Species Diversity and Invasion Resistance in a Marine Ecosystem

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Science  19 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5444, pp. 1577-1579
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5444.1577

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Theory predicts that systems that are more diverse should be more resistant to exotic species, but experimental tests are needed to verify this. In experimental communities of sessile marine invertebrates, increased species richness significantly decreased invasion success, apparently because species-rich communities more completely and efficiently used available space, the limiting resource in this system. Declining biodiversity thus facilitates invasion in this system, potentially accelerating the loss of biodiversity and the homogenization of the world's biota.

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