Housing is positively associated with invasive exotic plant species richness in New England, USA
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Ecological Applications. 20(7): 1913-1925.
Understanding the factors related to invasive exotic species distributions at broad spatial scales has important theoretical and management implications, because biological invasions are detrimental to many ecosystem functions and processes. Housing development facilitates invasions by disturbing land cover, introducing nonnative landscaping plants, and facilitating dispersal of propagules along roads. To evaluate relationships between housing and the distribution of invasive exotic plants, we asked (1) how strongly is housing associated with the spatial distribution of invasive exotic plants compared to other anthropogenic and environmental factors; (2) what type of housing pattern is related to the richness of invasive exotic plants; and (3) do invasive plants represent ecological traits associated with specific housing patterns? Using two types of regression analysis (best subset analysis and hierarchical partitioning analysis), we found that invasive exotic plant richness was equally or more strongly related to housing variables than to other human (e.g., mean income and roads) and environmental (e.g., topography and forest cover) variables at the county level across New England.
Keywordsbroad-scale housing invasive exotic plants landscape ecology New England wildland-urban interface
Gavier-Pizarro, Gregorio I.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Stewart, Susan I.; Huebner, Cynthia D.; Keuler, Nicholas S. 2010. Housing is positively associated with invasive exotic plant species richness in New England, USA. Ecological Applications. 20(7): 1913-1925.