The Ecological Society of America established a new journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in 2003. Frontiers is intended for a wide audience and includes synthetic articles with particular relevance to environmental issues. “Frontiers Issues to Teach Ecology” is designed to help ecology faculty use selected articles in ecology courses plus do classroom research on their teaching.
Stohlgren, T.J., D.T. Barnett, and J.T. Kartesz. 2003. The rich get richer: patterns of plant invasions in the United States. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1(1): 11-14.
plant diversity, invasive species, competition, scale, diversity hotspots, human population, and species richness
This paper can add some spice to a lecture and discussion of several “favorite” topics for students — the ecology of invasive species and vulnerability of high diversity communities. Students, like many others, might assume that habitats with low plant diversity are more vulnerable to invasions of non-native plants than ones with high plant diversity. In contrast, Stohlgren et al.’s (2003) data show just the opposite. These data, plus subsequent comments and data in the “Write Back” section of Frontiers, allow students to explore questions about possible relationships between diversity of native species and a community’s vulnerability to non-natives, effects of scale on the correlation of native and non-native plant diversity, and why scientists might disagree about these data and their interpretations.
Authored and edited by Charlene D'Avanzo, School of Natural Sciences, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, 01002
Roadless habitats provide refuge for native plant diversity against invasions by exotics in non-serpentine California grasslands. Jonathan Gelbard, IGERT Biological Invasions, University of California — Davis.