Few field experiments have examined the effects of both resource availability and propagule pressure on plant community invasibility. Two non-native forest species, a herb and a shrub (Hesperis matronalis and Rhamnus cathartica, respectively), were sown into 60 1-m2 sub-plots distributed across three plots. These contained reconstructed native plant communities in a replaced surface soil layer in a North American forest interior. Resource availability and propagule pressure were manipulated as follows: understorey light level (shaded/unshaded), nutrient availability (control/fertilized), and seed pressures of the two non-native species (control/low/high). Hesperis and Rhamnus cover and the above-ground biomass of Hesperis were significantly higher in shaded sub-plots and at greater propagule pressures. Similarly, the above-ground biomass of Rhamnus was significantly increased with propagule pressure, although this was a function of density. In contrast, of species that seeded into plots from the surrounding forest during the growing season, the non-native species had significantly greater cover in unshaded sub-plots. Plants in these unshaded sub-plots were significantly taller than plants in shaded sub-plots, suggesting a greater fitness. Total and non-native species richness varied significantly among plots indicating the importance of fine-scale dispersal patterns. None of the experimental treatments influenced native species. Since the forest seed bank in our study was colonized primarily by non-native ruderal species that dominated understorey vegetation, the management of invasions by non-native species in forest understoreys will have to address factors that influence light levels and dispersal pathways.