In a California riparian system, the most diverse natural assemblages are the most invaded by exotic plants. A direct in situ manipulation of local diversity and a seed addition experiment showed that these patterns emerge despite the intrinsic negative effects of diversity on invasions. The results suggest that species loss at small scales may reduce invasion resistance. At community-wide scales, the overwhelming effects of ecological factors spatially covarying with diversity, such as propagule supply, make the most diverse communities most likely to be invaded.
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