Friday, August 12, 2016: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Grand Floridian Blrm B, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Jennifer L. Funk, Chapman University
S. Luke Flory, University of Florida; and
Erik T. Aschehoug, Louisiana State University
S. Luke Flory, University of Florida
Over the last three decades, biological invasions have become a central theme in ecology. In this time, the field of Invasion Ecology has moved beyond case studies of single invasive species to focus on broad, theoretical frameworks. Ecologists have forged collaborations with academics and practitioners from a number of other disciplines to understand mechanisms of invasions, patterns of spread, and how invasive species affect a range of ecological processes. By considering invasive species in the context of molecular to ecosystem processes, this research has extended fundamental theory in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Research on invasive species has also enhanced our ability to protect and conserve ecosystems by contributing to the development of management practices. However, predicting invasions, understanding their drivers, and evaluating their impacts remain key challenges for academics and practitioners in the field. This session will provide a rigorous appraisal of the state of Invasion Ecology, its theoretical foundations, its most significant hurdles, and its ability to inform management and policy decisions. By identifying the most challenging future questions across a diverse set of topics, the session will outline a research agenda for the field.