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The relationship between naturalized alien and native plant species: insights from oceanic islands of the south - east Pacific over the last 200 years

Cáceres-Polgrossi, Luis and Di Rico, Maura and Parra, Diego and Seebens, Hanno and Galvin, Stephen and Boehmer, Hans J. (2023) The relationship between naturalized alien and native plant species: insights from oceanic islands of the south - east Pacific over the last 200 years. NeoBiota, 86 . pp. 21-43. ISSN 1619-0033

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Aim: The relationship between native and naturalized alien species has been widely studied, particularly across large geographic scales. However, our knowledge of the spatial and temporal variations of their relationships is still limited, particularly for remote oceanic islands such as those of the south-east Pacific and across islands and archipelagos. In this study, we aim to assess the relationships between native and naturalized alien species by analyzing their current patterns of species-area relationships at different spatial scales, in addition to temporal variations in species richness, over the last 200 years. Area: One island (Rapa Nui) and two archipelagos (Juan Fernandez and Desventuradas Islands) comprising a total of 11 oceanic islands of the south-east Pacific (OISEP). Methods: We assembled the most comprehensive dataset of the vascular flora of the OISEP from currently available island flora checklists and updated with recent publications. Each plant species was classified as being native or naturalized alien. We examined temporal changes by estimating species richness, naturalization rates and naturalized-to-native ratios over time based on the first collection year of each naturalized alien species. Then, we determined the best shape of naturalized alien species richness accumulation over time by contrasting the fit of lineal, exponential, sigmoidal and Weibull regressions. Finally, we analyzed the relationships between native and naturalized species firstly at the inter-archipelagic scale by fitting island species-area relationship models and secondly at the island scale by performing ranged major axis regression analysis on residual values. Results: The OISEP flora dataset contained 674 species of which 282 were native and 392 were naturalized alien. Native island species-area relationships were similar to those of the naturalized alien species. Naturalized alien species richness increased notably through time with two clear peaks in 1950 and 2000. A Weibull regression and an exponential shape over time were the most appropriate fits for naturalized alien species richness accumulations at the inter-archipelagic scale, which further emphasizes the notable increase in naturalized alien species richness experienced in the timeframe examined here. Main conclusions: The relationship between naturalized alien species richness and native species richness was found to be independent of the geographic scale. The number of naturalized alien species clearly exceeded the number of native species on most islands but also for the whole OISEP. The accumulation of newly detected naturalized alien species does not show any sign of saturation and it is likely that new species will arrive in the future. Increased efforts on monitoring, prevention and biosecurity are needed to halt biological invasions on these unique island ecosystems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
Depositing User: Stephen Galvin
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2023 03:33
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2023 03:33

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