Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Environmental factors affecting the success of exotic plant invasion in a wildland-urban ecotone in temperate South America.

Abstract

Urbanization is one of the main causes driving changes in biodiversity patterns and it is regarded as a major threat to native biota. Successful exotic plant invasion depends on invasiveness and invasibility. Invasiveness is related to the characteristics of exotic plants and invasibility to the features of the sites. The objective of this study was to identify the invasibility environmental factors affecting the success of exotic plant invasion in a wildland-urban ecotone of the central region of Argentina (Potrero de los Funes Village, San Luis). Fifty phytosociological inventories were recorded in an area of 700 ha during spring and summer seasons (2013-2015). Abundance-coverage values of plants and environmental variables such as soil characteristics, anthropogenic disturbance, and altitude of the sites were assessed. Soil moisture, electrical conductivity (EC), acidity (pH), organic matter content, and nitrates were determined as part of the soil analysis. A Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling analysis was used to identify the possible relationship between abundance-coverage of the vegetation and environmental variables. Abundance-coverage of exotic plants was positively influenced by anthropogenic disturbance and nitrate levels, and negatively affected by altitude. However, no significant correlation was found between percentage of exotic plants and pH, EC, or soil moisture. Thus, urbanization and touristic activities influenced the success of exotic plant invasion.