Experimental introduction of the alien plant Hieracium lepidulum reveals no significant impact on montane plant communities in New Zealand

Ross Meffin, Alice Miller, Philip Hulme, Richard Duncan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim There is debate over whether alien plants necessarily alter the communities they invade or can coexist with native species without discernable impacts. We followed the fate of montane plant communities in response to the experimental sowing of the alien weed Hieracium lepidulum, looking for changes in plant community composition and structure over 6 years. Location Craigieburn Range, New Zealand. Methods We used a replicated randomised block design, with 30 · 30 cm plots (n = 756) subdivided into 5 · 5 cm cells to examine and compare the effects of H. lepidulum at 0.09 m2 (plot) and 0.0025 m2 (cell) scales. Plots were sown with between 0 and 15,625 H. lepidulum seeds in 2003, forming gradients of invader density and cover. Measurements comprised community richness, evenness and diversity along with H. lepidulum density and cover at both scales. The relationships between the invader and local community attributes were modelled using hierarchical mixed-effect models. Results Plant communities differed in the extent to which they became invaded, with H. lepidulum cover in the plots ranging from 0% to 52%, with a mean of only 1.89%. Plot species richness increased from 2003 to 2009, with a component of this increase (+0.002 species per year) associated with increasing H. lepidulum density. Other relationships between the plant community and H. lepidulum were generally non-significant. Main conclusions In these montane plant communities, it appears H. lepidulum coexists with the native community with no measurable negative effects after 6 years on species richness, evenness or diversity, even where density and cover of the invader are highest. We suggest H. lepidulum has persisted preferentially at those sites with abiotic conditions sufficient to support a species-rich assemblage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)804-815
    Number of pages12
    JournalDiversity and Distributions
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Hieracium
    introduced plants
    plant community
    plant communities
    species diversity
    species richness
    sowing
    native species
    community composition
    weed
    community structure
    indigenous species
    weeds
    cells
    seed
    seeds
    effect

    Cite this

    @article{c9045ea9d59e47a29fbc16d304fab922,
    title = "Experimental introduction of the alien plant Hieracium lepidulum reveals no significant impact on montane plant communities in New Zealand",
    abstract = "Aim There is debate over whether alien plants necessarily alter the communities they invade or can coexist with native species without discernable impacts. We followed the fate of montane plant communities in response to the experimental sowing of the alien weed Hieracium lepidulum, looking for changes in plant community composition and structure over 6 years. Location Craigieburn Range, New Zealand. Methods We used a replicated randomised block design, with 30 · 30 cm plots (n = 756) subdivided into 5 · 5 cm cells to examine and compare the effects of H. lepidulum at 0.09 m2 (plot) and 0.0025 m2 (cell) scales. Plots were sown with between 0 and 15,625 H. lepidulum seeds in 2003, forming gradients of invader density and cover. Measurements comprised community richness, evenness and diversity along with H. lepidulum density and cover at both scales. The relationships between the invader and local community attributes were modelled using hierarchical mixed-effect models. Results Plant communities differed in the extent to which they became invaded, with H. lepidulum cover in the plots ranging from 0{\%} to 52{\%}, with a mean of only 1.89{\%}. Plot species richness increased from 2003 to 2009, with a component of this increase (+0.002 species per year) associated with increasing H. lepidulum density. Other relationships between the plant community and H. lepidulum were generally non-significant. Main conclusions In these montane plant communities, it appears H. lepidulum coexists with the native community with no measurable negative effects after 6 years on species richness, evenness or diversity, even where density and cover of the invader are highest. We suggest H. lepidulum has persisted preferentially at those sites with abiotic conditions sufficient to support a species-rich assemblage.",
    keywords = "Biodiversity, biological invasions, facilitation, hierarchical mixed model, invasive species.",
    author = "Ross Meffin and Alice Miller and Philip Hulme and Richard Duncan",
    year = "2010",
    doi = "10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00684.x",
    language = "English",
    volume = "16",
    pages = "804--815",
    journal = "Diversity and Distributions",
    issn = "1366-9516",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

    }

    Experimental introduction of the alien plant Hieracium lepidulum reveals no significant impact on montane plant communities in New Zealand. / Meffin, Ross; Miller, Alice; Hulme, Philip; Duncan, Richard.

    In: Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 16, 2010, p. 804-815.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Experimental introduction of the alien plant Hieracium lepidulum reveals no significant impact on montane plant communities in New Zealand

    AU - Meffin, Ross

    AU - Miller, Alice

    AU - Hulme, Philip

    AU - Duncan, Richard

    PY - 2010

    Y1 - 2010

    N2 - Aim There is debate over whether alien plants necessarily alter the communities they invade or can coexist with native species without discernable impacts. We followed the fate of montane plant communities in response to the experimental sowing of the alien weed Hieracium lepidulum, looking for changes in plant community composition and structure over 6 years. Location Craigieburn Range, New Zealand. Methods We used a replicated randomised block design, with 30 · 30 cm plots (n = 756) subdivided into 5 · 5 cm cells to examine and compare the effects of H. lepidulum at 0.09 m2 (plot) and 0.0025 m2 (cell) scales. Plots were sown with between 0 and 15,625 H. lepidulum seeds in 2003, forming gradients of invader density and cover. Measurements comprised community richness, evenness and diversity along with H. lepidulum density and cover at both scales. The relationships between the invader and local community attributes were modelled using hierarchical mixed-effect models. Results Plant communities differed in the extent to which they became invaded, with H. lepidulum cover in the plots ranging from 0% to 52%, with a mean of only 1.89%. Plot species richness increased from 2003 to 2009, with a component of this increase (+0.002 species per year) associated with increasing H. lepidulum density. Other relationships between the plant community and H. lepidulum were generally non-significant. Main conclusions In these montane plant communities, it appears H. lepidulum coexists with the native community with no measurable negative effects after 6 years on species richness, evenness or diversity, even where density and cover of the invader are highest. We suggest H. lepidulum has persisted preferentially at those sites with abiotic conditions sufficient to support a species-rich assemblage.

    AB - Aim There is debate over whether alien plants necessarily alter the communities they invade or can coexist with native species without discernable impacts. We followed the fate of montane plant communities in response to the experimental sowing of the alien weed Hieracium lepidulum, looking for changes in plant community composition and structure over 6 years. Location Craigieburn Range, New Zealand. Methods We used a replicated randomised block design, with 30 · 30 cm plots (n = 756) subdivided into 5 · 5 cm cells to examine and compare the effects of H. lepidulum at 0.09 m2 (plot) and 0.0025 m2 (cell) scales. Plots were sown with between 0 and 15,625 H. lepidulum seeds in 2003, forming gradients of invader density and cover. Measurements comprised community richness, evenness and diversity along with H. lepidulum density and cover at both scales. The relationships between the invader and local community attributes were modelled using hierarchical mixed-effect models. Results Plant communities differed in the extent to which they became invaded, with H. lepidulum cover in the plots ranging from 0% to 52%, with a mean of only 1.89%. Plot species richness increased from 2003 to 2009, with a component of this increase (+0.002 species per year) associated with increasing H. lepidulum density. Other relationships between the plant community and H. lepidulum were generally non-significant. Main conclusions In these montane plant communities, it appears H. lepidulum coexists with the native community with no measurable negative effects after 6 years on species richness, evenness or diversity, even where density and cover of the invader are highest. We suggest H. lepidulum has persisted preferentially at those sites with abiotic conditions sufficient to support a species-rich assemblage.

    KW - Biodiversity

    KW - biological invasions

    KW - facilitation

    KW - hierarchical mixed model

    KW - invasive species.

    U2 - 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00684.x

    DO - 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00684.x

    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    SP - 804

    EP - 815

    JO - Diversity and Distributions

    JF - Diversity and Distributions

    SN - 1366-9516

    ER -