Stachowicz Lab University of California, Davis

Invasion Biology

Introduction of species to new biogeographic regions poses both challenges for conservation of native communities and opportunities for increasing our ecological understanding of the forces governing the assembly, structure and functioning of these communities. Work in our lab on invasions focuses on aspects of communities that either promote or retard the success of invasive species. Much of this work has involved either the effects of native diversity on invasion resistance or the effects of climate change on the relative success of native vs. exotic species.

A panel seeded with multiple native and non-native species tests whether native species diversity confers resistance to invasion.

A transplanted head of the invasive bryozoan Watersipora subtorquata (the red organism) provides settlement substrates to a variety of fouling organisms
Current projects in the lab in this area include: (1) long-term monitoring of native and exotic marine invertebrate recruitment and abundance in Bodega Harbor, (2) examining the effect of native vs non-native foundation species on the diversity and abundance of native vs. non-native epibionts, and comparing the ecological redundancy of native and exotic suspension feeding invertebrates from the viewpoint of their contribution to community filtration of the water column.
As part of a recent lab project, my students, postdocs and I wrote a in a forthcoming book edited by Jeff Crooks and Gil Rilov on Marine Bioinvasions that summarized much of the experimental work in marine systems on the causes of community invasibility in a book chapter. More generally, I've been interested in what invasions can tell us about basic ecological and evolutionary theory - after all invasions are an experiment at a spatial scale that most scientists could only dream of. With Dov Sax and Steve Gaines, I edited a book that asks many ecologists evolutionists and biogeographers just this question. Information about the book, can be found here

Relevant Papers

Stachowicz, J. J., R. B. Whitlatch, and R. W. Osman. 1999. Species diversity and invasion resistance in a marine ecosystem. Science 286:1577-1579. [-pdf-] Stachowicz, J. J., J. R. Terwin, R. B. Whitlatch, and R. W. Osman. 2002. Linking climate change and biological invasions: Ocean warming facilitates nonindigenous species invasions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99:15497-15500. [-pdf-]

Stachowicz, J. J., H. Fried, R. W. Osman, and R. B. Whitlach. 2002. Biodiversity, invasion resistance, and marine ecosystem function: reconciling pattern and process. Ecology 83:2575-2590. [-pdf-]

Stachowicz, J. J., and J. E. Byrnes. 2006. Species diversity, invasion success, and ecosystem functioning: disentangling the influence of resource competition, facilitation, and extrinsic factors. Marine Ecology Progress Series 311:251-262. [-pdf-]

Fridley, J. D., J. J. Stachowicz, S. Naeem, D. F. Sax, E. W. Seabloom, M. D. Smith, T. J. Stohlgren, D. Tilman, and B. V. Holle. 2007. The invasion paradox: Reconciling Pattern andn Process in Species Invasions. Ecology 88:3-17. [-pdf-]