News of the WeekEcology

Does Biodiversity Help Fend Off Invaders?

Science  05 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5467, pp. 785-786
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5467.785a

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Theory suggests that an ecosystem rich in biological diversity should be better able to resist invasions by nonnative species, but contradictory studies have led to a heated debate over whether biodiversity matters at all. A study on page 852 may help bring the two camps together by showing that both arguments can hold true--depending upon whether one looks at microcosms or across an entire ecological community.