Invasion in space and time: non-native species richness and relative abundance respond to interannual variation in productivity and diversity


  • Present address: Melinda D. Smith, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.



Ecologists have long sought to understand the relationships among species diversity, community productivity and invasion by non-native species. Here, four long-term observational datasets were analyzed using repeated measures statistics to determine how plant species richness and community resource capture (i.e. productivity) influenced invasion. Multiple factors influenced the results, including the metric used to quantify invasion, interannual variation and spatial scale. Native richness was positively correlated with non-native richness, but was usually negatively correlated with non-native abundance, and these patterns were stronger at the larger spatial scale. Logistic regressions indicated that the probability of invasion was reduced both within and following years with high productivity, except at the desert grassland site where high productivity was associated with increased invasion. Our analysis suggests that while non-natives were most likely to establish in species rich communities, their success was diminished by high resource capture by the resident community.