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Reducing redundancy in invasion ecology by integrating hypotheses into a single theoretical framework

Reducing redundancy in invasion ecology by integrating hypotheses into a single theoretical framework
Reducing redundancy in invasion ecology by integrating hypotheses into a single theoretical framework
Aim: invasion ecology includes many hypotheses. Empirical evidence suggests that most of these can explain the success of some invaders to some degree in some circumstances. If they all are correct, what does this tell us about invasion? We illustrate the major themes in invasion ecology, and provide an overarching framework that helps organize research and foster links among subfields of invasion ecology and ecology more generally.

Location: global.

Methods: we review and synthesize 29 leading hypotheses in plant invasion ecology. Structured around propagule pressure (P), abiotic characteristics (A) and biotic characteristics (B), with the additional influence of humans (H) on P, A and B (hereon PAB), we show how these hypotheses fit into one paradigm. P is based on the size and frequency of introductions, A incorporates ecosystem invasibility based on physical conditions, and B includes the characteristics of invading species (invasiveness), the recipient community and their interactions. Having justified the PAB framework, we propose a way in which invasion research could progress.

Results: by highlighting the common ground among hypotheses, we show that invasion ecology is encumbered by theoretical redundancy that can be removed through integration. Using both holistic and incremental approaches, we show how the PAB framework can guide research and quantify the relative importance of different invasion mechanisms.

Main conclusions: if the prime aim is to identify the main cause of invasion success, we contend that a top-down approach that focuses on PAB maximizes research efficiency. This approach identifies the most influential factors first, and subsequently narrows the number of potential causal mechanisms. By viewing invasion as a multifaceted process that can be partitioned into major drivers and broken down into a series of sequential steps, invasion theory can be rigorously tested, understanding improved and effective weed management techniques identified
1366-9516
22-40
Catford, Jane
c80a4529-b7cb-4d36-aba8-f38de01ce729
Jansson, Roland
1e3884f4-348a-46a5-95ca-6d1f41c5ed9e
Nilsson, Christer
b35e10b0-1da3-4c7f-995d-876d2c0eb760
Catford, Jane
c80a4529-b7cb-4d36-aba8-f38de01ce729
Jansson, Roland
1e3884f4-348a-46a5-95ca-6d1f41c5ed9e
Nilsson, Christer
b35e10b0-1da3-4c7f-995d-876d2c0eb760

Catford, Jane, Jansson, Roland and Nilsson, Christer (2009) Reducing redundancy in invasion ecology by integrating hypotheses into a single theoretical framework. Diversity and Distributions, 15 (1), 22-40. (doi:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2008.00521.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim: invasion ecology includes many hypotheses. Empirical evidence suggests that most of these can explain the success of some invaders to some degree in some circumstances. If they all are correct, what does this tell us about invasion? We illustrate the major themes in invasion ecology, and provide an overarching framework that helps organize research and foster links among subfields of invasion ecology and ecology more generally.

Location: global.

Methods: we review and synthesize 29 leading hypotheses in plant invasion ecology. Structured around propagule pressure (P), abiotic characteristics (A) and biotic characteristics (B), with the additional influence of humans (H) on P, A and B (hereon PAB), we show how these hypotheses fit into one paradigm. P is based on the size and frequency of introductions, A incorporates ecosystem invasibility based on physical conditions, and B includes the characteristics of invading species (invasiveness), the recipient community and their interactions. Having justified the PAB framework, we propose a way in which invasion research could progress.

Results: by highlighting the common ground among hypotheses, we show that invasion ecology is encumbered by theoretical redundancy that can be removed through integration. Using both holistic and incremental approaches, we show how the PAB framework can guide research and quantify the relative importance of different invasion mechanisms.

Main conclusions: if the prime aim is to identify the main cause of invasion success, we contend that a top-down approach that focuses on PAB maximizes research efficiency. This approach identifies the most influential factors first, and subsequently narrows the number of potential causal mechanisms. By viewing invasion as a multifaceted process that can be partitioned into major drivers and broken down into a series of sequential steps, invasion theory can be rigorously tested, understanding improved and effective weed management techniques identified

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More information

Published date: 2009
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400856
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400856
ISSN: 1366-9516
PURE UUID: 596ebe46-d394-4f81-a64e-65ec2bdbaeb8
ORCID for Jane Catford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0582-5960

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Date deposited: 30 Sep 2016 10:56
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 01:33

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