Synergies between climate anomalies and hydrological modifications facilitate estuarine biotic invasions

Monika Winder, Alan Jassby, Ralph MAC NALLY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental perturbation, climate change and international commerce are important drivers for biological invasions. Climate anomalies can further increase levels of habitat disturbance and act synergistically to elevate invasion risk. Herein, we use a historical data set from the upper San Francisco Estuary to provide the first empirical evidence for facilitation of invasions by climate extremes. Invasive zooplankton species did not become established in this estuary until the 1970s when increasing propagule pressure from Asia coincided with extended drought periods. Hydrological management exacerbated the effects of post-1960 droughts and reduced freshwater inflow even further, increasing drought severity and allowing unusually extreme salinity intrusions. Native zooplankton experienced unprecedented conditions of high salinity and intensified benthic grazing, and life history attributes of invasive zooplankton were advantageous enough during droughts to outcompete native species and colonise the system. Extreme climatic events can therefore act synergistically with environmental perturbation to facilitate the establishment of invasive species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalEcology Letters
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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drought
climate
anomaly
zooplankton
estuaries
perturbation
estuary
salinity
propagule
biological invasion
facilitation
invasive species
native species
inflow
indigenous species
life history
grazing
climate change
disturbance
habitat

Cite this

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title = "Synergies between climate anomalies and hydrological modifications facilitate estuarine biotic invasions",
abstract = "Environmental perturbation, climate change and international commerce are important drivers for biological invasions. Climate anomalies can further increase levels of habitat disturbance and act synergistically to elevate invasion risk. Herein, we use a historical data set from the upper San Francisco Estuary to provide the first empirical evidence for facilitation of invasions by climate extremes. Invasive zooplankton species did not become established in this estuary until the 1970s when increasing propagule pressure from Asia coincided with extended drought periods. Hydrological management exacerbated the effects of post-1960 droughts and reduced freshwater inflow even further, increasing drought severity and allowing unusually extreme salinity intrusions. Native zooplankton experienced unprecedented conditions of high salinity and intensified benthic grazing, and life history attributes of invasive zooplankton were advantageous enough during droughts to outcompete native species and colonise the system. Extreme climatic events can therefore act synergistically with environmental perturbation to facilitate the establishment of invasive species.",
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Synergies between climate anomalies and hydrological modifications facilitate estuarine biotic invasions. / Winder, Monika; Jassby, Alan; MAC NALLY, Ralph.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 14, 2011, p. 749-757.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Synergies between climate anomalies and hydrological modifications facilitate estuarine biotic invasions

AU - Winder, Monika

AU - Jassby, Alan

AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

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AB - Environmental perturbation, climate change and international commerce are important drivers for biological invasions. Climate anomalies can further increase levels of habitat disturbance and act synergistically to elevate invasion risk. Herein, we use a historical data set from the upper San Francisco Estuary to provide the first empirical evidence for facilitation of invasions by climate extremes. Invasive zooplankton species did not become established in this estuary until the 1970s when increasing propagule pressure from Asia coincided with extended drought periods. Hydrological management exacerbated the effects of post-1960 droughts and reduced freshwater inflow even further, increasing drought severity and allowing unusually extreme salinity intrusions. Native zooplankton experienced unprecedented conditions of high salinity and intensified benthic grazing, and life history attributes of invasive zooplankton were advantageous enough during droughts to outcompete native species and colonise the system. Extreme climatic events can therefore act synergistically with environmental perturbation to facilitate the establishment of invasive species.

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KW - river flow

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