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Title: Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems

item Blumenthal, Dana
item Kray, Julie

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2013
Publication Date: 9/3/2014
Citation: Blumenthal, D.M., Kray, J.A. 2014. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems. In: Ziska,L., Dukes, J.L.,editors. Invasive species and global climate change. Wallingford, UK: CABI Press. p.219-231.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Invasive species and climate change, each of which is likely to influence agricultural productivity and biological diversity, are also likely to interact. This chapter explores characteristics of both invasive plants and invaded ecosystems to search for generalizations that may allow us to predict when and where climate change will strongly influence invasion. The focus is on elevated CO2 and resulting changes in temperature and precipitation. Invasive species are defined broadly to include species that invade cropland as well as natural or semi-natural ecosystems. In cropland, increases in atmospheric CO2 and the frequency/intensity of extreme events may increase invasion risk more often than not, warming may lead to new invaders in temperate regions, and altered precipitation will likely have varied effects on invasion. At the same time, intensive management is likely to provide crops with advantages that will help them adjust to climate change, and provide biotic resistance to invasion. In natural ecosystems, changes that increase resource availability, including increases in CO2, extreme events, and (in some regions) precipitation, may often favor invasive over native species. Furthermore, managers have relatively few options for helping native species keep up with invaders in natural ecosystems. Assisted migration may be important not only for saving native species from extinction, but also for maintaining biotic resistance in novel ecosystems.