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Monday, April 9 • 1:45pm - 2:00pm
SYMPOSIA-04: How Invasive Plants Alter Foraging and Space Use by Animals

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AUTHORS: John Orrock*, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin

ABSTRACT: Invasive plants are widespread in many terrestrial ecosystems. In addition to their often-deleterious effects on native plants, invasive plants may also alter the behavior of native animals in ways that lead to changes in landscape-level patterns of animal distribution and abundance, as well as shifts in animal-mediated interactions. For example, invasive woody shrubs in the Midwestern U.S. cause dramatic changes in forest understory structure that likely change the costs of animal movement and the likelihood of predation risk. The dense structure provided by woody invasive shrubs can also lead to changes in microclimate and food resources, potentially generating changes in habitat-selection decisions by animals. I present data from several different studies that evaluate the effects of invasive woody shrubs on the behavior of native animals. Collectively, these studies illustrate that novel habitats provided by invasive shrubs can have significant effects on the decisions animals make: invasive shrubs alter rodent anti-predator behavior, spatial patterns habitat use by deer and rodents, as well as habitat selection by mosquitos and amphibians. These changes in animal behavior have consequences for animal-mediated interactions, such as seed predation and transmission of zoonotic disease. In finding that invasive woody plants alter the behavior of several animal taxa, this body of work suggests that understanding how invasive plants alter animal behavior may be an increasingly important component of predicting how animals use landscapes.

Monday April 9, 2018 1:45pm - 2:00pm CDT
Adams Room