The relationship between invader abundance and impact

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The impacts of invasive species generally increase with their abundance, but the form of invader abundance–impact relationships remain poorly described. We highlight the utility of abundance–impact curves for three questions. First, abundance–impact relationships can clarify whether prevention and management should focus on the species likely to become abundant or those likely to cause large impacts per individual. Second, comparing abundance–impact relationships between native and exotic species can reveal any systematic differences in their effects on ecological systems. Third, identifying any thresholds in the relationship between invader impact and abundance can be used to select management targets and design invasive species control strategies. With increasing extent and resolution of datasets of invasive organisms worldwide, we now have the opportunity to explore in detail the form and context dependence of the abundance–impact relationship. Doing so provides opportunities to improve the prediction of invader impact, to better understand the differences between exotic and resident organisms, and to scale the impacts of invasive species from localities to ranges.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The relationship between invader abundance and impact
Series title Ecosphere
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.2415
Volume 9
Issue 9
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description Article e02415; 13 p.
First page 1
Last page 13
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