Experimental study of species invasion : early population dynamics and role of disturbance in invasion success
Reznick, D. N., De Bona, S., López-Sepulcre, A., Torres, M., Bassar, R. D., Benzen, P., & Travis, J. (2020). Experimental study of species invasion : early population dynamics and role of disturbance in invasion success. Ecological Monographs, 90(3), Article e01413. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecm.1413
Published inEcological Monographs
© 2020 by the Ecological Society of America
Much of our understanding of natural invasions is retrospective, based on data acquired after invaders become established. As a consequence, we know little about the characteristics of the early population growth and habitat use of the invaders during establishment. Here we report on experimental introductions of guppies into natural streams in which we conducted monthly censuses of each population. Two of the four introductions were in streams with thinned canopies, which mimics a common form of habitat disturbance. We conducted similar censuses of natural populations to characterize natural population densities and generate a null distribution against which we could test a priori hypotheses about the establishment of the experimental invaders. We constructed a pedigree for one population, which enabled us to quantify lifetime reproductive success. Population simulations predict that the nature of the introduced population’s life history, in combination with reduced risk of predation in the introduction sites, will result in explosive population growth; however, populations of introduced invaders instead grew to match densities observed in natural streams with intact canopies. Experimental populations in streams with thinned canopies grew to densities that often exceeded those of natural streams with intact canopies. High population densities were associated with the increased use of marginal habitat. Adult females and males that moved into marginal habitat suffered no apparent fitness loss, suggesting lower population densities found there compensated for lower habitat quality. Our results suggest that the ecological setting in which invasions occur plays a role at least comparable in importance to that of the invader’s inherent characteristics in shaping early population growth and habitat use. ...
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Publication in research information system
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Additional information about fundingWe were supported by an Explorer grant from the National Geographic Society, NSF awards EF 0623632, DEB 1258231, and DEB 1556884, NERC award ATR00350 and Finnish Cultural Foundation grants 00170177 and 00180213.
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