OOS 38-4 - Species invasiveness and community invasibility: Can they be reconciled?

Thursday, August 11, 2011: 9:00 AM
15, Austin Convention Center
Petr Pysek, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The three big questions addressed by the SCOPE programme in the 1980s (which species invade; which habitats are invaded; and how can we manage invasions?) still underpin most work in invasion ecology. Some organizing and unifying themes in the field are organism-focussed and relate to species invasiveness, while others are ecosystem-centred and deal with determinants of the invasibility of communities, habitats and regions. However, some theories, such as Theory of Seed Plant Invasiveness or Fluctuating Resources Theory of Invasibility, have taken an overarching approach to plant invasions by integrating the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility.


Most concepts, hypotheses and theories can be linked to the naturalization-invasion continuum concept, which relates invasion processes with a sequence of environmental and biotic barriers that an introduced species must negotiate to become casual, naturalized and invasive. In recent years, invasion ecology started to use new research tools and integrate with other disciplines such as succession ecology, community ecology, conservation biology and weed science, which process contributed to strengthening the conceptual pillars of invasion ecology. However, rigorous testing of some of the theories based on published data indicates that not all of them may be valid, especially if compared among taxonomic groups. The question arises whether there is time to revise some of the concepts in invasion biology.

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