Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
Journal of Ecology
Volume 88, Issue 3, pages 528–534, June 2000
How to Cite
Davis, M. A., Grime, J. P. and Thompson, K. (2000), Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. Journal of Ecology, 88: 528–534. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2745.2000.00473.x
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
- plant invasions;
- resource availability;
- fluctuating resources;
- exotic species
1 The invasion of habitats by non-native plant and animal species is a global phenomenon with potentially grave consequences for ecological, economic, and social systems. Unfortunately, to date, the study of invasions has been primarily anecdotal and resistant to generalization.
2 Here, we use insights from experiments and from long-term monitoring studies of vegetation to propose a new theory in which fluctuation in resource availability is identified as the key factor controlling invasibility, the susceptibility of an environment to invasion by non-resident species. The theory is mechanistic and quantitative in nature leading to a variety of testable predictions.
3 We conclude that the elusive nature of the invasion process arises from the fact that it depends upon conditions of resource enrichment or release that have a variety of causes but which occur only intermittently and, to result in invasion, must coincide with availability of invading propagules.