Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dispersal of invasive species homogenizes biodiversity

As humans have rapidly mediated the spread of species all over the world, in a way that was not previously possible, this is reducing the biodiversity of invaded ecosystems.  Researchers evaluated the spread of 175 nonnative snails across 56 countries and subregions and evaluated the biodiversity of the invaded communities.  While previous studies compared the species richness of pre-invaded communities to the invaded communities, and found no significant trends, this study compared the invaded site's biodiversity to each other.  The results showed that the invaded communities with similar environments, regardless of geographic distance, contained many of the same species.  It is expected that nearby communities contain similar species, but it was surprising to find that communities separated by an ocean were also sharing similar species.  This study helps to show how invasive species are changing the biodiversity in specific ways across similar environments.

giant East African snail (Achatina fulica) by Yuri Yashin, achatina.ru, Bugwood.org

Source Article: Dispersal of alien species redefines biogeography