Mutualisms — fundamental mediators of biological invasions
Potential effects of biological invasions on different types of mutualisms compared with effects caused by other drivers of global change. Symbols: ∆ changes in; ↑ increases in; ↓ decreases in.

Mutualisms — fundamental mediators of biological invasions

Mutualisms are relationships between organisms of different species in which each individual benefits from the activity of the other. These relationships are hugely important in nature. Essential services provided by mutualists include pollination, seed dispersal and the constitution of global cycles of carbon and other nutrients.

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Improving pastures for the livestock industry poses major weed threat
Pathways that are driving the emergence of problems with newly developed pasture plants as invasive species (A) and potential solutions to these problems (B).

Improving pastures for the livestock industry poses major weed threat

The new approach of ‘sustainable intensification’ in the livestock industry aims to increase food production from existing farmland while minimising pressure on the environment. While beneficial in many respects, this approach poses a major environmental risk, since many newly developed pasture plants pose a high risk of becoming invasive.

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Zeta beats beta in the game of biodiversity measurement – A new common currency for quantifying and linking biodiversity patterns and relationships
By providing a continuous biodiversity turnover metric, zeta diversity is particularly useful for assessing the conservation status of protected areas not only based on endangered species but also common ones, such as the Lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudata) in Kruger National Park (South Africa). Photo credit: C. Hui.

Zeta beats beta in the game of biodiversity measurement – A new common currency for quantifying and linking biodiversity patterns and relationships

Mounting challenges from man-made environmental change means measuring and tracking changes in biodiversity—the total living natural assets on earth—is becoming increasingly more important.

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Birds helped acacia trees travel 18,000km from Hawaii to Réunion Islands

Island biogeography theory predicts that most island species originate from nearby mainland regions and therefore arrive through rare, long-distance dispersal events. How close islands are to mainland regions must therefore be an important factor in determining the make-up of island biotas.

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Quantifying the impacts of alien species: developing an IUCN list
The different categories in the scheme to classify the impacts of alien species, and the relationships between them.

Quantifying the impacts of alien species: developing an IUCN list

One of the major transformations of the planet from human activities is the redistribution of species to areas outside their native range. These “alien” species have in many cases caused substantial harmful impacts to the recipient environment.

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