Jennifer Firn, Queensland University of Technology
Joslin L. Moore, University of Melbourne
Andrew S. MacDougall, University of Guelph
Elizabeth T. Borer, University of Minnesota
Eric W. Seabloom, University of Minnesota
Janneke HilleRisLambers, University of Washington
W. Stanley Harpole, Iowa State UniversityFollow
Elsa E. Cleland, University of California, San Diego
Cynthia S. Brown, Colorado State University
Johannes M. H. Knops, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Suzanne M. Prober, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
David A. Pyke, United States Geological Survey
Kelly A. Farrell, Oregon State University
Jonathan D. Bakker, University of Washington
Lydia R. O'Halloran, Oregon State University
Peter B. Adler, Utah State UniversityFollow
Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico
Carla M. D'Antonio, University of California, Santa Barbara
Michael J. Crawley, Imperial College London
Elizabeth M. Wolkovich, National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Kimberly J. La Pierre, Yale University
Brett A. Melbourne, University of Colorado at Boulder
Yann Hautier, University of Zurich
John W. Morgan, La Trobe University
Andrew D. B. Leakey, University of Illinois
Adam Kay, University of St. Thomas
Rebecca L. McCulley, University of Kentucky
Kendi F. Davies, University of Colorado at Boulder
Carly J. Stevens, The Open University
Chengjin Chu, Lanzhou University
Karen D. Holl, University of California, Santa Cruz
Julia A. Klein, Colorado State University
Philip A. Fay, United States Department of Agriculture
Nicole Hagenah, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Kevin P. Kirkman, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Yvonne M. Buckley, University of Queensland

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Ecology Letters





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Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at 39 sites, within eight countries, revealed that species abundances were similar at native (home) and introduced (away) sites – grass species were generally abundant home and away, while forbs were low in abundance, but more abundant at home. Sites with six or more of these species had similar community abundance hierarchies, suggesting that suites of introduced species are assembling similarly on different continents. Overall, we found that substantial changes to populations are not necessarily a pre-condition for invasion success and that increases in species abundance are unusual. Instead, abundance at home predicts abundance away, a potentially useful additional criterion for biosecurity programmes.


This article is from Ecology Letters 14, no. 3 (2011): 274–281, doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01584.x.


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