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    Author(s): Dean E. PearsonYvette K. Ortega; Ozkan Eren; Jose L. Hierro
    Date: 2018
    Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 33(5): 313-325.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Biological invasions present a global problem underlain by an ecological paradox that thwarts explanation: how do some exotic species, evolutionarily naïve to their new environments, outperform locally adapted natives? We propose that community assembly theory provides a framework for addressing this question. Local community assembly rules can be defined by evaluating how native species’ traits interact with community filters to affect species abundance. Evaluation of exotic species against this benchmark indicates that exotics that follow assembly rules behave like natives, while those exhibiting novel interactions with community filters can greatly underperform or outperform natives. Additionally, advantages gained by exotics over natives following disturbance can be explained by accounting for extrinsic assembly processes that bias exotic traits toward ruderal strategies.

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    Pearson, Dean E.; Ortega, Yvette K.; Eren, Ozkan; Hierro, Jose L. 2018. Community assembly theory as a framework for biological invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 33(5): 313-325.


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    biological invasions, community assembly, invasibility, invasiveness, context dependence, provenance effects

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