Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

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Are transformer weeds ecological rule breakers?

Abstract

Transformer weeds are increasingly recognised for the high impact that they have on native communities through transforming ecosystem processes and function. Various types of transformer weeds have been described, but the manner through which they dominate native communities has not been explored ecologically. Here we consider transformer weed invasion in the context of ecological community assembly theory. In each case we ask whether and how transformer species break these ecological rules and flaunt ecological theory. Are transformer weeds ecologically different from other plant invaders and if so how can this inform management?