Introduced taxa in disturbed ecosystems
Stirling, Ana Lorraine.
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In the literature, introduced taxa are assumed to be present, more abundant, and occupy greater physical space in portions of ecosystems disturbed by human activity. This study tested this principle in two sites, Short Hills provincial Park ("SHU) and Backus Woods ("B~l"). spatial distribution of introduced taxa of vegetation, isopods, and earthworms was determined with the runs test along 300m transects encompassing gradients of anthropogenic disturbance severity. The hypothesis was that introduced taxa would be aggregated along these transects; the null hypothesis was that they would not be aggregated. The null hypothesis was rejected for the introduced taxa as a unit, and vegetation and earthworms individually. Introduced taxa were aggregated along 53.33% (N~30) and 57.14% (N~21) of the transects in SH and BW (respectively). Introduced vegetation (90.00%, N~10 and 100.00%, N~7) and earthworms (50.00%, N~10 and 50.00%, N~8) were also significantly aggregated within the sites. Introduced isopods, however, were not significantly aggregated at either place (20. 00%, N-=10 and 16. 67%, ~J~6). This study demonstrated that introduced taxa are aggregated within ecosystems disturbed by human activity. However, since introduced isopods were not significantly aggregated it was also shown that taxa respond differently.