OOS 54-6 - Do recent invasion frameworks downplay the community context of species invasions?

Friday, August 10, 2012: 9:50 AM
B116, Oregon Convention Center
Travis D. Marsico and Anastasia M. Woodard, Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University, State University, AR

A rapidly growing literature in invasion ecology and a diverse array of invasion hypotheses to determine mechanisms of invasion have resulted in recent attempts to develop invasion frameworks.  These frameworks, if appropriately applied, could allow serious progress to be made toward understanding the most common causes of biological invasion.  The frameworks, however, differ in their structure, and therefore place different emphases on abiotic and biotic factors.  Given the biological diversity on Earth, it is likely that every invasion will not fit neatly into every described framework, but it is important that the frameworks enhance our understanding of invasion mechanisms rather than inhibiting progress.  A review of recent invasion frameworks is provided, and these frameworks are tested against study systems in which novel associations develop between native host plants and introduced herbivorous insects.  We test whether the frameworks would succeed in identifying defense-free space as an important community context that allows for an invasion.


We found that some frameworks emphasize community contexts of invasion, whereas others may miss the importance of the recipient community.  We conclude that frameworks must be carefully constructed and their limitations be fully disclosed before they can be utilized effectively.