Biological invasions → greenhouse gas emissions (Qiu 2015)

qui 2015 full

Image: Figure 4 from Qiu (2015) Global Ecol Biogeogr.

Looking for a PhD project? Jiangxiao Qiu, a PhD student in Monica Turner’s lab at University of Wisconsin, Madison, just published your proposal. There are so many well outlined knowledge gaps and research questions in his new meta-analysis in Global Ecology and Biogeography, it makes me jealous.

There’s quite a bit of literature out there now about how climate change may affect biological invasions. For example, Stachowitz et al. (2002) PNAS linked annual min/max temperature with invasion by non-native marine invertebrates (see image below). However, there has been quite a bit less work done looking at the converse causal pathway – i.e., the effect of invasive species on greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, however, there is enough published to do a first meta-analysis, and that’s what Qiu did.

One interesting finding was that invasive plants tended to increase carbon storage while invasive animals tended to have the opposite effect. However, he identifies the effects of animals on CH4 and N2O as areas where we have little empirical knowledge, and it is unclear how community processes, like trophic cascades, may impact these emissions.


stachowitz et al 2002

Image: Figure 2 from Stachowitz et al. (2002) PNAS.


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