Post invasion community recovery: is there a difference between native and invasive dominants?

Project Description: 

Non-native plants are a problem in many ecosystems around the world. However, one of the basic, unanswered questions of invasion biology is whether such plants behave differently in their home and invaded regions: do invasive plants have more serious effects on ecosystems where they are introduced than where they are native? In this international project, we will compare recovery of plant communities at many locations recover after the dominant exotic species are removed. As well, we will remove the same species from plots in their native range. The question we! will answer is whether the same species has different impacts on plant communities where it is native vs. where it is introduced. Hypotheses i) Plant communities dominated by an invasive species are less diverse (in terms of species richness and composition) than plant communities in the native range dominated by the same target species (at comparable cover of the target species) ii) Plant communities dominated by an invasive species recover more slowly from disturbance than plant communities in the native range dominated by the same target species, even when native species are sown in Methods We will create 24 plots in areas dominated by Cirsium arvense, and 24 in areas dominated by Solidago canadensis. Plots will be 1m x 1m with a small buffer. Half of these plots will be plowed, half will be seeded in a factorial design, and subsequent revegetation will be monitored. The seed mix will include only native species, and only species already present at KSR; if possible, seeds will be collected on-site. This work is being replicated at various sites in Europe and North America. It’s being led by Urs Schaffner (CABI Switzerland), Dana Blumenthal (USDA-ARA), John Parker (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) and Petr Pysek (Czech Academy of Sciences) Note that the project will continue until 2014 (the pull-down menus don’t let me state this!)

Principal Investigator: 

Peter M. Kotanen, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

Other Investigators: 
Katerina Stajerova, Czech Academy of Sciences

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