Understanding spatiotemporal invasion patterns through a macroecosystem approach
Invasion of exotic species poses a major threat to many ecosystems. Research on the invasion of exotic species has been a major topic in the last two decades but primarily at small scales. Our understanding of the long-term invasion process at regional to continental scale is limited, partially due to the lack of long-term, large-scale empirical data.
In this presentation, we use invasive plant data from (a) ca. 120,000 plots across the continental United States and (b) historical records back to mid-1800s to explore the invasion patterns and processes at multiple spatiotemporal scales. In general, two types of spatiotemporal patterns were observed from initial introduction to full range occupancy. Eastern U.S. is much more heavily invaded than western U.S. Both invasion patterns and factors influencing these patterns are scale dependent. Our study provides new insights in invasion ecology and the development of more effective invasion management practices and policies.