Temporal changes in native-exotic richness correlations during early post-fire succession
The relationship between native and exotic richness has mostly been studied with respect to space (i.e., positive at larger scales, but negative or more variable at smaller scales) and its temporal patterns have rarely been investigated. Although some studies have monitored the temporal trends of both native and exotic richness, how these two groups of species might be related to each other and how their relative proportions vary through time in a local community remains unclear. Re-analysis of early post-fire successional data for a California chaparral community shows that, in the same communities and at small spatial scales, the native-exotic correlations varied through time. Both exotic richness and exotic fraction (i.e., the proportion of exotic species in the flora) quickly increased and then gradually declined, during the initial stages of succession following fire disturbance. This result sheds new light on habitat invasibility and has implications for timing the implementation of effective management actions to prevent and/or mitigate species invasions.