What exotic species tell us about potential rates of population growth, dispersal and geographic range expansion.
Hastings, Alan*,1, Kinlan, Brian2, 1 University of Californa, Davis, Davis, CA, USA2 University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
ABSTRACT- For the past half century, ecologists and invasion biologists have sought to identify and understand factors that control the rate and pattern of spread of introduced species. These factors are intimately related to the processes governing natural range expansions; thus, a study of modern invasions may provide insight into historical biogeographic processes. Here we review some of the major theoretical constructs that have been used to study species spread and confront model predictions with empirical data on invasive species spread in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Our recent synthesis of data on marine spread rates allows examination of the invasion process across an extremely diverse set of life histories, environments, and dispersal mechanisms. Comparisons across and within systems suggest generalizations about life history traits, environmental structure, and dispersal characteristics that play crucial roles in the expansion of species across landscapes.
Key words: range expansion, invasive species, invasion dynamics
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