Supplementary material from "Elevated compositional change in plant assemblages linked to invasion"



Alien species are widely linked to biodiversity change, but the extent to which they are associated with the reshaping of ecological communities is not well understood. One possible mechanism is that assemblages where alien species are found exhibit elevated temporal turnover. To test this, we identified assemblages of vascular plants in the BioTIME database for those assemblages in which alien species are either present or absent and used the Jaccard measure to compute compositional dissimilarity between consecutive censuses. We found that, although alien species are typically rare in invaded assemblages, their presence is associated with an increase in the average rate of compositional change. These differences in compositional change between invaded and uninvaded assemblages are not linked to differences in species richness but rather to species replacement (turnover). Rapid compositional restructuring of assemblages is a major contributor to biodiversity change, and as such, our results suggest a role for alien species in bringing this about.
Date made available2023
PublisherThe Royal Society

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