ruth A Hufbauer
    •  & Brett A Melbourne
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plants with the capability to reproduce easily without mates and pollinators could have an advantage when colonizing new territory. Here, Razanajatovoet al. use a global database to infer that flowering plants capable of selfing have become naturalized in a larger number of regions than those that must outcross.

    • Mialy Razanajatovo
    • , Noëlie Maurel
    •  & Mark van Kleunen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Invasive insects impose many economic costs, for example by consuming crops and spreading disease. Here, Bradshaw et al. compile a database of the costs of invasive insects and conservatively estimate that the yearly global cost (in 2014-equivalent US dollars) is at least $70 billion for goods and services and $6.9 billion for human health.

    • Corey J. A. Bradshaw
    • , Boris Leroy
    •  & Franck Courchamp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural intensification may negatively impact biodiversity via a number of mechanisms. Here, Gámez-Virués et al.show that landscape simplification acts as an environmental filter to homogenise grassland arthropod communities into pools of species with less specialised functional traits.

    • Sagrario Gámez-Virués
    • , David J. Perović
    •  & Catrin Westphal
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding how biological invaders displace native species is challenging. Here, the authors compare the evolution of life-history strategies in the harlequin ladybird under laboratory conditions and show that invaders reproduce earlier and allocate more resources to reproduction than natives.

    • Ashraf Tayeh
    • , Ruth A. Hufbauer
    •  & Benoit Facon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding how species assemblages change over time is crucial for conservation. Here, the authors assess the changes of compartmentalized structure in native and alien species across millennia, and show that older assemblages can form more functionally distinctive modules than younger ones.

    • Cang Hui
    • , David M. Richardson
    •  & Vojtěch Jarošík
  • Article |

    Environmental conditions are likely to become more temporally variable with global environmental change. Parepa et al. show that temporal variability on soil nutrient availability strongly promotes plant invasion and consequently can be a strong driver of ecological changes.

    • Madalin Parepa
    • , Markus Fischer
    •  & Oliver Bossdorf
  • Article |

    Invasive species are usually thought to originate from outside a country's borders. Here, using a self-organizing map, Paini and co-workers show that the species most likely to 'invade' the USA are already firmly established within the country, suggesting the need for biosecurity measures within national borders.

    • Dean R. Paini
    • , Susan P. Worner
    •  & Matthew B. Thomas