Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The effect of an invasive bryozoan on community diversity and structure varies across two locations.

Abstract

Foundation species and invasive species strongly influence community diversity and structure, but typically in different ways. However, when widespread invasive species provide novel habitat within a community, their net effect may depend on both the environment and community composition. Fouling communities in northern and southern California harbors were surveyed to determine whether there was variation between two locations in the percent cover of an invasive bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (d'Orbigny, 1852), and its relationship to community diversity and composition in these two environments. Diversity significantly differed between locations and had a location-dependent association with W. subtorquata abundance. Communities were significantly dissimilar between locations, and W. subtorquata abundance had the highest percent contribution to community dissimilarity when compared to other species in the community. These results suggest that invasive species may have both facilitative and inhibitive relationships with species in a community, but that the net balance of these interactions depends on both the environmental and community context.