Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (309 KB)

Title: Invasive exotic plants in the tropical Pacific Islands: Patterns of Diversity

Author: Denslow, J.S.; Space, J.C.; Thomas, P.A.;

Date: 2009

Source: Biotropica

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Oceanic islands are good model systems with which to explore factors affecting exotic species diversity. Islands vary in size, topography, substrate type, degree of isolation, native species diversity, history, human population characteristics, and economic development. Moreover, islands are highly vulnerable to exotic species establishment. We used AICc analyses of data on 1132 vascular plant species for 15 countries and 114 islands from the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) project to examine biological, geographical, and socioeconomic correlates of exotic species richness. PIER provides data on the distribution of naturalized non-native plant species thought to pose environmental or economic risk. We hypothesized that the numbers of PIER-listed species would be positively correlated with island size, habitat diversity, and proximity to major source pools for propagules. Further, we expected numbers of PIER-listed exotic species to be similar among islands in the same country and to be greater where human populations were larger and where economic activity was high. Most species (908) were found on ≤ 10 islands. Species number was significantly correlated with island and country areas and with native plant species richness. The strongest model revealed by AICc analyses of island data included log (area) and maximum elevation as well as country membership, substrate type, and presence of an airport with paved runway (an index of economic activity). By country, AICc analyses revealed two equivalent models, both of which included log (area) and per capita gross domestic product as well as a measure of population size (either log (population size) or (population density)). Our analyses provide strong evidence of the roles of biogeographic, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts on the distribution and spread of exotic species.

Keywords: biogeography, habitat heterogeneity, Hawaii, PIER, socioeconomic

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Denslow, J.S.; Space, J.C.; Thomas, P.A. 2009. Invasive exotic plants in the tropical Pacific Islands: Patterns of Diversity. Biotropica 41(2): 162-170. (doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2008.00469.x).


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.