3 years ago

Secondary invasion: When invasion success is contingent on other invaders altering the properties of recipient ecosystems

Secondary invasion: When invasion success is contingent on other invaders altering the properties of recipient ecosystems
Luke S. O'Loughlin, Peter T. Green
Positive interactions between exotic species may increase ecosystem-level impacts and potentially facilitate the entry and spread of other exotic species. Invader-facilitated invasion success—”secondary invasion”—is a key conceptual aspect of the well-known invasional meltdown hypothesis, but remains poorly defined and empirically underexplored. Drawing from heuristic models and published empirical studies, we explore this form of “secondary invasion” and discuss the phenomenon within the recognized conceptual framework of the determinants of invasion success. The term “secondary invasion” has been used haphazardly in the literature to refer to multiple invasion phenomena, most of which have other more accepted titles. Our usage of the term secondary invasion is akin to “invader-facilitated invasion,” which we define as the phenomenon in which the invasion success of one exotic species is contingent on the presence, influence, and impacts of one or more other exotic species. We present case studies of secondary invasion whereby primary invaders facilitate the entry or establishment of exotic species into communities where they were previously excluded from becoming invasive. Our synthesis, discussion, and conceptual framework of this type of secondary invasion provides a useful reference to better explain how invasive species can alter key properties of recipient ecosystems that can ultimately determine the invasion success of other species. This study increases our appreciation for complex interactions following invasion and highlights the impacts of invasive species themselves as possible determinants of invasion success. We anticipate that highlighting “secondary invasion” in this way will enable studies reporting similar phenomena to be identified and linked through consistent terminology. The term “secondary invasion” is used in ecological literature to describe multiple phenomena and is without formal definition. Here, we define “secondary invasion” as the situation whereby the invasion success of one exotic species (the secondary invader) is contingent on the presence, influence, and impact of one or more other exotic species (the primary invader(s)). Using examples, we discuss the mechanisms by which primary invaders indirectly, or directly, facilitate secondary invaders through altering properties of the recipient community.

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

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3315

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