Under human influence, species are being transferred between regions faster and farther than at any other time in Earth's history and, in some cases, have caused enormous changes to recipient ecosystems. Despite considerable advances in our understanding of how exotic species spread and establish self-sustaining populations, our ability to forecast when and where they will exert strong ecological impacts remains weak. Given that the consequences of exotic species invasions provide the impetus for management, and effective prioritization of management resources depends on accurate forecasts of the potential damage of an invasion, a predictive understanding of impact should be a central goal of invasion ecology. However, predicting which exotic species will produce impacts and under what circumstances has proven difficult. Part of the difficulty in prediction is the complicated underlying dynamics of the exotic population itself, and how these dynamics relate to the species' impacts. This proposal seeks to explore the prevalence of complex population dynamics in exotic species, and in the process develop new statistical tools for identifying these dynamics. It also seeks to explore the mechanisms behind some of these dynamics using exotic birds as a model system.
|Effective start/end date||2/1/13 → 1/31/16|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))
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