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Invasion Biology and Ecological Theory: Insights from a Continent in Transformation [Hardcover]

Herbert H. T. Prins , Iain J. Gordon

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Book Description

23 Jan 2014 1107035813 978-1107035812
Many conservationists argue that invasive species form one of the most important threats to ecosystems the world over, often spreading quickly through their new environments and jeopardising the conservation of native species. As such, it is important that reliable predictions can be made regarding the effects of new species on particular habitats. This book provides a critical appraisal of ecosystem theory using case studies of biological invasions in Australasia. Each chapter is built around a set of 11 central hypotheses from community ecology, which were mainly developed in North American or European contexts. The authors examine the hypotheses in the light of evidence from their particular species, testing their power in explaining the success or failure of invasion and accepting or rejecting each hypothesis as appropriate. The conclusions have far-reaching consequences for the utility of community ecology, suggesting a rejection of its predictive powers and a positive reappraisal of natural history.

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'This book represents a novel and exciting approach to testing some fundamental ecological ideas such as the niche concept, competition, disturbance, and life history strategy. It does so using invasive alien species, with Australia as both the invaded environment, as well as the source of the invasives. The approach taken is to propose a series of ecological hypotheses and test these against invader case studies ranging from the failed (finches) to the downright spectacular (water buffalo in Northern Australia). A series of specialist authors tackles each case study, before the editors, Prins and Gordon, conclude with a synthesis chapter that reviews the evidence for and against each hypothesis, drawing on each author's findings in a structured way. The principal intent of this book is to inform the science of ecology, but it is rich in valuable insights to those grappling with the management of this great threat to global biodiversity.' Mark Lonsdale, CSIRO

Book Description

This book examines ecosystem theory in the context of invasive species, evaluating its reliability in making predictions about the likely effects of new species on particular habitats. The authors use case studies of ancient and modern biological invasions in Australasia, ranging from Acacias and water birds to rabbits and dingoes.

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