Alessandra’s new paper published in the Journal of Vegetation Science and entitled ‘From individuals to communities: how singleton invasive pine saplings lead to biodiversity change in the Brazilian Cerrado hotspot’ is now available.
“We know that invasive species drive biodiversity change, crucially in sites dominated by invaders. But how do isolated, newly established individuals of an invasive species interact with existing assemblage members to alter local biodiversity?
In this paper we use isolated invasive pines Pinus elliottii – a major invasive taxon – in the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot. We sampled both vegetation layers (shrub and grass) of two contrasting Cerrado habitats: the shrub-dominated campo sujo and the grass-dominated campo úmido.
In both habitats, we detect marked shifts in species richness of the dominant vegetation layer.
Marked biodiversity change was detected but with the direction and nature of change linked to both the relative size of the invasive and the local habitat structure. These context-dependent and nuanced results are consistent with and can help account for the varying conclusions reported in the literature. As such they contribute to the understanding of species coexistence and help explain why species invasion can lead to very different biodiversity outcomes.”
Dr Alessandra Kortz