2011 Research Highlights
Exploring Habitat Invasibility and Species Invasiveness
Research provides new insights for invasion biology and management
It is commonly believed that more diverse habitats are less invasible due to niche occupation, but recent evidence shows that invasibility is a much more complex issue and may be determined by multiple factors. For better control and management of invasive species, research must uncover the factors that contribute to habitat invasibility, degree of invasion, and species invasiveness as well as how these factors can be measured. EFETAC scientists are collecting metadata regarding various habitat characteristics and invasibility from diverse ecosystems in US forests and other ecosystems around the world.
Preliminary observations show that species-rich communities are invasible but may be so at a lesser degree, although individual component species can show highly invader-specific resistance or promotion. A community’s ability to preclude species invasions may be dependent upon a threshold level of both species richness and abundance, below which the importance of species interactions is only a weak force. The researchers’ comparisons among the major community-types within and among geographic regions in the future can provide new insights into invasion biology to assist scientists, resource managers, policymakers, and the general public in managing and controlling invasive species.
Contact: Qinfeng Guo, research ecologist, (828) 257-4246, email@example.com