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Invasion Biology: Hypotheses and Evidence. CABI Invasives Series 9

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There are many hypotheses describing the interactions involved in biological invasions, but it is largely unknown whether they are backed up by empirical evidence. This book fills that gap by developing a tool for assessing research hypotheses and applying it to twelve invasion hypotheses, using the hierarchy-of-hypotheses (HoH) approach, and mapping the connections between theory and evidence. In Part 1, an overview chapter of invasion biology is followed by an introduction to the HoH approach and short chapters by science theorists and philosophers who comment on the approach. Part 2 outlines the invasion hypotheses and their interrelationships. These include biotic resistance and island susceptibility hypotheses, disturbance hypothesis, invasional meltdown hypothesis, enemy release hypothesis, evolution of increased competitive ability and shifting defence hypotheses, tens rule, phenotypic plasticity hypothesis, Darwin's naturalization and limiting similarity hypotheses and the propagule pressure hypothesis. Part 3 provides a synthesis and suggests future directions for invasion research.

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PART I: INTRODUCTION TO INVASION BIOLOGY AND THE HIERARCHY-OF-HYPOTHESES APPROACH

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Part I

Introduction to Invasion Biology and the Hierarchy-of-hypotheses Approach

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1

Invasion Biology: Searching for

Predictions and Prevention, and

Avoiding Lost Causes

Phillip Cassey,1,* Pablo García-Díaz,1,2

Julie L. Lockwood3 and Tim M. Blackburn1,4,5

1School

of Biological Sciences and the Environment Institute,

The University of Adelaide, Australia; 2Landcare Research New

Zealand, Lincoln, New Zealand; 3Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick,

USA; 4Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment, Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, UCL, UK; 5Institute of

Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London, UK

Abstract

The introduction and establishment of alien species is one of the many profound influences of ongoing anthropogenic global environmental change. Invasion biology has emerged as the interdisciplinary study of the patterns, processes and consequences of the redistribution of biodiversity across all environments and spatio-temporal scales. The modern discipline hinges on the knowledge that biological invasions cannot be defined and studied solely by their final outcome of establishing alien species but rather as a sequential series of stages, or barriers, that all alien species transit: the ‘invasion pathway’. Some of the most important influences for a species transiting these sequential stages (i.e. transport, introduction, establishment and spread) are event-level effects, which vary independently of species and location, such as the number of individuals released in any given location (propagule pressure). The number of studies of biological invasions has increased exponentially over the past two decades, and we now have a significant body of research on different

 

PART II: HYPOTHESIS NETWORK AND 12 FOCAL HYPOTHESES

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Part II

Hypothesis Network and

12 Focal Hypotheses

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7

A Network of Invasion Hypotheses

Martin Enders1,2,3* and Jonathan M. Jeschke1,2,3

1Freie

Universität Berlin, Institute of Biology, Berlin, Germany; of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries

(IGB), Berlin, Germany; 3Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced

Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Berlin, Germany

2Leibniz-Institute

Abstract

Hypotheses of research disciplines are typically not isolated from each other but share similarities. In a broad sense as defined here, they form an important part of the theoretical–conceptual understanding of a given topic, e.g. invasion hypotheses sensu lato represent an important part of our understanding of biological invasions. Dynamic research disciplines such as invasion biology have so many hypotheses that it is even hard for experts to keep track, and researchers from other disciplines as well as policy-­ makers, managers and other interested people find it extremely complicated to get to grips with invasion hypotheses. To tackle this situation, we argue that it is useful to define key hypotheses and visualize their relationships. We define 35 of the arguably most common invasion hypotheses and outline three approaches to create hypothesis networks that visualize the similarities and

 

PART III: SYNTHESIS AND OUTLOOK

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Part III

Synthesis and Outlook

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17

Synthesis

Jonathan M. Jeschke1,2,3* and Tina Heger4,5,3

1Leibniz-Institute

of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries

(IGB), Berlin, Germany; 2Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of

Biology, Berlin, Germany; 3Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of

Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Berlin, Germany;

4University of Potsdam, Biodiversity Research/Systematic

Botany, Potsdam, Germany; 5Technical University of Munich,

Restoration Ecology, Freising, Germany

Abstract

About 1100 studies focusing on 12 major invasion hypotheses have been analysed in

Chapters 8–16 of this book. A network of these 12 hypotheses, in which topically similar hypotheses are connected, was presented in Chapter 7. We here combine and synthesize these previous chapters, colour coding the hypothesis network depending on the level of empirical support of each hypothesis. Overall, six of the 12 hypotheses were supported by the majority of available empirical studies, three hypotheses were questioned by the majority of studies, and empirical studies were undecided for the three remaining hypotheses. The three

 

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