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The effect of cross-boundary management on the trajectory to commonness in biological invasions

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2020, 01:49 by Guillaume Latombe, Franz Essl, Melodie McGeoch
The number of alien species introduced and undergoing range expansion in novel environments is steadily increasing, with important consequences for native ecosystems. The efficacy of management planning and decision making to limit such invasions can be improved by understanding how interventions will impact the population dynamics of recently introduced species. To do so, here we expand on a typological framework that enables the classification of populations over time into 10 categories of commonness, and apply it to a spatially discrete metapopulation with heterogeneous abundance across spatial units (patches). We use this framework to assess the effect of cross-boundary management on the capacity of a metapopulation with different demographic and dispersal characteristics, including time lags in population growth, to become common. We demonstrate this framework by simulating a simple theoretical metapopulation model capable of exploring a range of environments, species characteristics, and management actions. Management can vary in the efficacy of propagule interception between patches, and in the synchronisation of the implementation of these measures across patches (i.e. if management is implemented simultaneously across patches). Simulations show that poor interception efficacy that only modestly reduces the number of propagules entering a given spatial unit cannot be compensated for by strong management synchronisation between spatial units. Management synchronisation will nonetheless result in a reduction in rates of spread once a critical threshold of interception efficacy has been met. Finally, time lags in population growth that may result in delayed spread are an important aspect to be considered in management as they can amplify the efficacy of management. Our results demonstrate how a typological framework of categories of commonness can be used to provide practical insights for the management of biological invasions.


GL and FE appreciate support from the BiodivERsA-Belmont Forum Project "Alien Scenarios" (FWF project no I 4011-B32). MM acknowledges support from ARC DP200101680. This paper emerged from a workshop on `Frameworks used in Invasion Science' hosted by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 11-13 November 2019, that was supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and Stellenbosch University.



  • School of Life Sciences

Publication Date







27p. (p. 241-267)


Pensoft Publishers



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