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Type: Journal article
Title: Invasion syndromes: a systematic approach for predicting biological invasions and facilitating effective management
Author: Novoa, A.
Richardson, D.M.
Pysek, P.
Meyerson, L.A.
Bacher, S.
Canavan, S.
Catford, J.A.
Cuda, J.
Essl, F.
Foxcroft, L.C.
Genovesi, P.
Hirsch, H.
Hui, C.
Jackson, M.C.
Kueffer, C.
Le Roux, J.J.
Measey, J.
Mohanty, N.P.
Moodley, D.
Mueller-Schaerer, H.
et al.
Citation: Biological Invasions, 2020; 22(5):1801-1820
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1387-3547
Statement of
Ana Novoa, David M. Richardson, Petr Pyšek, Laura A. Meyerson, Sven Bacher ... Jasmin Packer ... et al.
Abstract: Our ability to predict invasions has been hindered by the seemingly idiosyncratic context-dependency of individual invasions. However, we argue that robust and useful generalisations in invasion science can be made by considering “invasion syndromes” which we define as “a combination of pathways, alien species traits, and characteristics of the recipient ecosystem which collectively result in predictable dynamics and impacts, and that can be managed effectively using specific policy and management actions”. We describe this approach and outline examples that highlight its utility, including: cacti with clonal fragmentation in arid ecosystems; small aquatic organisms introduced through ballast water in harbours; large ranid frogs with frequent secondary transfers; piscivorous freshwater fishes in connected aquatic ecosystems; plant invasions in high-elevation areas; tall-statured grasses; and tree-feeding insects in forests with suitable hosts. We propose a systematic method for identifying and delimiting invasion syndromes. We argue that invasion syndromes can account for the context-dependency of biological invasions while incorporating insights from comparative studies. Adopting this approach will help to structure thinking, identify transferrable risk assessment and management lessons, and highlight similarities among events that were previously considered disparate invasion phenomena.
Keywords: Biological invasions; context dependency; invasion science; invasive species
Description: Published: 02 March 2020
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
DOI: 10.1007/s10530-020-02220-w
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Environment Institute publications

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