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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Increasing non-native plant abundance leads to substantial declines in native plant diversity. Because of the magnitude of these impacts, a primary focus of invasion ecology has been identifying traits that make plants more likely to become invasive. But, it is increasingly clear that the characteristics of the recipient ecosystem are equally important for understanding and predicting vulnerability to invasions. Vulnerability of the recipient ecosystem is likely influenced by the landscape context, including composition of the ecological community, abiotic conditions, and surrounding land use. However, the relative importance of these factors and how they vary between ecosystems is unknown, largely because consistent community- level data have not been available across broad ecological gradients. We propose to leverage extensive, consistent, community-level plant surveys collected by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and others to measure how invasive plant impacts differ across a range of recipient ecosystems. By assessing variation in the impact of biological invasions across ecosystems, we will identify the landscape processes that lead to higher impact (higher ecological vulnerability). This analysis will provide a first macroscale assessment of the vulnerability of native ecosystems to invasion.

Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Bethany A. Bradley, Inés Ibañez

Project Dates

Start: November 1, 2019

End: May 31, 2021



David Barnett
National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc. (NEON)
Evelyn Eve Beaury
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dana M. Blumenthal
USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Bethany A. Bradley
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jeffrey Corbin
Union College
Jeffrey M. Diez
University of California, Riverside
Jeffrey S. Dukes
Purdue University
Regan I. Early
Universidade de Évora
Haley Flickinger
Purdue University
Inés Ibañez
University of Michigan
Brittany Laginhas
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ian Pearse
Fort Collins Science Center, USGS
Lais Petri
University of Michigan
Helen Sofaer
Fort Collins Science Center, USGS
Cascade Sorte
University of California, Irvine
Montse Vilà
Estación Biológica de Doñana

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