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Multiple co‐occurrent alien invaders constrain aquatic biodiversity in rivers

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journal contribution
posted on 23.07.2021, 12:22 by Simone Guareschi, Alex Laini, Judy England, Jon Barrett, Paul WoodPaul Wood
A greater understanding and effective management of biological invasions is a priority for biodiversity conservation globally. Many freshwater ecosystems are experiencing the colonisation and spread of multiple co-occurrent alien species. Here the implications of both the relative abundance and richness of alien invaders on aquatic macroinvertebrate taxonomic and functional richness, ecosystem quality and functional redundancy are assessed using long-term data from rivers in England. Based on the most common aquatic invaders, results indicated that their richness rather than abundance was the most important factor negatively affecting aquatic macroinvertebrate biodiversity. However, the response of functional redundancy was negatively affected by invader abundance at the river basin scale. The response of communities varied as the number of invading taxa increased, with the most marked reductions following the colonisation of the first few invaders. Results indicate that different facets of multiple biological invasions influence distinct aspects of aquatic biodiversity. Preventing the establishment of new invaders and limiting invader taxa richness within a community should therefore be a conservation priority. These findings will assist river scientists in understanding mechanisms driving changes in biodiversity and facilitate the testing of ecological theories while also ensuring environmental managers and regulators can prioritize conservation / management opportunities.

Funding

Royal Society-Newton International Fellowship. Grant Number: NIF\R1\180346

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Ecological Applications

Volume

31

Issue

6

Publisher

Wiley

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

13/05/2021

Publication date

2021-07-13

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1051-0761

eISSN

1939-5582

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Simone Guareschi. Deposit date: 23 July 2021

Article number

e2385