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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Riverbanks as battlegrounds: why does the abundance of native and invasive plants vary?
Author(s): Pattison, Zarah
Vallejo-Marín, Mario
Willby, Nigel
Keywords: competition
community dynamics
environmental effects
flow regime
Himalayan balsam
invasive species
river restoration
Issue Date: Apr-2019
Citation: Pattison Z, Vallejo-Marín M & Willby N (2019) Riverbanks as battlegrounds: why does the abundance of native and invasive plants vary?. Ecosystems, 22 (3), pp. 578-586.
Abstract: The abundance of invasive alien plants (IAPs) can vary dramatically over small spatial scales for reasons that are often unclear. Understanding these could offer key insights for containing invasions, accepting that eradication is often no longer feasible. This study investigated determinants of IAP cover on riverbanks, a well-known hotspot of invasion, using Impatiens glandulifera, a prolific invader across the Northern hemisphere, as a model species. Within this framework we included the potential for dominant native vegetation cover, mediated by favourable environmental conditions, to resist invasion by I. glandulifera through negative association. Our analyses, using structural equation modelling, showed that I. glandulifera is more sensitive to environmental conditions, than dominant native vegetation. High soil moisture was a key determinant of I. glandulifera cover, having negative effects across the riparian zone. Spatially, I. glandulifera and dominant native vegetation responded differently to environmental conditions. Sites with steeper banks had less dominant native vegetation at the water's edge, potentially favouring I. glandulifera cover through reduced competition. In general, greater abundance of dominant native vegetation presented a more invasion-resistant
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10021-018-0288-3
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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