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Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion.


ABSTRACT: Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Plant invaders are often considered in the context of herbivores that may drive invasion by avoiding invaders while consuming natives (enemy escape), or inhibit invasion by consuming invaders (biotic resistance). However, predators that attack those herbivores are rarely considered as major players in invasion. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion. By enabling top-down control of herbivores, predator-promoting invaders lose any advantage gained through enemy escape, indirectly favoring natives. In cases where palatable invaders encounter biotic resistance, predator promotion may allow an invader to persist, but not dominate. Overall, results indicate that placing invaders in a full community context may reveal reduced impacts of invaders compared to expectations based on simple plant-plant or plant-herbivore subsystems.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4475373 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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