Habitat Compatibility

The match of primary (native) and secondary (adventive) environments, both in terms of climate and habitat compat ibility, is generally accepted as a prerequisite of successful invasion. However, some habitats can support life forms that are for some historical and/or evolutionary reasons not present in local floras, leaving such 'open niches' to invasions; examples include climbing fern Lygodium japoni cum in bottomland hardwoods from Louisiana to Florida, Acacia and Pinus tree species in South African fynbos shrub lands, mangroves Rhizophora mangle in treeless coastal marshes of Hawaii, and the tree Cinchonapubescens in moun tain shrub communities on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. These examples support the principle that the competitive inhibition of invaders increases with their functional simi larity to resident abundant species.

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