Publication Date: 2014.
Progress in the study of ecosystem impacts of invasive species can be facilitated by moving from the evaluation of invasive species impacts on particular processes to the analysis of their overall effects on ecosystem functioning. Here we propose an integrative ecosystem-based approach to the analysis of invasive species impacts that is based on an understanding of the general mechanistic links between biotic factors, abiotic factors, and processes in ecosystems. Two general kinds of biotic mediation – direct and indirect – and two general mechanisms of invasive species impact – assimilatory–dissimilatory (uptake and release of energy and materials) and physical ecosystem engineering (physical environmental modification by organisms) – are most relevant. By combining the biotic mediation pathways and the general mechanisms, four general situations emerge that characterize a great many of the impacts invasive species can have on ecosystem processes. We propose ways to integrate these distinctive impacts into general mechanistic representations that link ecosystem processes with changes in biotic and abiotic states (changes in structure, composition, amount, process rates, etc.). In turn, these help generate predictions about the interplay of invasive species and other drivers of ecosystem processes that are of particular relevance to ecosystems where invasive species co-occur with other anthropogenic impacts.
Author affiliation: Gutierrez, Jorge Luis Ceferino. Grupo de Investigación y Educación en Temas Ambientales. Mar del Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Millbrook; Estados Unidos
Author affiliation: Jones, Clive G.. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Millbrook; Estados Unidos
Author affiliation: Sousa, Ronaldo. Universidad de Porto; Portugal. Universidade Do Minho; Portugal
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas