Endemic predators, invasive prey and native diversity

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Interactions between native diversity and invasive species can be more complex than is currently understood. Invasive ant species often substantially reduce diversity in the native ants diversity that act as natural control agents for pest insects. In Indonesia (on the island of Sulawesi), the third largest cacao producer worldwide, we show that a predatory endemic toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis) controls invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) abundance, and positively affects native ant diversity. We call this the invasive-naivety effect (an opposite of enemy release), whereby alien species may not harbour antipredatory defences against a novel native predator. A positive effect of the toads on native ants may facilitate their predation on insect vectors of cacao diseases. Hence, toads may increase crop yield, but further research is needed on this aspect. Ironically, amphibians are globally the most threatened vertebrate class and are strongly impacted by the conversion of rainforest to cacao plantations in Sulawesi. It is, therefore, crucial to manage cacao plantations to maintain these endemic toads, as they may provide critical ecosystem services, such as invasion resistance and preservation of native insect diversity. This journal is

ZeitschriftProceedings of the Royal Society B
Seiten (von - bis)690-694
Anzahl der Seiten5
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 07.03.2011


  • Ökosystemforschung - biocontrol, invasive-naivety effect, amphibians ants biocontrol ecosystem services , ants, amphibians
  • Biologie