Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Plant Life Discovery on Boston Harbor Islands Could Help Future Damage Caused by Exotic Species

Northeastern ecologists examine plant species on Boston Harbor Islands and find that exotic species are more widespread than native species.

The recent findings by a team of Northeastern University ecologists studying plant life on the Boston Harbor Islands may advance societal efforts to stem the damage caused by invading exotic species.

When these non-native species of plants gain a toehold and start colonizing, they can cause tremendous economic and environmental harm. In 2005, damages resulting from these exotic colonies cost an estimated $120 billion. For that reason, scientists continue to try to identify what factors influence the establishment of exotic species in order to help prevent them from colonizing.

The Northeastern study, published in the journal Ecology, found that, contrary to prior research, exotic plant species are more capable of colonizing islands further away from the mainland than their native counterparts.

“Our study shows how the predictions of island biogeography can provide insight into the broad-scale factors driving the colonization and establishment of exotic species on islands,” said Associate Professor of Biology Geoffrey C. Trussell, one of the lead researchers, and director of Northeastern’s Marine Science Center.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation, this study is unique because it overcame issues that have limited the conclusions of previous studies on the distribution and abundance of exotic and native species on islands. Trussell, Marine Science Center postdoctoral research associate Jeremy Long, and Ted Elliman of the New England Wild Flower Society, focused their study on a group of islands that were ideal in terms of their location and the number of exotic and native species colonizing on them.

Trussell noted that, according to classical island biogeography theory, larger islands should have more species than smaller islands and islands located closer to the mainland should have more species than islands further away from the mainland.

The Northeastern study found that, consistent with theory, the larger harbor islands closer to the mainland have more native and exotic species than the smaller islands further away from the mainland.

However, the greater relative abundance of exotic species on the islands further away from the mainland suggests that native and exotic species are responding differently to island isolation and potentially other factors.

“We hope that similar approaches by future researchers will provide a better understanding of exotic and native plant communities and the mechanisms driving their dynamics,” added Trussell.

Jenny Catherine Eriksen | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>