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All change at the water’s edge: invasion by non-native riparian plants negatively impacts terrestrial invertebrates

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zarah PattisonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019, The Author(s).Riparian zones are complex, dynamic habitats that play a critical role in river ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial invertebrates comprise much of the diversity found in riparian habitats and facilitate the transfer of energy between aquatic and terrestrial systems. However, the consequences for terrestrial invertebrates of invasion of riparian zones by invasive non-native plants (INNP) remain poorly understood. Responses of terrestrial macroinvertebrate morphospecies to invasion by two common INNP, Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed) and Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam) were assessed, relative to local environmental factors. Terrestrial invertebrates were collected from 20 sites on low order streams in June and August alongside data on physical attributes and land use. Greater cover of F. japonica and I. glandulifera cover reduced total invertebrate abundance and morphospecies diversity at the individual sample scale, whilst increasing spatial heterogeneity of invertebrates at the site scale. Impatiens glandulifera reduced morphospecies diversity at the site scale with increasing cover, but this was not observed for F. japonica. INNP affected terrestrial invertebrate morphospecies abundance and diversity, to a greater extent than prevailing environmental conditions. Our findings therefore offer support for managing riparian plant invasions to improve habitat heterogeneity, restore terrestrial invertebrate diversity and repair aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seeney A, Eastwood S, Pattison Z, Willby NJ, Bull CD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Invasions

Year: 2019

Volume: 21

Issue: 6

Pages: 1933-1946

Print publication date: 01/06/2019

Online publication date: 26/02/2019

Acceptance date: 16/02/2019

Date deposited: 24/06/2019

ISSN (print): 1387-3547

ISSN (electronic): 1573-1464

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


DOI: 10.1007/s10530-019-01947-5


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