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Cite this article
Ballari SA, Kuebbing SE, Nuñez MA. (2016) Potential problems of removing one invasive species at a time: Interactions between invasive vertebrates and unexpected effects of removal programs. PeerJ PrePrints4:e1651v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1651v1
Although the co-occurrence of nonnative vertebrates is a ubiquitous global phenomenon, the study of interactions between invaders is poorly represented in the literature. Limited understanding of the interactions between co-occurring vertebrates can be problematic for predicting how the removal of only one invasive—a common management scenario—will affect native communities. We suggest a trophic food web framework for predicting the effects of single-species management on native biodiversity. We used a literature search and meta-analysis to assess current understanding of how the removal of one invasive vertebrate affects native biodiversity relative to when two invasives are present. The majority of studies focused on the removal of carnivores, mainly within aquatic systems, which highlights a critical knowledge gap in our understanding of co-occurring invasive vertebrates. We found that removal of one invasive vertebrate caused a significant negative effect on native species compared to when two invasive vertebrates were present. These unexpected results could arise because of the positioning and hierarchy of the co-occurring invasives in food web (e.g. carnivore-carnivore or carnivore-herbivore). We consider that there are important knowledge gaps to determinate the effects of multiple co-existing invaders on native ecosystems, and this information could be precious for management.
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Literature search: Search terms use in a Web of Science® search for peer-reviewed studies on the impacts of removal a single invasive vertebrate species on native biodiversity. Details of the search conducted on the basis of genus of the terrestrial vertebrates invasive species reported among the 100 most damaging invasive species Global Invasive Species Database
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