Elevated compositional change in plant assemblages linked to invasion

Alessandra R. Kortz*, Faye Moyes, Vânia R. Pivello, Petr Pyšek, Maria Dornelas, Piero Visconti, Anne E. Magurran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20222450
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1998
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2023


  • Biological invasion
  • Biodiversity change
  • Global
  • Invasive species
  • Species replacement
  • Turnover


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