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Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

January 23, 2016

The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance to Bromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-24930-8_10
Authors Jeanne Chambers, Matthew J. Germino, Jayne Belnap, Cynthia Brown, Eugene W. Schupp, Samuel B St. Clair
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70162545
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center