Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Resource stoichiometry shapes community invasion resistance via productivity-mediated species identity effects.

Abstract

Diversity-invasion resistance relationships are often variable and sensitive to environmental conditions such as resource availability. Resource stoichiometry, the relative concentration of different elements in the environment, has been shown to have strong effects on the physiology and interactions between different species. Yet, its role for diversity-invasion resistance relationships is still poorly understood. Here, we explored how the ratio of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus affects the productivity and invasion resistance of constructed microbial communities by a plant pathogenic bacterium, Ralstonia solanacearum. We found that resource stoichiometry and species identity effects affected the invasion resistance of communities. Both high N concentration and resident community diversity constrained invasions, and two resident species, in particular, had strong negative effects on the relative density of the invader and the resident community productivity. While resource stoichiometry did not affect the mean productivity of the resident community, it favoured the growth of two species that strongly constrained invasions turning the slope of productivity-invasion resistance relationship more negative. Together our findings suggest that alterations in resource stoichiometry can change the community resistance to invasions by having disproportionate effects on species growth, potentially explaining changes in microbial community composition under eutrophication.