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Invasion by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) often results in replacement of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) in the inland western United States, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a four-year removal experiment to test for population-level mechanisms (i.e., changes in recruitment, survival, emigration, and immigration) promoting invasion success of brook trout and causing decline of native Colorado River cutthroat trout (O. c. pleuriticus). We chose 700–1200 m segments of four small mountain streams where brook trout had recently invaded cutthroat trout populations, two each at mid elevation (2500–2700 m) and high elevation (3150–3250 m), and annually removed...
A paradox of invasion biology is that even though native species are locally adapted to environmental conditions, nonnative species without this advantage often invade. Ecologists have advanced four main theories to explain why invaders are successful in some places and not others: biotic resistance, environmental resistance, human disturbance, and natural enemies. However, none of these theories alone can account for invasions by two trout species outside their native ranges in North America. Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are able to displace native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) in the inland western US, but are themselves displaced by nonnative rainbow trout (O. mykiss) in the southeastern US. An...
Variable densities of an invasive species may represent variation in invasion resistance, due to variation in resource availability. This study determined whether low- and high-density cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) patches within a shadscale-bunchgrass community of western Utah, USA, can be explained by variation in resource availability. It also explored the possible role of seed limitation and enemy pressure on invasion patterns. Two parallel field experiments were conducted:(1) increasing resources within low-density cheatgrass patches and, conversely (2) reducing resources within high-density cheatgrass patches. Treatments were applied at three life stages separately and across all stages. In low-density cheatgrass...