Restoration as biocontrol: Mass-ratio or diversity-invasion theory as the guiding principle?

Interested in watching this video? You have two options:

This video is part of the SER Conference Library. If you want to learn more about this resource please see this guide.

Buy a pass

You can purchase a pass for this video on our website.

Already purchased access to this video, or want to redeem credit for a new order? Just enter your order number or email below:

SER Member?
Sign in below to get unrestricted access:

Kelly Lyons

Publication Date:

Climate change and invasive species present significant barriers to restoration. Contrasting evidence from investigations into how diversity and species abundances influence invasion processes raise the question of whether land managers should restore for diversity or monocultures of high biomass species. In this study, we assessed the effect of restored perennial grassland species richness and composition on invasive species re-establishment in a calcareous, savannah ecosystem in central Texas, USA. The study also became a test of the effectiveness of restoration with climate change, as during the establishment phase (2010-2011), 88% of Texas experienced “exceptional drought” conditions. We hypothesized that invasive species re-establishment would be slowed at higher levels of restored species diversity and in plots with species with high initial biomass. We employed a two-way factorial experiment in a randomized complete block design where richness (1-4) and native species composition were manipulated in 1 x 1 m plots. All possible species combinations were included at richness levels 2 and 3 with four replicate blocks. We found that suppression of the invasive species was greatest in monocultures of the dominant native species but that suppression at the four-species treatment level was on par with this monoculture. We also found that complementarity (diversity-invasion hypothesis) operates to reduce invasive species re-establishment and that the abundance and suppressive effect of the dominant species may be reduced at intermediate levels of richness (i.e. 1 and 2 species). For each system, optimal monocultures and richness levels need be assessed. 

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration