Higher Nutrient Levels Favor Invasive Species


A study using data from the global research project Nutrient Network (NutNet), which was founded by MSI PI Eric Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer (both associate professors in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior), shows that higher levels of nutrients tend to favor the proliferation of exotic species in an environment. However, if there are populations of herbivores present, the animals’ grazing patterns allow the native species better conditions to thrive.

The study, which was co-authored by Professors Seabloom and Borer and their colleagues throughout the world, was published in July in the publication Nature Communications. It can be found on the journal’s website: E.W. Seabloom, E.T. Borer, Y.M. Buckley, E.E. Cleland, K.F. Davies, et al. 2015. Plant species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature Communications 6:7710. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8710.

Other articles about this research:

College of Biological Sciences Connect Blog


MPR News


Professor Seabloom uses MSI to host the NutNet database and conduct data analysis. Previous publications about NutNet were featured in an MSI Research Spotlight in April 2014.