Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University Vienna, 1030 Wien, Austria
Biological invasions have become a defining feature of global environmental change. However, the global patterns and underlying factors that determine variation in invasions worldwide are still insufficiently understood. Similarly, the consequences and future trajectories of biological invasions are not fully appreciated.
Progress in data coverage and availability, supplemented by new tools for data integration and analyses have facilitated the compilation of comprehensive databases of worldwide alien species distributions such as GloNAF for vascular plants (https://glonaf.org; van Kleunen et al. 2015). Similarly, the compilation of the Alien Species First Record-database provides a backbone for analysing spatio-temporal patterns of alien plant species accumulation (Seebens et al. 2017). Further, data on human pressures, the exchange routes of goods and people, and on a large range of environmental factors have increasingly become available. Combined, these novel data sources have substantially advanced the understanding of the (macro)ecology and biogeography of biological invasions, and they provide the foundation for exploring future trends of alien species spread and impacts.
In this talk, I will synthesize key insights into the macroecology of plant invasions. I will highlight likely future consequences of plant invasions and identify gaps in knowledge which have to be addressed as a priority. Finally, I will provide a perspective on priority questions for future macroecological research on plant invasions.
Seebens H. et al. (2017) No saturation of the global accumulation of alien species. Nat. Comm. 9: 14435.
van Kleunen M. et al. (2015) Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants. Nature 525: 100–103.