Invasive rat eradication strongly impacts plant recruitment on a tropical atoll

Invasive rat eradication strongly impacts plant recruitment on a tropical atoll
Abstract: 

Rat eradication has become a common conservation intervention in island ecosystems and its effectiveness in protecting native vertebrates is increasingly well documented. Yet, the impacts of rat eradication on plant communities remain poorly understood. Here we compare native and non-native tree and palm seedling abundance before and after eradication of invasive rats (Rattus Rattus) from Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands, Central Pacific Ocean. Overall, seedling recruitment increased for five of the six native trees species examined. While pre-eradication monitoring found no seedlings of Pisonia grandis, a dominant tree species that is important throughout the Pacific region, post-eradication monitoring documented a notable recruitment event immediately following eradication, with up to 688 individual P. grandis seedlings per 100m2 recorded one month post-eradication. Two other locally rare native trees with no observed recruitment in pre-eradication surveys had recruitment

GEFPAS Project: 
No
Record Id: 
81909