Global networks for invasion science: benefits, challenges and guidelines
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Much has been done to address the challenges of biological invasions, but fundamental questions (e.g., which species invade? Which habitats are invaded? How can invasions be effectively managed?) still need to be answered before the spread and impact of alien taxa can be effectively managed. Questions on the role of biogeography (e.g., how does biogeography influence ecosystem susceptibility, resistance and resilience against invasion?) have the greatest potential to address this goal by increasing our capacity to understand and accurately predict invasions at local, continental and global scales. This paper proposes a framework for the development of ‘Global Networks for Invasion Science’ to help generate approaches to address these critical and fundamentally biogeographic questions. We define global networks on the basis of their focus on research questions at the global scale, collection of primary data, use of standardized protocols and metrics, and commitment to long-term global data. Global networks are critical for the future of invasion science because of their potential to extend beyond the capacity of individual partners to identify global priorities for research agendas and coordinate data collection over space and time, assess risks and emerging trends, understand the complex influences of biogeography on mechanisms of invasion, predict the future of invasion dynamics, and use these new insights to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of evidence-based management techniques. While the pace and scale of global change continues to escalate, strategic and collaborative global networks offer a powerful approach to inform responses to the threats posed by biological invasions.
- RESEARCH: Richardson D