Biological Invasions (2014) 16, 113-124

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Rafael A. García, Aníbal Pauchard and Adrián Escudero (2014)
French broom (Teline monspessulana) invasion in south-central Chile depends on factors operating at different spatial scales
Biological Invasions 16 (1), 113-124
Abstract: The interaction between plant attributes, environmental factors and the history of human intervention determines which species show a more invasive behavior and which areas are more likely to be invaded. Identifying which factors favor the invasion and which constraint it, remains an essential goal for understanding the process of invasion and to provide a stronger scientific basis for designing management actions to reduce susceptibility to invasion. In this paper we analyze the relative role of different environmental factors in plant invasion, in particular the comparison between human versus climatic and biotic variables at different spatial scales. Furthermore, we show how these factors interact to influence the distribution and abundance of an invasive plant. We have built mixed models to explain the presence and abundance of a renowned invasive species in the south-central area of Chile, Teline monspessulana (French broom, Fabaceae). We recorded the presence and cover of this invasive shrub in a series of transects along the main roads of the study area. For each transect we recorded variables at different spatial scales related to climate and land use. We found that the presence and cover of T. monspessulana are strongly related to proximity to roads, urban areas and locations with higher rainfall. Although this shrub is present in most of the landscape, it is most abundant in shrublands and forest plantations. In a complex human-dominated landscape matrix, shrublands and forest plantations act as a source of propagules from which new areas can be invaded. Interestingly, the presence of this species can be better predicted by combining predictors taken at two hierarchical levels, the so-called transect and plot scales, whereas the species abundance only depends on factors at the plot level. The presence and abundance of this species is highly dependent on human disturbance, and the occurrence of certain landscape elements closely linked to land management is critical to the performance of this species. Maintaining a dense tree canopy cover and reducing the use of fire could help reduce the rate of expansion of this species across the landscape.
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Database assignments for author(s): Rafael A. García

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
population dynamics/ epidemiology

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Genista monspessulana (weed) Chile (continental)