Are Terrestrial Biological Invasions Different in the Tropics?
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Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Most biological invasion literature—including syntheses and meta-analyses and the resulting theory—is reported from temperate regions, drawing only minimally from the tropics except for some island systems. The lack of attention to invasions in the tropics results from and reinforces the assumption that tropical ecosystems, and especially the continental tropics, are more resistant to invasions. We have critically assessed biological invasions in the tropics and compared them with temperate regions, finding relatively weak evidence that tropical and temperate regions differ in their invasibility and in the traits that determine invader success and impacts. Propagule pressure and the traits that promote adaptation to disturbances (e.g., high fecundity or fast growth rates) are generally favorable to invasions in both tropical and temperate regions.We emphasize the urgent need for greater investment and regional cooperation in the study, prevention, and management of biological invasions in the tropics.
Keywordslatitudinal gradient; biotic invasion; biotic resistance; species characteristics; ecological impacts; biosecurity
Chong, Kwek Yan; Corlett, Richard T.; Nuñez, Martin A.; Chiu, Jing Hua; Courchamp, Franck; Dawson, Wayne; Kuebbing, Sara; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Padmanaba, Michael; Souza, Lara; Andersen, Kelly M.; Fei, Songlin; Lee, Benjamin P.Y.-H.; Lum, Shawn; Luskin, Matthew S.; Ngo, Kang Min; Wardle, David A. 2021. Are Terrestrial Biological Invasions Different in the Tropics?. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 52(1): 291-314. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-012021-095454.