J Plant Ecol ›› 2018, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (1): 64-72.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw136

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Metrics for macroscale invasion and dispersal patterns

Teresa L. Clark1, Basil V. Iannone III1,2 and Songlin Fei1,*   

  1. 1 Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, 715 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA; 2 School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, 1745 McCarty Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
  • Received:2016-05-21 Accepted:2016-12-08 Published:2018-01-18
  • Contact: Fei, Songlin

Abstract: Aim The ability to quantitatively measure the continuum of macroscale patterns of species invasion is a first step toward deeper understanding of their causal factors. We took advantage of two centuries worth of herbarium data, to evaluate a set of metrics to measure macroscale patterns, allowing cross-species comparisons of invasive expansion across large geographic areas.
Methods We used herbarium specimens to reconstruct county-level invasion histories for two non-native plants (Alliaria petiolata and Lonicera japonica), with distinct spatiotemporal distribution patterns over the past two centuries. Using county centroids from species' initial occurrences, we quantified point pattern metrics from multiple disciplines (e.g. urban crime analysis, landscape ecology etc.) that are historically used at smaller spatial scales, to evaluate their ability to detect macroscale spatial diffusion and amount of directional expansion. Metrics were further assessed for their ease of use, data requirements, independence from other metrics and intuitiveness of interpretation.
Important findings We identified four suitable metrics for distinguishing differences in spatial patterns: (i) standard distance, (ii) number of patches, (iii) Euclidean nearest neighbor summary class statistic coefficient of variation and (iv) mean center that when applied to county-level presence data allowed us to determine the directions by which distributions expanded and if distributions increased via outward expansion, infilling and/or jump dispersal events. These metrics when compared during the same invasion phase are capable of quantifying macroscale variability among species in their distributional and dispersal patterns. Being able to quantify differences among species in these patterns is important in understanding the drivers of species dispersal patterns. These metrics therefore represent a simple yet thorough toolset for achieving this goal.

Key words: Alliaria petiolata, diffusion, herbarium, jump dispersal, Lonicera japonica, plant invasions

摘要:
Aim The ability to quantitatively measure the continuum of macroscale patterns of species invasion is a first step toward deeper understanding of their causal factors. We took advantage of two centuries worth of herbarium data, to evaluate a set of metrics to measure macroscale patterns, allowing cross-species comparisons of invasive expansion across large geographic areas.
Methods We used herbarium specimens to reconstruct county-level invasion histories for two non-native plants (Alliaria petiolata and Lonicera japonica), with distinct spatiotemporal distribution patterns over the past two centuries. Using county centroids from species' initial occurrences, we quantified point pattern metrics from multiple disciplines (e.g. urban crime analysis, landscape ecology etc.) that are historically used at smaller spatial scales, to evaluate their ability to detect macroscale spatial diffusion and amount of directional expansion. Metrics were further assessed for their ease of use, data requirements, independence from other metrics and intuitiveness of interpretation.
Important findings We identified four suitable metrics for distinguishing differences in spatial patterns: (i) standard distance, (ii) number of patches, (iii) Euclidean nearest neighbor summary class statistic coefficient of variation and (iv) mean center that when applied to county-level presence data allowed us to determine the directions by which distributions expanded and if distributions increased via outward expansion, infilling and/or jump dispersal events. These metrics when compared during the same invasion phase are capable of quantifying macroscale variability among species in their distributional and dispersal patterns. Being able to quantify differences among species in these patterns is important in understanding the drivers of species dispersal patterns. These metrics therefore represent a simple yet thorough toolset for achieving this goal.