OOS 38 - Holistic Invasion Ecology: Moving Beyond Reductionism

Thursday, August 11, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
15, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Jacob N. Barney
Moderator: Thomas H. Whitlow
Invasive species have been a topic of ecological interest since Darwin’s Beagle voyage when he noted “introduced plants which have become common throughout whole islands in a period of less than ten years”, which now cause tremendous environmental and economic damage worldwide. Charles Elton is credited with formalizing the field of invasion ecology in 1958 with the publication of The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants, though we remain mired in complexity without common direction even today. In the past two decades multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain why the vast majority of introduced species remain benign components of the landscape, while a minority become aggressive invaders. Despite these advances in understanding, no single thesis has universal explanatory power across the multitude of invaders or systems, much less lead to rational control strategies. Therefore, the aim of this session is to stimulate thinking beyond singular reductionist hypotheses, and attempt to find common threads among invasions by incorporating all contributing factors and generate novel means of empirical invasion ecology. Speakers have been invited to share their thinking on “Holistic Invasion Ecology” as we aim to address the following questions: 1) How did we end up with such singular thinking?, 2) How does the ever-changing spatiotemporal landscape shape the invasion process?, 3) Where does the duality of species invasiveness and community invisibility fit in, and can it be resolved?, 4) How can we integrate all contributing factors conceptually to create novel empirical science?, and 5) How does anticipated global change inform the direction of invasion research? The session will begin with an overview of the historical landscape of invasion ecology to put the problem in context. Secondly, we will get a synopsis of the spatiotemporal context underlying invasions followed by an overview of the leading hypotheses, their development and context. The next several talks will discuss individual attempts to reconcile the disparate nature of conceptual invasion ecology into a variety of frameworks. The session will conclude with unique approaches to empirically investigating the determinants of invasion by embracing complexity instead of being overly reductionistic. This session brings together both well-known and up-and-coming invasion ecologists to discuss the conceptual landscape that underlies empirical research in an attempt to advance the uniquely complex science of invasions.
8:00 AM
The historical landscape of invasion ecology
Mark A. Davis, Macalester College
8:40 AM
9:00 AM
Species invasiveness and community invasibility: Can they be reconciled?
Petr Pysek, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
Integrating hypotheses of invasion ecology into a single theoretical framework
Jane A. Catford, The University of Melbourne; Roland Jansson, Umeå University; Christer Nilsson, Umeå University
10:10 AM
A framework for hierarchical integration of invasibility factors
Ann Milbau, Umeå University; Jane C. Stout, School of Natural Sciences; Bente J. Graae, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Ivan Nijs, University of Antwerpen
10:30 AM
Are invaders different? Comparative approaches for assessing determinants of invasiveness
Mark van Kleunen, University of Konstanz; Wayne Dawson, University of Konstanz; Daniel R. Schlaepfer, University of Basel; Jonathan M. Jeschke, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries; Markus Fischer, University of Bern
10:50 AM
A systematic review and database of the literature on biological invasions
Jessica Gurevitch, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies; Edward Lowry, Hampden-Sydney College; Emily Rollinson, Stony Brook University; Adam Laybourn, Stony Brook University; Sarah M. Gray, University of Fribourg; Tracy Scott, Stony Brook University; Matthew Aiello-Lammens, Stony Brook University; James Mickley, Stony Brook University
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