Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Dam-induced difference of invasive plant species distribution along the riparian habitats.

Abstract

Riparian ecosystem is structurally unstable due to the frequent disturbances from water fluctuation. Moreover, dams on large rivers tend to trigger fundamental changes of the composition and structure of riparian plant communities, which provides high odds for invasive species to colonize. Yet, how the invasive species distribute along a dam-induced riparian habitat, and how the native species resist to plant invasion are still puzzles. In this study, we investigated spatial distribution of invasive floral species and its correlation with the distance from dam and the dam-triggered flooding stresses, as well as the resistance of native species to plant invasion in the water level fluctuation zone (WLFZ) of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) along the Yangtze River. By our investigation, a total of 43 alien plant species belonging to 14 families and 34 genera were found, including 20 existed and 23 newly discovered alien species recorded. Most of the new invasive species are annual herbs of the Asteraceae family. At the current successional stage, the new invasive species had not yet fully occupied the habitats of the existed invasive species. Longitudinally, number and coverages of the new invasive species showed an opposite distribution pattern to the existed invasive species, but vertically they demonstrated similar pattern. Currently, the new dominant invasive species are mainly concentrated at the intermediate elevation of WLFZ in the middle section of the reservoir, whereas the existed dominant invasive species have proliferated across the whole WLFZ. Additionally, native species showed a weak resistance to plant invasion, and water fluctuation along the elevation exerted the most significant influence on plant invasion. The results indicated that, after a decade of riparian community succession, the invasiveness of alien species remain persisted. The potential penetration site of the invasion may locate at the intermediate section along the vertical and longitudinal dimension.