Navigation Links
Losing stream in our battle to predict and prevent invasive species
Date:8/22/2012

Invasive species plants, animals, and microbes introduced to regions beyond their native range carry a global price tag of $1.4 trillion dollars. They are responsible for the loss of natural resources and biodiversity, damages to infrastructure, and an uptick in infectious diseases.

Not all non-native species pose a threat. Scientists around the world have spent the last several decades teasing apart the conditions that set the stage for debilitating invaders, like giant hogweed, zebra mussels, or gray squirrels. A number of hypotheses have emerged to help predict how natural areas will respond to introduced plants, animals, and microbes.

An analysis of 371 invasion studies using six dominant invasion hypotheses has revealed their predictive power is weakening. The paper's authors Jonathan Jeschke, Lorena Gmez Aparicio, Sylvia Haider, Tina Heger, Christopher Lortie, Petr Pyek, and David Strayer found empirical support for all six hypotheses declining, with recent studies showing the lowest levels of support. Hypotheses that were too broad or omitted ecosystem interactions fared among the worst, plants proved easier to predict than animals, and, contrary to popular belief, diverse ecosystems were not inherently resistant against invaders. The study was published in the open-access journal NeoBiota.

The paper's authors comment: "The observed decline effect means our confidence in making sound policy and management decisions based on the six analyzed hypotheses is lower today than it was in the past. Scientists were overly optimistic about the predictive power of these hypotheses. Given that invasive species are an expensive and ever growing problem, this is a situation that needs to be addressed."

Similar "decline effects" have been noted in other disciplines, among them pharmacological research, psychology, and animal behavior. The effect has been attributed to publication bias, inadequate sample sizes, and a tendency of early tests of hypotheses to pick study organisms or systems where positive results are expected.

Lead author Jonathan Jeschke, of Technische Universitt Mnchen, concludes: "The decline effect is both worrying and fascinating. It's a phenomenon that should be investigated across disciplines, as medical and psychological researchers have shown its effects can be strong, and it can distort the predictive power of hypotheses."

The paper's authors offer four solutions to improve current hypotheses in invasion biology: (1) Existing gaps in empirical tests of hypotheses should be filled. The study revealed crucial gaps in empirical studies, showing that most studies have focused on terrestrial plants but have ignored other organisms and aquatic habitats. (2) Existing hypotheses should be specified for groups of organisms and habitats. (3) Interactions of invasive species with their new ecosystems should be regularly considered. The study shows that hypotheses considering such interactions are better supported by empirical evidence than other hypotheses. (4) Revised hypotheses should be rejected if they do not work. Those hypotheses that still lack empirical support after specification for groups of organisms and habitats (solution 2), consideration of invader-ecosystem interactions (solution 3), or another form of revision should be discarded. Scientists should not waste time and resources to continue working with these hypotheses. Instead, fresh ideas and novel hypotheses are needed to further our understanding of biological invasions something that is essential to effective management in today's rapidly changing world.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Jonathan Jeschke
jonathan.jeschke@gmx.net
49-816-171-3715
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Impact of warming climate doesnt always translate to streamflow
2. Restoring streamside forests helps songbirds survive the winter in Californias Central Valley
3. New DataONE portal streamlines access to environmental data
4. NCEAS DataONE streamlines search and analysis of massive amounts of ecological data
5. Carp dominate crayfish in invasive species battleground
6. Battle of the sexes offers evolutionary insights
7. IU role in Human Microbiome Project exposes battle history between bacteria, viruses in human body
8. Gut microbes battle a common set of viruses shared by global populations
9. No matter the drilling method, natural gas is a much-needed tool to battle global warming
10. Disease-carrying colonizers on the move: Predicting the spread of ticks across Canada
11. Supplement use predicts folate status in Canadian women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Losing stream in our battle to predict and prevent invasive species
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT ... North America , today announced a ... the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition ... of tools to transform population health activities through the ... data. higi collects and secures data today ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface ... expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel Prize in ... Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and ... cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden ... biology community. The winners worked with systems manufactured ... produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² (Accelerate ... first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be Dr. ... open to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² Brain ...
Breaking Biology Technology: