Monday, 26 September 2011

A round-up of the last month or so

After taking some time out to visit the UK to see my folks I'm back in action!  There seems to have been quite a lot of interesting publications in the invasion ecology space over the last couple of months, so as I am trawling through to select for our next F1000 review I thought I would share my shortlist with you!

-       Biological invasions in rapidly urbanizing areas: a case study of Beijing, China (Biodiversity and Conservation): this is interesting as it seems pretty novel to give a baseline of invasives for a city like Beijing and is well executed – implications for many other cities in the ‘developing’ world and simply highlights the research needs following such a comprehensive baseline study quite well ((i) estimates of species frequency in each district; (ii) identification of the historical process of invasions within the municipality; (iii) identification of the most aggressive invaders; and (iv) estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of the introduced species.

-          Diversity and Distributions Special Issue: Human-mediated introductions of Australian acacias - a global experiment in biogeography I've not gone through this too thoroughly yet, but interesting it has got so much attention to warrant a special issue -  one of the papers is Trees and shrubs as invasive alien species – a global review

-          Strong response of an invasive plant species (Centaurea solstitialis L.) to global environmental changes  (Ecological Applications) – simply a nice study as it looks at multiple and combined environmental changes (temperatures, CO2, fire etc) and their impacts on  an invasive, whereas most studies only look at one aspect of future climates.

-          Remote analysis of biological invasion and the impact of enemy release (Ecological Applications) – as summarized at the end of the abstract, this is interesting because: These findings demonstrate that enemy release from generalist herbivores can facilitate exotic success and suggest a plausible mechanism by which invasion occurred. They also show how novel remote-sensing technology can be integrated with conservation and management to help address exotic plant invasions.

-          Propagule pressure hypothesis not supported by an 80-year experiment on woody species invasion (Oikos) – one of those long term data rich studies that also challenges a theory about invasion ecology.

-          Invasive plants do not display greater phenotypic plasticity than their native or non-invasive counterparts: a meta-analysis (Oikos) – the magic word ‘meta-analysis’ and like above also challenges a theory (though we have looked at studies challenging this theory before and it often depends how its looked at...)

-          Invasives: Sea of Data Still to Come (Science) This is a v short letter but it highlights some issues surrounding marine invasives and the lack of knowledge about dispersal ecology.  The other letter on the page is also about invasives on this page just relates to the ongoing controversial debate about ‘embracing invasives’…

Analyzing the Social Factors That Influence Willingness to Pay for Invasive Alien Species Management Under Two Different Strategies: Eradication and Prevention (Environmental Management) – an article that is a bit obscure but interesting topic – not often is the social context of invasives well addressed but its very important determinant on how they are managed.