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Applying the stress-gradient hypothesis to curb the spread of invasive bamboo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rebecca Spake, Masashi Soga, Jane A. Catford, Felix Eigenbrod

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2003
Number of pages11
JournalJOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY
Volume58
Issue number9
Early online date11 Jul 2021
DOIs
Accepted/In press10 May 2021
E-pub ahead of print11 Jul 2021
PublishedSep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Bridge Fellowship awarded to RS and an ERC Starting Grant ‘SCALEFORES’ (grant no. 680176) awarded to FE. We thank all the surveyors who contributed data to the Ministry of Environment's ‘Natural Environment Information GIS’ dataset. We thank Y. Yamaura for insightful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Funding Information: This research was funded by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Bridge Fellowship awarded to RS and an ERC Starting Grant ?SCALEFORES? (grant no. 680176) awarded to FE. We thank all the surveyors who contributed data to the Ministry of Environment's ?Natural Environment Information GIS? dataset. We thank Y. Yamaura for insightful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

The stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH) provides a conceptual framework for explaining how environmental context determines the nature of biotic interactions. It may be also useful for predicting geographic variability in the effect of management interventions on biological invasions. We aimed to test hypotheses consistent with the SGH to explain context dependency in bamboo invasion of secondary forests in Japan, and establish a predictive understanding of forest management impacts on invasion. We use a priori physiological knowledge of invasive giant bamboo, Phyllostachys bambusoides, to generate hypotheses consistent with the SGH. We modelled variation in giant bamboo occupancy within 810 secondary forest plots across the broad environmental gradients of Japan using a national vegetation database. Consistent with the SGH, we find that the effect of tree canopy cover on bamboo occupancy depends on interactions between solar radiation and mean annual temperature. In cool regions with high solar radiation—stressful conditions for bamboo—shade cast by dense canopies facilitates invasion. However, in warmer regions that are more benign, dense canopies tend to inhibit spread via competition for light, space and other resources. Synthesis and applications. We provide evidence that the stress-gradient hypothesis can inform practical recommendations for invasive species control. We characterised geographic variability in the effect of forest thinning, a widespread management intervention used to enhance forest biodiversity, on the risk of bamboo spread into secondary forests in Japan. Thinning forest canopies to increase understorey light radiation should limit bamboo spread in cooler regions, while tree planting to increase canopy shade should limit bamboo spread in warmer regions.

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