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Type: Journal article
Title: Alien plant species coexist over time with native ones in Chilean Mediterranean grasslands
Author: Martin Fores, I.
Castro, I.
Acosta-Gallo, B.
Del Pozo, A.
Sánchez-Jardón, L.
De Miguel, J.M.
Ovalle, C.
Casado, M.A.
Citation: Journal of Plant Ecology, 2016; 9(6):682-691
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1752-9921
Statement of
Irene Martín-Forés, Isabel Castro, Belén Acosta-Gallo, Alejandro del Pozo, Laura Sánchez-Jardón, José M. de Miguel ... et al.
Abstract: Aims: Alien species are commonly considered as harmful weeds capable of decreasing native biodiversity and threatening ecosystems. Despite this assumption, little is known about the long-term patterns of the native–alien relationships associated with human disturbed managed landscapes. This study aims to elucidate the community dynamics associated with a successional gradient in Chilean Mediterranean grasslands, considering both native and alien species. Methods: Species richness (natives and aliens separately) and life-form (annuals and perennials) were recorded in four Chilean post-agricultural grazed grasslands each covering a broad successional gradient (from 1 to 40 years since crop abandonment). A detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), mixed model effects analyses and correlation tests were conducted to assess how this temporal gradient influenced natives and aliens through community dynamics. Important Findings: Our results show different life-form patterns between natives and aliens over time. Aliens were mainly represented by annuals (especially ruderals and weeds), which were established at the beginning of succession. Annual aliens also predominated at mid-successional stages, but in old grasslands native species were slightly more representative than alien ones within the community. In the late successional states, positive or no correlations at all between alien and native species richness suggested the absence of competition between both species groups, as a result of different strategies in occupation of the space. Community dynamics over time constitute a net gain in biodiversity, increasing natives and maintaining a general alien pool, allowing the coexistence of both. Biotic interactions including facilitation and/or tolerance processes might be occurring in Chilean post-agricultural grasslands, a fact that contradicts the accepted idea of the alien species as contenders.
Keywords: Community dynamics; land abandonment gradient; lifeform; livestock grazing; successional gradient
Rights: © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Botanical Society of China. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw043
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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