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Fifty Years of Invasion Ecology: The Legacy of Charles Elton




Fifty Years of Invasion Ecology: The Legacy of Charles Elton

David M. Richardson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-33586-6 December 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 456 Pages

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Invasion ecology is the study of the causes and consequences of the introduction of organisms to areas outside their native range.  Interest in this field has exploded in the past few decades.  Explaining why and how organisms are moved around the world, how and why some become established and invade, and how best to manage invasive species in the face of global change are all crucial issues that interest biogeographers, ecologists and environmental managers in all parts of the world.  This book brings together the insights of more than 50 authors to examine the origins, foundations, current dimensions and potential trajectories of invasion ecology. It revisits key tenets of the foundations of invasion ecology, including contributions of pioneering naturalists of the 19th century, including Charles Darwin and British ecologist Charles Elton, whose 1958 monograph on invasive species is widely acknowledged as having focussed scientific attention on biological invasions.

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1 A world of thought: 'The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants' and Charles Elton's life's work (ROGER L. KITCHING).

2 Charles Elton: neither founder nor siren, but prophet (DANIEL SIMBERLOFF).

3 The inviolate sea? Charles Elton and biological invasions in the world's oceans (JAMES T. CARLTON).

4 The rise and fall of biotic nativeness: a historical perspective (MATTHEW K. CHEW AND ANDREW L. HAMILTON).


5 Patterns and rate of growth of studies in invasion ecology (HUGH J. MACISAAC, RAHEL A. TEDLA AND ANTHONY RICCIARDI).

6 Invasion ecology and restoration ecology: parallel evolution in two fi elds of endeavour (RICHARD J. HOBBS AND DAVID M. RICHARDSON).


7 Biological invasions in Europe 50 years after Elton: time to sound the ALARM (PETR PYŠEK AND PHILIP E. HULME).

8 Fifty years of tree pest and pathogen invasions, increasingly threatening world forests (MICHAEL J. WINGFIELD, BERNARD SLIPPERS, JOLANDA ROUX AND BRENDA D. WINGFIELD).


9 A movement ecology approach to study seed dispersal and plant invasion: an overview and application of seed dispersal by fruit bats (ASAF TSOAR, DAVID SHOHAMI AND RAN NATHAN).

10 Biodiversity as a bulwark against invasion: conceptual threads since Elton (JASON D. FRIDLEY).

11 Soil biota and plant invasions: biogeographical effects on plant–microbe interactions (RAGAN M. CALLAWAY AND MARNIE E. ROUT).

12 Mutualisms: key drivers of invasions ... key casualties of invasions (ANNA TRAVESET AND DAVID M. RICHARDSON).

13 Fifty years on: confronting Elton's hypotheses about invasion success with data from exotic birds (TIM M. BLACKBURN, JULIE L. LOCKWOOD AND PHILLIP CASSEY).

14 Is rapid adaptive evolution important in successful invasions? (ELEANOR E. DORMONTT, ANDREW J. LOWE AND PETER J. PRENTIS).

15 Why reproductive systems matter for the invasion biology of plants (SPENCER C.H. BARRETT).

16 Impacts of biological invasions on freshwater ecosystems (ANTHONY RICCIARDI AND HUGH J. MACISAAC).

17 Expanding the propagule pressure concept to understand the impact of biological invasions (ANTHONY RICCIARDI, LISA A. JONES, ÅSA M. KESTRUP AND JESSICA M. WARD).


18 Elton's insights into the ecology of ant invasions: lessons learned and lessons still to be learned (NATHAN J. SANDERS AND ANDREW V. SUAREZ).

19 Fifty years of 'Waging war on cheatgrass': research advances, while meaningful control languishes (RICHARD N. MACK).


20 Researching invasive species 50 years after Elton: a cautionary tale (MARK A. DAVIS).

21 Invasions and ecosystems: vulnerabilities and the contribution of new technologies (PETER M. VITOUSEK, CARLA M. D’ANTONIO AND GREGORY P. ASNER).

22 DNA barcoding of invasive species (HUGH B. CROSS, ANDREW J. LOWE, C. FREDERICO D. GURGEL).

23 Biosecurity: the changing face of invasion biology (PHILIP E. HULME).

24 Elton and the economics of biological invasions (CHARLES PERRINGS).

25 Modelling spread in invasion ecology: a synthesis (CANG HUI, RAINER M. KRUG AND DAVID M. RICHARDSON).

26 Responses of invasive species to a changing climate and atmosphere (JEFFREY S. DUKES).

27 Conceptual clarity, scientifi c rigour and 'The Stories We Are': engaging with two challenges to the objectivity of invasion biology (JOHAN HATTINGH).

28 Changing perspectives on managing biological invasions: insights from South Africa and the Working for Water programme (BRIAN W. VAN WILGEN, AHMED KHAN AND CHRISTO MARAIS).


29 Invasion science: the roads travelled and the roads ahead (DAVID M. RICHARDSON).

30 A compendium of essential concepts and terminology in invasion ecology (DAVID M. RICHARDSON, PETR PYSˇEK AND JAMES T. CARLTON).

Taxonomic Index.

General Index.

“This is a delightful book that provides both an essential foundation for those new to invasion biology and with enough advanced material to satisfy those already working in the field. My congratulations to the editors and authors for producing such a valuable work.”  (Biol Invasions, 1 March 2013)

“I recommend this book to students, managers and scientists who have an interest in invasion ecology.  The ideas presented will prompt the reader into thinking of new ways to approach invasion ecology research.”  (Landscape Ecology, 20 November 2011) 

“This is an important book for ecology in general –I’ll be using it in my undergraduate teaching and recommending it as key source material to my postgraduate students working on alien invasions.”  (Austral Ecology, 1 November  2012)

“While this book is clearly aimed at postgraduate students and researchers working within the broad field of invasion ecology, it will also appeal to those with an interest in the history of biology and specifically in how ecological theory has been developed over time and applied to real-world problems. . . This book is essential reading for all students and researchers interested in the field of invasion ecology but also for those interested in ecological theory and how it has been applied and tested over the last 50 years.”  (Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 12 December 2012)

“This volume will provide an interesting benchmark for us to revisit then.  It is exciting to imagine what a volume like this will highlight 50 years from now.”  (Ecology, 1 February 2012)

“A must read for biologists interested in nonindigenous species.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty, and land managers.”  (Choice, 1 April 2012)

"The volume is a must-read for invasion biologists and would serve well in a graduate seminar on invasion biology if paired with EIAP (The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants by Charles Elton.)  Indeed, the two books now sit side-by-side on my bookshelf." Saara J. DeWalt (Frontiers of Biogeography, 3 February 2011)

"In conclusion, we found this to be an inspiring volume on invasion ecology, which should be consulted by everybody interested in the history and recent developments of this discipline. There are already many useful books on biological invasions, but this one singles out by being a series of stimulating reviews and essays. It is original in combining complementary aspects and pointing out new research directions." (Basic and Applied Ecology, 2011)