5 years ago

Native species dispersal reduces community invasibility by increasing species richness and biotic resistance

Native species dispersal reduces community invasibility by increasing species richness and biotic resistance
Jennifer G. Howeth
Recent studies indicate that diversity–invasibility relationships can depend on spatial scale, but the contributing role of native species dispersal among local communities in mediating these relationships remains unaddressed. Metacommunity ecology highlights the effects of species dispersal rates on local diversity, thereby suggesting that native species dispersal may influence local biotic resistance to invasion by non-native species. However, the effects of native species dispersal rates on local native diversity and invasibility could depend on any intraspecific differences of the invader that may alter establishment success. Here, I experimentally tested for the influence of native dispersal–diversity relationships on the invasibility of native communities by a non-native species represented by core, midrange and peripheral regions of the introduced geographic range. In mesocosms, native plankton communities were connected by low or moderate rates of dispersal to yield dispersal rate–driven differences in native species richness prior to invasion by a non-native zooplankter, Daphnia lumholtzi. After invasion, establishment success and effects of the non-native species on native community structure and ecosystem properties were evaluated as a function of dispersal rate and invader source region relative to a control without native species. Native species richness was greater at the moderate dispersal rate than the low dispersal rate and yielded a dispersal rate-dependent diversity–invasibility relationship that was robust to invader source region. There was almost no establishment success of the non-native species at moderate dispersal and reduced success at low dispersal relative to the control. Invader population growth rates were negative only at the moderate dispersal rate. Effects of species dispersal on native community and ecosystem response were more influential than effects of invasion and impacts associated with invader source region. The results demonstrate that dispersal–diversity relationships can influence diversity–invasibility relationships at the local spatial scale. These dispersal-driven responses of invasion were unaffected by any ecological differences associated with invasion history-related intraspecific variation of the non-native species. This study emphasizes that dispersal rates of native species in metacommunities can differentially alter local biotic resistance to invasion. Thus, native species dispersal rates have largely been an underappreciated local diversity maintenance mechanism that can confer insurance against biological invasions. This study demonstrates that native species dispersal rates in metacommunities can influence local native diversity and invasibility by a non-native species. Native species dispersal rates in a region can thus drive diversity–invasibility relationships and have been an underappreciated local diversity maintenance mechanism that can confer resistance against biological invasion.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12733

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