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Yellow sweetclover is an exotic herbaceous legume common in the Great Plains of the US. Although woody legumes have been shown to affect ecosystem processes through nitrogen (N) fixation (i.e., they can be considered "transformers" sensu Richardson et al. (2000)), the same has not been shown for short-lived herbaceous species. The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify the effects of yellow sweetclover on N mineralization and nitrification and (2) assess the effects of N fertilization on two plant communities, badlands sparse vegetation and western wheatgrass prairie. We used in situ (in wheatgrass prairie) and laboratory incubations (for both plant communities) to assess N dynamics at sites with high and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
Invasion by Tamarix (L.) can severely alter riparian areas of the western U.S., which are globally rare ecosystems. The upper Verde River, Arizona, is a relatively free-flowing river and has abundant native riparian vegetation. Tamarix is present on the upper Verde but is a minor component of the vegetation (8% of stems). This study sought to determine whether riparian vegetation characteristics differed between sites where Tamarix was present and sites where Tamarix was absent during the invasion of the upper Verde. We hypothesized that herbaceous understory and woody plant communities would differ between Tamarix present and absent sites. Our hypothesis was generally confirmed, the two types of sites were different....
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A recent record cold spell in southern Florida (2–11 January 2010) provided an opportunity to evaluate responses of an established population of Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) to a prolonged period of unusually cold weather. We observed behavior, characterized thermal biology, determined fate of radio-telemetered (n = 10) and non-telemetered (n = 104) Burmese pythons, and analyzed habitat and environmental conditions experienced by pythons during and after a historic cold spell. Telemetered pythons had been implanted with radio-transmitters and temperature-recording data loggers prior to the cold snap. Only one of 10 telemetered pythons survived the cold snap, whereas 59 of 99 (60%) non-telemetered...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Resource availability and propagule supply are major factors influencing establishment and persistence of both native and invasive species. Increased soil nitrogen (N) availability and high propagule inputs contribute to the ability of annual invasive grasses to dominate disturbed ecosystems. Nitrogen reduction through carbon (C) additions can potentially immobilize soil N and reduce the competitiveness of annual invasive grasses. Native perennial species are more tolerant of resource limiting conditions and may benefit if N reduction decreases the competitive advantage of annual invaders and if sufficient propagules are available for their establishment. Bromus tectorum, an exotic annual grass in the sagebrush...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Understanding the potential spread of invasive species is essential for land managers to prevent their establishment and restore impacted habitat. Habitat suitability modeling provides a tool for researchers and managers to understand the potential extent of invasive species spread. Our goal was to use habitat suitability modeling to map potential habitat of the riparian plant invader, Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia). Russian olive has invaded riparian habitat across North America and is continuing to expand its range. We compiled 11 disparate datasets for Russian olive presence locations (n = 1,051 points and 139 polygons) in the western US and used Maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to develop two habitat...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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The introduction and spread of invasive species is of great concern to natural resource managers in the United States. To effectively control the spread of these species, managers must be aware of the multitude of dispersal methods used by the organisms. We investigated the potential for survival through the gut of a migrating fish (blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus) as a dispersal mechanism for two invasive bivalves: zebra mussel (Driessena polymorpha) and Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea). Blue catfish (N = 62) were sampled over several months from Sooner Lake, Oklahoma, transported to a laboratory and held in individual tanks for 48 h. All fecal material was collected and inspected for live mussels. Survival was...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Florida is a hotspot for nonindigenous fishes with over 30 species established, although few of these are small-bodied species. One hypothesis for this pattern is that biotic resistance of native species is reducing the success of small-bodied, introduced fishes. The eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki is common in many freshwater habitats in Florida and although small-bodied (<50 mm), it is a predator and aggressive competitor. We conducted four mesocosm experiments to examine the potential for biotic resistance by eastern mosquitofish to two small-bodied nonindigenous fishes, variable platyfish (Xiphophorus variatus) and swordtail (X. hellerii). Experiments tested: (1) effect of eastern mosquitofish density...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Limited resources make it difficult to effectively document, monitor, and control invasive species across large areas, resulting in large gaps in our knowledge of current and future invasion patterns. We surveyed 128 citizen science program coordinators and interviewed 15 of them to evaluate their potential role in filling these gaps. Many programs collect data on invasive species and are willing to contribute these data to public databases. Although resources for education and monitoring are readily available, groups generally lack tools to manage and analyze data. Potential users of these data also retain concerns over data quality. We discuss how to address these concerns about citizen scientist data and programs...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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New Zealand mud snails (NZMS) are exotic mollusks present in many waterways of the western United States. In 2009, NZMS were detected in Redwood Creek in Redwood National Park, CA. Although NZMS are noted for their ability to rapidly increase in abundance and colonize new areas, after more than 5 years in Redwood Creek, their distribution remains limited to a ca. 300 m reach. Recent literature suggests that low specific conductivity and environmental calcium can limit NZMS distribution. We conducted laboratory experiments, exposing NZMS collected from Redwood Creek to both natural waters and artificial treatment solutions, to determine if low conductivity and calcium concentration limit the distribution of NZMS...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Although invasions by exotic plants have increased dramatically as human travel and commerce have increased, few have been comprehensively described. Understanding the patterns of invasive species spread over space and time will help guide management activities and policy. Tracing the earliest appearances of an exotic plant reveals likely sites of introduction, paving the way for genetic studies to quantify founder events and identify potential source populations. Red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens) is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded even relatively undisturbed areas of western North America, where it threatens native plant communities. This study used herbarium records and contemporary...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Water guns have shown the potential to repel nuisance aquatic organisms. This study examines the effects of exposure to a 1966.4 cm3 seismic water gun array (two guns) on the abundance and behavior of Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Silver Carp H. molitrix (collectively referred to as bigheaded carp) and native fishes (e.g., Smallmouth Buffalo Ictiobus bubalus). Water guns were deployed in a channel that connects the Illinois River to backwater quarry pits that contained a large transient population of bigheaded carp. To evaluate the effect of water guns, mobile side-looking split-beam hydroacoustic surveys were conducted before, during and between replicated water gun firing periods. Water guns did not...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Unexpected habitat innovations among invading species are illustrated by the expansion of dreissenid mussels across sedimentary environments in shallow water unlike the hard substrates where they are conventionally known. In this note, records of population characteristics of invading zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussels from 1994 through 1998 are reported from shallow (less than 20 m) sedimentary habitats in western Lake Erie. Haphazard SCUBA collections of these invading species indicated that combined densities of zebra and quagga mussels ranged from 0 to 32,500 individuals per square meter between 1994 and 1998, with D. polymorpha comprising 75-100% of the assemblages. These mixed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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The human dimensions of biotic invasion are generally poorly understood, even among the most familiar invasive species. Kudzu (Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr.) is a prominent invasive plant and an example of quasi-wild species, which has experienced repeated introduction, cultivation, and escape back to the wild. Here, we review a large body of primary scientific and historic records spanning thousands of years to characterize the complex relationships among kudzu, its natural enemies, and humans, and provide a synthesis and conceptual model relevant to the ecology and management of quasi-wild invasive species. We documented over 350, mostly insect, natural enemy species and their impacts on kudzu in its native East...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Invasive species often have dramatic negative effects that lead to the deterioration and loss of biodiversity frequently coupled with the burden of expensive biocontrol programs and subversion of socioeconomic stability. The fauna and flora of oceanic islands are particularly susceptible to invasive species and the increase of global movements of humans and their products since WW II has caused numerous anthropogenic translocations and increased the ills of human-mediated invasions. We use a multi-locus genomic dataset to identify geographic origin, pace, pattern and historical process of an invasive scincid lizard (Carlia) that has been inadvertently introduced to Guam, the Northern Marianas, and Palau. This lizard...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are nonindigenous to all but the eastern-most island of the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. In 1958–1959, caribou were intentionally introduced to Adak Island in the central archipelago, and the population has at least tripled in recent years subsequent to the closure of a naval air facility. Although dispersal of caribou to adjacent islands has been suspected, no historical documentation has occurred to date. Herein, we report consistent detections of caribou sign on the adjacent island of Kagalaska over 2 summer field seasons (2010–2011), and visual detection of caribou on that island during the summer of 2011. Ecological impacts of caribou on Kagalaska are not strongly apparent at...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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The Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, is native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands, and is invasive in areas where it has been introduced and established in the Caribbean as well as Florida. Despite repeated occurrences in several states over many years, it was not believed that Cuban treefrogs had successfully established outside of Florida in the mainland United States. From mid-September to mid-November 2017, we captured and removed 367 Cuban treefrogs in just four surveys in New Orleans, Louisiana. The impacts of this population on native treefrogs in this area is unknown but possibly severe as indicated by the paucity of observations of native treefrogs during our surveys. Eradication of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
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There are numerous reports of spiders that have become established outside of their native ranges, but few studies examine their impact on native spiders. We examined the effect of the European hammock spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) on the native bowl-and-doily spider Frontinella communis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA. First, we added L. triangularis to established plots of F. communis. Significantly more F. communis abandoned their webs when L. triangularis were added compared to control plots. Second, we tested whether F. communis were deterred from building webs in areas where L. triangularis was established. Significantly fewer F. communis built webs on plots...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Invasions
Concern about spread of non-native riparian trees in the western USA has led to Congressional proposals to accelerate control efforts. Debate over these proposals is frustrated by limited knowledge of non-native species distribution and abundance. We measured abundance of 44 riparian woody plants at 475 randomly selected stream gaging stations in 17 western states. Our sample indicates that Tamarix ramosissima and Elaeagnus angustifolia are already the third and fourth most frequently occurring woody riparian plants in the region. Although many species of Tamarix have been reported in the region, T. ramosissima (here including T. chinensis and hybrids) is by far the most abundant. The frequency of occurrence of...
Alien plants invade many ecosystems worldwide, often having substantial negative effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. The apparent complexity of invasions has impaired the development of a predictive framework of alien plant spread. Such a framework requires both a conceptual understanding of the ecology of invasions and appropriate modelling tools. We demonstrate, using a simple conceptual model and illustrative examples from the literature, that a predictive understanding of invasions can be established. Potential modelling tools are reviewed by categorizing models of plant spread as either simple-demographic, spatial-phenomenological or spatial-mechanistic, based on the model's data inputs and outputs....


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