Invasion Biology

Authored by: Jennifer Ruesink

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-100001017

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Abstract

Biological invasions occur when species or distinct populations breach biogeographical barriers and extend their ranges to areas where they were not historically present. Invasion biology concerns the causes and consequences of these new species, which are also referred to as invasive, introduced, alien, exotic, nonnative, or nonindigenous species. Biological invasions occur in five steps: arrival, establishment, population growth, population spread, and impact. Only a small proportion of species that arrive actually reach the first step; thus each step acts as a filter for the invasion process. No widely accepted method currently exists for identifying the characteristics that promote invasion a priori.

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