skip to main content

Title: Landscape corridors can increase invasion by an exotic species and reduce diversity of native species.

Abstract. Landscape corridors are commonly used to mitigate negative effects of habitat fragmentation, but concerns persist that they may facilitate the spread of invasive species. In a replicated landscape experiment of open habitat, we measured effects of corridors on the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and native ants. Fire ants have two social forms: polygyne, which tend to disperse poorly but establish at high densities, and monogyne, which disperse widely but establish at lower densities. In landscapes dominated by polygyne fire ants, fire ant abundance was higher and native ant diversity was lower in habitat patches connected by corridors than in unconnected patches. Conversely, in landscapes dominated by monogyne fire ants, connectivity had no influence on fire ant abundance and native ant diversity. Polygyne fire ants dominated recently created landscapes, suggesting that these corridor effects may be transient. Our results suggest that corridors can facilitate invasion and they highlight the importance of considering species’ traits when assessing corridor utility.
 [1] ;
  1. University of Florida
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0012--9658
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Ecology; Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 8
Research Org:
USDA Forest Service-Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM), Project Management (EM-50)
Contributing Orgs:
USDA Forest Service-Savannah River
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ants; biodiversity; biological invasion; connectivity; corridor experiment; fire ant; habitat fragmentation; invasive ants; monogyne vs. polygyne ants; Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA; Solenopsis invicta; species richness