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Do non-native plants affect terrestrial arthropods in the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Islands?

Abstract : Biological invasions are a major threat to the terrestrial ecosystems of the sub-Antarctic islands. While non-native plants generally have negative impacts on native arthropods, few studies have investigated how both native and non-native arthropods and plants interact in the sub-Antarctic islands. This was the aim of our study, which was conducted on three islands of the Kerguelen archipelago. The design was based on the spatial proximity of areas dominated by non-native or native plant species. Trait-based indices were calculated to characterize the functional structure of plant communities, considering plant stature and leaf traits. Native and non-native vegetation had contrasting functional composition but their functional diversity was similar. The effects of the type of vegetation, native or non-native, and plant functional diversity on arthropods were tested. Native macro-arthropod richness and abundance were similar or higher in non-native vegetation, and benefited from greater plant functional diversity. Abundances of macro-herbivores, macro-decomposers and macro-predators were also similar or higher in non-native vegetation. Conversely, the abundances of micro-arthropods, Symphypleona springtails and Oribatida mites, were higher in native vegetation but we also found that plant functional diversity had a negative effect on Symphypleona. Our results suggest that non-native plants can affect micro-arthropods directly or indirectly, likely through their effects on abiotic factors. By affecting macro-arthropod abundances across different trophic groups and by depleting micro-arthropods, non-native plants can alter trophic interactions, functional balances and the functioning of whole ecosystem.
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Contributor : Anne-Sophie Grenier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 11:12:57 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 9:25:34 AM



Isabelle Badenhausser, Damien Fourcy, Mathilde Bertrand, Aurélien Pierre, Brigitte Bonneau, et al.. Do non-native plants affect terrestrial arthropods in the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Islands?. Polar Biology, Springer Verlag, 2022, 45 (3), pp.491-506. ⟨10.1007/s00300-022-03010-x⟩. ⟨hal-03689429⟩



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