Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Andrew M. Liebhold; Patrick C. Tobin
    Date: 2006
    Source: Population Ecology 48:253-262
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.01 MB)


    A common characteristic observed in many biological invasions is the existence of a lag between the time of arrival by the alien population and the time when established populations are noticed. Considerable advances have been made in modeling the expansion of invading species, and there is often remarkable congruence between the behavior of these models with spread of actual populations. While these models have been used to characterize expansion of very newly founded colonies, there have been few attempts to compare the behavior predicted from theory with spread in actual newly founded populations, largely due to the difficulty of sampling sparse populations. Models predict that time lags in the radial expansion of newly invaded populations may be due to time requirements for the population to grow from founding to detectable levels. Models also indicate that these time lags can be predicted based upon population parameters such as the intrinsic rate of population growth and diffusion coefficient. In this paper, we compared the behavior of these models with historical data on gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, establishment and spread to show similarities between model predictions and observed population spread, both of which exhibited temporal lags of expansion. However, actual populations exhibited certain behaviors that were not predicted, and this could be due, in part, to the existence of Allee effects and stochasticity. Further work that incorporates these effects is needed to more fully understand the growth of incipient colonies of invading species. Ultimately, this information can be of critical importance in the selection of effective strategies for their detection and eradication.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Liebhold, Andrew M.; Tobin, Patrick C. 2006. Growth of newly established alien populations: comparison of North American gypsy moth colonies with invasion theory. Population Ecology 48:253-262


    Skellam's model, Radial range expansion, Gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, Biological invasion

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page