Data from: Twelve years of repeated wild hog activity promotes population maintenance of an invasive clonal plant in a coastal dune ecosystem
Oldfield, Callie A.; Evans, Jonathan P. (2016), Data from: Twelve years of repeated wild hog activity promotes population maintenance of an invasive clonal plant in a coastal dune ecosystem, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.168pg
Invasive animals can facilitate the success of invasive plant populations through disturbance. We examined the relationship between the repeated foraging disturbance of an invasive animal and the population maintenance of an invasive plant in a coastal dune ecosystem. We hypothesized that feral wild hog (Sus scrofa) populations repeatedly utilized tubers of the clonal perennial, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) as a food source and evaluated whether hog activity promoted the long-term maintenance of yellow nutsedge populations on St. Catherine's Island, Georgia, United States. Using generalized linear mixed models, we tested the effect of wild hog disturbance on permanent sites for yellow nutsedge culm density, tuber density, and percent cover of native plant species over a 12-year period. We found that disturbance plots had a higher number of culms and tubers and a lower percentage of native live plant cover than undisturbed control plots. Wild hogs redisturbed the disturbed plots approximately every 5 years. Our research provides demographic evidence that repeated foraging disturbances by an invasive animal promote the long-term population maintenance of an invasive clonal plant. Opportunistic facultative interactions such as we demonstrate in this study are likely to become more commonplace as greater numbers of introduced species are integrated into ecological communities around the world.
St. Catherine's Island