Implications of riparian willow invasion to instream community structure and function: a synthesis using causal criteria analysis

Paul Mcinerney, Gavin Rees, Ben GAWNE, Phillip J Suter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Invasive riparian plants are a significant threat to riverine environments and are thought to alter the structure and function of stream ecosystems. Salix spp. are a genus of highly invasive northern hemisphere trees and shrubs that have invaded substantial areas of southern hemisphere riparian corridors. We set out to review the existing peer reviewed literature surrounding the impacts of Salix spp. infestation to streams by rigorously testing a suite of cause–effect hypotheses using a causal criteria analysis. Our analysis found evidence in the literature that infestation by exotic Salix spp. can cause a decrease in incidental illumination and benthic periphyton density, increased rates of allochthonous litter leaching and decomposition and changes to secondary consumer assemblage and trophic organisation. The review also highlighted a number of aspects of Salix spp. invasion for which there are significant knowledge gaps in the literature. Our results emphasise the importance site specificity, seasonal variation, physical properties of supplanted vegetation, stream size and magnitude of infestation when predicting putative cause–effect relationships between Salix spp. invasion and stream structure and function. We show that, by possessing incongruent biological and physical characteristics to native plants, invasive terrestrial trees have the capacity to influence adjacent aquatic ecosystems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2377-2390
    Number of pages14
    JournalBiological Invasions
    Volume18
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Salix
    community structure
    synthesis
    periphyton
    aquatic ecosystem
    Southern Hemisphere
    riparian areas
    peers
    Northern Hemisphere
    litter
    shrub
    seasonal variation
    physical property
    leaching
    decomposition
    lighting
    physical properties
    shrubs
    analysis
    ecosystem

    Cite this

    Mcinerney, Paul ; Rees, Gavin ; GAWNE, Ben ; Suter, Phillip J. / Implications of riparian willow invasion to instream community structure and function: a synthesis using causal criteria analysis. In: Biological Invasions. 2016 ; Vol. 18, No. 8. pp. 2377-2390.
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    abstract = "Invasive riparian plants are a significant threat to riverine environments and are thought to alter the structure and function of stream ecosystems. Salix spp. are a genus of highly invasive northern hemisphere trees and shrubs that have invaded substantial areas of southern hemisphere riparian corridors. We set out to review the existing peer reviewed literature surrounding the impacts of Salix spp. infestation to streams by rigorously testing a suite of cause–effect hypotheses using a causal criteria analysis. Our analysis found evidence in the literature that infestation by exotic Salix spp. can cause a decrease in incidental illumination and benthic periphyton density, increased rates of allochthonous litter leaching and decomposition and changes to secondary consumer assemblage and trophic organisation. The review also highlighted a number of aspects of Salix spp. invasion for which there are significant knowledge gaps in the literature. Our results emphasise the importance site specificity, seasonal variation, physical properties of supplanted vegetation, stream size and magnitude of infestation when predicting putative cause–effect relationships between Salix spp. invasion and stream structure and function. We show that, by possessing incongruent biological and physical characteristics to native plants, invasive terrestrial trees have the capacity to influence adjacent aquatic ecosystems.",
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    Implications of riparian willow invasion to instream community structure and function: a synthesis using causal criteria analysis. / Mcinerney, Paul; Rees, Gavin; GAWNE, Ben; Suter, Phillip J.

    In: Biological Invasions, Vol. 18, No. 8, 2016, p. 2377-2390.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Invasive riparian plants are a significant threat to riverine environments and are thought to alter the structure and function of stream ecosystems. Salix spp. are a genus of highly invasive northern hemisphere trees and shrubs that have invaded substantial areas of southern hemisphere riparian corridors. We set out to review the existing peer reviewed literature surrounding the impacts of Salix spp. infestation to streams by rigorously testing a suite of cause–effect hypotheses using a causal criteria analysis. Our analysis found evidence in the literature that infestation by exotic Salix spp. can cause a decrease in incidental illumination and benthic periphyton density, increased rates of allochthonous litter leaching and decomposition and changes to secondary consumer assemblage and trophic organisation. The review also highlighted a number of aspects of Salix spp. invasion for which there are significant knowledge gaps in the literature. Our results emphasise the importance site specificity, seasonal variation, physical properties of supplanted vegetation, stream size and magnitude of infestation when predicting putative cause–effect relationships between Salix spp. invasion and stream structure and function. We show that, by possessing incongruent biological and physical characteristics to native plants, invasive terrestrial trees have the capacity to influence adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

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