Using Network Theory to Understand and Predict Biological Invasions.


Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skogsmarksgränd, SE901 83 Umeå, Sweden; Current address: Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 230D Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E3. Electronic address: [Email]


Understanding and predicting biological invasions is challenging because of the complexity of many interacting players. A holistic approach is needed with the potential to simultaneously consider all relevant effects and effectors. Using networks to describe the relevant anthropogenic and ecological factors, from community-level to global scales, promises advances in understanding aspects of invasion from propagule pressure, through establishment, spread, and ecological impact of invaders. These insights could lead to development of new tools for prevention and management of invasions that are based on species' network characteristics and use of networks to predict the ecological effects of invaders. Here, we review the findings from network ecology that show the most promise for invasion biology and identify pressing needs for future research.


ecological invasion,ecological network,invasibility,invasive species,invasiveness,transportation network,

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