Journal Article

Arthropod Assemblages on Native and Nonnative Plant Species of a Coastal Reserve in California

Susanne K. Fork

in Environmental Entomology

Published on behalf of Entomological Society of America

Volume 39, issue 3, pages 753-762
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0046-225X
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 1938-2936 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EN09185
Arthropod Assemblages on Native and Nonnative Plant Species of a Coastal Reserve in California

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Biological invasions by nonnative plant species are a widespread phenomenon. Many studies have shown strong ecological impacts of plant invasions on native plant communities and ecosystem processes. Far fewer studies have examined effects on associated animal communities. From the perspective of a reserve’s land management, I addressed the question of whether arthropod assemblages on two nonnative plant species of concern were impoverished compared with those assemblages associated with two predominant native plant species of that reserve. If the nonnative plant species, Conium maculatum L., and Phalaris aquatica L., supported highly depauperate arthropod assemblages compared with the native plant species, Baccharis pilularis De Candolle and Leymus triticoides (Buckley) Pilger, this finding would provide additional support for prioritizing removal of nonnatives and restoration of natives. I assessed invertebrate assemblages at the taxonomic levels of arthropod orders, Coleoptera families, and Formicidae species, using univariate analyses to examine community attributes (richness and abundance) and multivariate techniques to assess arthropod assemblage community composition differences among plant species. Arthropod richness estimates by taxonomic level between native and nonnative vegetation showed varying results. Overall, arthropod richness of the selected nonnative plants, examined at higher taxonomic resolution, was not necessarily less diverse than two of common native plants found on the reserve, although differences were found among plant species. Impacts of certain nonnative plant species on arthropod assemblages may be more difficult to elucidate than those impacts shown on native plants and ecosystem processes.

Keywords: Coleoptera; Formicidae; richness; community composition; vegetation

Journal Article.  7139 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Entomology

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