Invasion impacts local species turnover in a successional system




Exotic plant invasions are often associated with declines in diversity within invaded communities. However, few studies have examined the local community dynamics underlying these impacts. Changes in species richness associated with plant invasions must occur through local changes in extinction and/or colonization rates within the community. We used long-term, permanent plot data to evaluate the impacts of the exotic vine Lonicera japonica. Over time, species richness declined with increasing L. japonica cover. L. japonica reduced local colonization rates but had no effect on extinction rates. Furthermore, we detected significant reductions in the immigration of individual species as invasion severity increased, showing that some species are more susceptible to invasion than others. These findings suggest that declines in species richness associated with L. japonica invasion resulted from effects on local colonization rates only and not through the competitive displacement of established species.