Species Introductions to Hawaii

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Abstract

What determines whether species have the potential to invade new environments? And how should we evaluate community properties to determine whether a biological system is vulnerable to invasion? These questions are fundamental to a basic understanding of the structure of ecological communities. The ability of a species to invade, and of a community to resist invasion, are central features in models designed to look at species diversity, niche overlap, limiting similarity and community change. Looking at invasions—why they succeed or fail—may be the most direct way of testing a number of important theories. Here we address these topics by looking at the patterns of organisms introduced to the Hawaiian Islands.