Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

An introduced plant is associated with declines in terrestrial arthropods, but no change in stream invertebrates.

Abstract

Riverine systems often spread non-native species, yet the co-occurring impacts of introduced riparian vegetation on aquatic- and terrestrial-derived resources are unknown. We compared aquatic and terrestrial arthropod communities and their flux into and out of streams in riparian reaches invaded and uninvaded by Robinia neomexicana, a woody plant introduced to a western Colorado watershed. We found that invaded reaches had fewer terrestrial arthropods collected off foliage, conceivably because of the plant's later leaf-out phenology. Overall, seasonal and annual factors best described terrestrial and aquatic arthropod communities. However, when we evaluated vegetation and stream characteristics in lieu of season and year, we found terrestrial arthropod biomass and richness were negatively related to cover of R. neomexicana and positively related to vegetative cover, forb cover, and vertical vegetation structure. Our results suggest ecosystems respond to landscape variation differently, where directly related food web components (i.e., terrestrial arthropods on introduced vegetation) respond stronger than more distally related constituents (i.e., aquatic insects).