Comparisons of arthropod assemblages on an invasive and native trees: abundance, diversity and damage Academic Article uri icon


  • The success of exotic plants may be due to lower herbivore loads than those on native plants (Enemies Release Hypothesis). Predictions of this hypothesis include lower herbivore abundances, diversity, and damage on introduced plant species compared to native ones. Greater density or diversity of predators and parasitoids on exotic versus native plants may also reduce regulation of exotic plants by herbivores. To test these predictions, we measured arthropod abundance, arthropod diversity, and foliar damage on invasive Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) and three native tree species: silver maple (Acer saccharinum), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Arthropod samples were collected with canopy sweep nets from six 20 year old monoculture plots of each species at a southeast Texas site. A total of 2,700 individuals and 285 species of arthropods were caught. Overall, the species richness and abundance of arthropods on tallow tree were similar to the natives. But, ordination (NMS) showed community composition differed on tallow tree compared to all three native trees. It supported an arthropod community that had relatively lower herbivore abundance but relatively more predator species compared to the native species examined. Leaves were collected to determine damage. Tallow tree experienced less mining damage than native trees. The results of this study supported the Enemies Release Hypothesis predictions that tallow tree would have low herbivore loads which may contribute to its invasive success. Moreover, a shift in the arthropod community to fewer herbivores without a reduction in predators may further limit regulation of this exotic species by herbivores in its introduced range. 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hartley, M. K., Rogers, W. E., & Siemann, E.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Hartley, Maria K||Rogers, William E||Siemann, Evan

publication date

  • December 2010