Quantifying the amount of genetic diversity and how it is distributed within and between populations (genetic structure) has become a major focus in invasion biology. Population genetic structure can be useful as a proxy for the introduction history of a species, e.g. to differentiate between multiple introductions vs. single introductions.
Environmental managers need to understand the factors that control community composition at different spatial and temporal scales to formulate appropriate guidelines for management. To this end, community assemblage rules explain how species are “packed” in a community and how community composition is related to the niche and traits of species.
Protected areas are increasingly important in the maintenance of species, ecosystems and the services they provide; at the same time, however, invasions by alien species are accelerating, undermining the conservation value of protected areas and preventing them from achieving their goals. If the invasion of alien species into protected areas is to be prevented, or at least minimised, then a detailed understanding of their drivers is required.
The effects of environmental pressures on biological extinctions may not be evident for decades after the events, a study finds. Stefan Dullinger, Franz Essl (C·I·B Research Associate), Petr Pyšek (C·I·B Research Associate) and colleagues compared the current number of threatened species in 22 European countries, with contemporary and historic levels of human-caused environmental pressures on biodiversity.
Plants that can self-fertilise are more likely to become invasive than those that cannot and among invasive plants, those that can self-fertilise have invaded larger areas. While this is intuitive, it has not yet been shown that this is a causal relationship, as many introduced plants receive visits from pollinators in the novel range.