20 October 2020 | By Dave Richardson and John Wilson
In November 2019, the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) hosted an international workshop on “Frameworks used in Invasion Science”.
As is the case in most fields of science, the study of biological invasions has advanced in a non-linear way. Progress in invasion science has been punctuated by the development of numerous schemes or constructs that have proposed bold explanations, syntheses, hypotheses, and theories. Some of these have served as important roadmaps or signposts that have directed research attention. Scientists working on questions related to developing or implementing frameworks for invasion science were invited to develop draft manuscripts on particular topics in advance of the workshop, share these with other attendees before the workshop, and present them at the workshop.
The aim was to explore framework in invasion science from multiple perspectives, to come up with a range of different types of papers (ideas, perspectives, reviews, guidelines, and practical case-studies). The scope of these contributions was unified by the workshop aim, which was developed into the “Stellenbosch Challenge for Invasion Science”:
“Can invasion science develop and improve frameworks that are useful for research, policy or management, and that are clear as to the contexts in which the frameworks do and do not apply?”.
Deliberations at the workshop and afterwards led to a bumper special issue of the journal NeoBiota which comprises 24 papers that address the Stellenbosch Challenge by:
- applying existing frameworks to new data and contexts;
- reviewing how the frameworks have been adopted and used;
- developing useable protocols and guidelines for applying frameworks to different contexts;
- refining the frameworks in light of experience;
- integrating frameworks for new purposes;
- identifying gaps; and
- developing new frameworks to address issues that are currently not adequately dealt with.
The editorial team consisted of five C·I·B Core Team Members, two former C·I·B research fellows, and two leading international invasion science experts. Lead editor, C·I·B Core Team Member John Wilson, says: “The development of frameworks and their codification as standards demonstrates that invasion science is maturing as a discipline. However, this Special Issue has done much to demonstrate the importance of testing the frameworks in the light of real-world experience. Frameworks and standards are vital for policy makers, managers, and scientist but only if they are useful. We believe this special issue (and the Stellenbosch Challenge more generally) provides a much needed critical examination of frameworks in invasion science, and provides insights for how the field should progress.”
Read the editorial – https://neobiota.pensoft.net/article/58738/