Plant Diversity ›› 2023, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (03): 353-357.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2022.09.004

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Does regional species diversity resist biotic invasions?

Qinfeng Guoa, Hong Qianb, Jian Zhangc   

  1. a. USDA FS-Southern Research Station, 3041 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA;
    b. Research and Collections Center, Illinois State Museum, 1011 East Ash Street, Springfield, IL 62703, USA;
    c. Research Center of Global Change and Complex Ecosystems, Zhejiang Tiantong Forest Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2022-05-04 Revised:2022-09-13 Published:2023-07-06
  • Contact: Qinfeng Guo,
  • Supported by:
    We thank Barbara Conkling and four anonymous reviewers for constructive comments that greatly improved the manuscript. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Abstract: The role of regional species diversity in large-scale species invasions has been largely controversial. On the one hand, it has been proposed that diversity may facilitate invasion ("diversity begets diversity") because regions with higher diversity may indicate favorable conditions for many more species. On the other hand, high diversity may indicate high levels of niche occupation, thus making it more difficult for new species to invade. In the past, invasion biologists have evaluated how regional native and exotic richness are related. Here, we test whether the range size of exotic species may be constrained by regional native richness using plant data from three continental regions in the Northern Hemisphere, i.e., Europe, Eastern Asia, and North America. We found that regional native plant diversity is inversely related to the range size of exotic species. This result may be due to stronger species interactions such as competition in species-rich habitats that limit the establishment and spread of exotic species.

Key words: Competition, Degree of invasion, Distribution, Invasibility, Range size