The invasive tropical tanner grass decreases diversity of the native aquatic macrophyte community at two scales in a subtropical tidal river


Acta Bot. Bras.




ABSTRACT The tropical tanner grass, Urochloa arrecta, is one of the worst aquatic plant invaders in Brazilian freshwater ecosystems. This study aimed to compare beds of macrophytes dominated and without U. arrecta in the Guaraguaçu River, a subtropical tidal river in South Brazil, to analyze effects that this invasive grass has on the biodiversity of native macrophytes at two spatial scales. We compared macrophyte beds dominated by tanner grass to macrophyte beds without, considering species richness, composition, and beta diversity at two scales of variation: among-beds and within-beds. We expected that beds dominated by tanner grass would have lower biodiversity, thus promoting macrophyte biotic homogenization. Our results confirmed our hypotheses, highlighting the lower species richness in beds dominated by tanner grass. Species composition differed among beds. In general, nestedness among beds dominated by U. arrecta was more related to variation in species composition. Beds dominated by tanner grass had lower turnover and higher nestedness within beds. This study indicates a prominent sign of biotic homogenization promoted by U. arrecta, and highlights the degree of biotic homogenization among and within beds.

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