R. Wilson1,2, S. Kumschick1,2, D. M. Richardson2, T. B. Robinson2, T. A. Zengeya2,3 and the CIB plant invasions group
1South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa
2Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
3Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
The Unified Framework for Biological Invasions, published in 2011 in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, has over a thousand citations on Google Scholar; has been used in practice by policy makers and managers to categorise invasions; and is currently being adapted as an agreed biodiversity data standard as part of the Darwin Core. However, when applying the framework, a number of practical issues have arisen, some of which are fundamental to the field. Similar issues have arisen with other frameworks that seek to simplify or conceptualise complex ecological phenomena. For example, guidelines for interpreting the CBD’s scheme for categorizing pathways for the introduction of alien species have recently been published, and impact assessments schemes (e.g. EICAT and SEICAT) are increasingly been put in to practice.
In this presentation we review how the frameworks have been adopted and used; identify key problems of applying the frameworks to different contexts (taxa, environments, socio-political situations); and make some preliminary suggestions for how the frameworks can be improved.