Advertisement

The progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science

Abstract

Interdisciplinarity is needed to gain knowledge of the ecology of invasive species and invaded ecosystems, and of the human dimensions of biological invasions. We combine a quantitative literature review with a qualitative historical narrative to document the progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science since 1950. Our review shows that 92.4% of interdisciplinary publications (out of 9192) focus on ecological questions, 4.4% on social ones, and 3.2% on socialecological ones. The emergence of invasion science out of ecology might explain why interdisciplinarity has remained mostly within the natural sciences. Nevertheless, invasion science is attracting social–ecological collaborations to understand ecological challenges, and to develop novel approaches to address new ideas, concepts, and invasion-related questions between scholars and stakeholders. We discuss ways to reframe invasion science as a field centred on interlinked social–ecological dynamics to bring science, governance and society together in a common effort to deal with invasions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. Ameden, H.A., P.C. Boxall, S.B. Cash, and D.A. Vickers. 2009. An agent-based model of border enforcement for invasive species management. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 57: 481–496.

  2. Bennett, N.J., R. Roth, S.C. Klain, K. Chan, P. Christie, D.A. Clark, G. Cullman, D. Curran, et al. 2017. Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation 205: 93–108.

  3. Binder, C.R., J. Hinkel, P.W.G. Bots, and C. Pahl-Wostl. 2013. Comparison of frameworks for analyzing social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 18: 26.

  4. Brenner, J.C. 2010. What drives the conversion of native rangeland to buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) pasture in Mexico’s Sonoran desert? The social dimensions of a biological invasion. Human Ecology 38: 495–505.

  5. Brunel, S., E. Fernandez-Galiano, P. Genovesi, V.H. Heywood, C. Kueffer, and D.M. Richardson. 2013. Invasive alien species: A growing but neglected threat? In Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation, ed. European Environment Agency, 518–540. Copenhagen: Publications Office of the European Union.

  6. Buijs, A., T. Hovardas, H. Figari, P. Castro, P. Devine-Wright, A. Fischer, C. Mouro, and S. Selge. 2012. Understanding people’s ideas on natural resource management: Research on social representations of nature. Society and Natural Resources 25: 1167–1181.

  7. Butts, C.T., D. Hunter, M. Handcock, S. Bender-deMoll, and J. Horner. 2015. Package ‘network’. R package version 1.12.0.

  8. Carruthers, J., L. Robin, J.P. Hattingh, C.A. Kull, H. Rangan, and B.W. Van Wilgen. 2011. A native at home and abroad: The history, politics, ethics and aesthetics of acacias. Diversity and Distributions 17: 810–821.

  9. Chaffin, B.C., A.S. Garmestani, D.G. Angeler, D.L. Herrmann, C.A. Stow, M. Nystrom, J. Sendzimir, M.E. Hopton, et al. 2016. Biological invasions, ecological resilience and adaptive governance. Journal of Environmental Management 183: 399–407.

  10. Chew, M.K., and A.L. Hamilton. 2011. The rise and fall of biotic nativeness: A historical perspective. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 35–47. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  11. Cote, M., and A.J. Nightingale. 2012. Resilience thinking meets social theory: Situating social change in socio-ecological systems (SES) research. Progress in Human Geography 36: 475–489.

  12. Courchamp, F., A. Fournier, C. Bellard, C. Bertelsmeier, E. Bonnaud, J.M. Jeschke, and J.C. Russell. 2017. Invasion biology: Specific problems and possible solutions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 32: 13–22.

  13. Curtis, W. 1783. A Catalogue of the British, medicinal, culinary and agricultural plants cultivated in the London botanic gardens. London: B. White.

  14. Dahlberg, R., O. Rubin, and M.T. Vendelø. 2016. Disaster research. Multidisciplinary and international perspectives. Oxon: Routledge.

  15. Davis, M.A. 2006. Invasion biology 1958–2005: The pursuit of science and conservation. In Conceptual ecology and invasion biology: Reciprocal approaches to nature, ed. M.W. Cadotte, S.M. McMahon, and T. Fukami, 35–64. Dordrecht: Springer.

  16. Davis, M.A. 2011. Invasion Biology. In Encyclopedia of biological invasions, ed. D. Simberloff, and M. Rejmánek, 364–369. California: University of California Press.

  17. Davis, M.A., K. Thompson, and J.P. Grime. 2001. Charles S. Elton and the dissociation of invasion ecology from the rest of ecology. Diversity and Distributions 7: 97–102.

  18. Drake, J.A., H.A. Mooney, F. Di Castri, R.H. Groves, F.J. Kruger, M. Rejmánek, and M. Williamson. 1989. Biological invasions: A global perspective. Chichester: Wiley.

  19. Elton, C.S. 1958. The ecology of invasions by animals and plants. London: Methuen.

  20. Essl, E., P.E. Hulme, J.M. Jeschke, R. Keller, P. Pyšek, D.M. Richardson, W.-C. Saul, S. Bacher, et al. 2017. Scientific and normative foundations for the valuation of alien species impacts: thirteen core principles. BioScience. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biw160.

  21. Estévez, R.A., C.B. Anderson, J.C. Pizarro, and M.A. Burgman. 2014. Clarifying values, risk perceptions, and attitudes to resolve or avoid social conflicts in invasive species management. Conservation Biology 29: 19–30.

  22. Frawley, J., and I. McCalman. 2014. Rethinking invasion ecologies from the environmental humanities. Abingdon: Routledge.

  23. Groves, R.H., and J.J. Burdon. 1986. Ecology of biological invasions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  24. Guisan, A., and N.E. Zimmermann. 2000. Predictive habitat distribution models in ecology. Ecological Modelling 135: 147–186.

  25. Hall, S.J. 2009. Cultural disturbances and local ecological knowledge mediate cattail (Typha domingensis) invasion in Lake Pátzcuaro, México. Human Ecology 37: 241–249.

  26. Hattingh, J. 2011. Conceptual clarity, scientific rigour and ‘The stories we are’: Engaging with two challenges to the objectivity of invasion biology. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 359–375. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  27. Head, L., and J. Atchison. 2015. Governing invasive plants: Policy and practice in managing the Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus)—Bushfire nexus in northern Australia. Land Use Policy 47: 225–234.

  28. Head, L., B.M.H. Larson, R.J. Hobbs, J. Atchison, N. Gill, C.A. Kull, and H. Rangan. 2015. Living with invasive plants in the Anthropocene: The importance of understanding practice and experience. Conservation and Society 13: 311–318.

  29. Heger, T., A.T. Pahl, Z. Botta-Dukát, F. Gherardi, C. Hoppe, I. Hoste, K. Jax, L. Lindström, et al. 2013. Conceptual frameworks and methods for advancing invasion ecology. Ambio 42: 527–540.

  30. Hobbs, R.J., and D.M. Richardson. 2011. Invasion ecology and restoration ecology: Parallel evolution in two fields of endeavour. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 61–69. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  31. Hui, C., and M.A. McGeoch. 2014. Zeta diversity as a concept and metric that unifies incidence-based biodiversity patterns. The American Naturalist 184: 684–694.

  32. Hui, C., and D.M. Richardson. 2017. Invasion dynamics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  33. Hulme, P. 2009. Trade, transport and trouble: Managing invasive species pathways in an era of globalization. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 10–18.

  34. Humair, F., P.J. Edwards, M. Siegrist, and C. Kueffer. 2014a. Understanding misunderstandings in invasion science: Why experts don’t agree on common concepts and risk assessments. NeoBiota 20: 1–30.

  35. Humair, F., M. Siegrist, and C. Kueffer. 2014b. Working with the horticulture industry to limit invasion risks: The Swiss experience. EPPO Bulletin 44: 1–7.

  36. Humair, F., L. Humair, F. Kuhn, and C. Kueffer. 2015. E-commerce trade in invasive plants. Conservation Biology 29: 1658–1665.

  37. Jeschke, J.M., S. Bacher, T.M. Blackburn, J.T.A. Dick, F. Essl, T. Evans, M. Gaertner, P.E. Hulme, et al. 2014. Defining the impact of non-native species: Resolving disparity through greater clarity. Conservation Biology 28: 1188–1194.

  38. Krebs, C.J. 1972. Ecology. The experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. New York: Harper and Row.

  39. Kueffer, C. 2013. Integrating natural and social sciences for understanding and managing plant invasions. In Biodiversity and society in the Pacific Islands, ed. S. Larrue, 71–96. Marseille & Canberra: Presses Universitaires de Provence & ANU ePress.

  40. Kueffer, C., and C. Kull. 2017. Non-native species and the aesthetics of nature. In Impact of biological invasions on ecosystem services, eds. P. Hulme, and M. Vilà. Berlin: Springer.

  41. Kueffer, C., and G. Hirsch Hadorn. 2008. How to achieve effectiveness in problem-oriented landscape research: The example of research on biotic invasions. Living Reviews in Landscape Research 2: 2. doi:10.12942/lrlr-2008-2.

  42. Kueffer, C., and B. Larson. 2014. Responsible use of language in scientific writing and science communication. BioScience 64: 719–724.

  43. Kull, C.A., C.M. Shackleton, P.J. Cunningham, C. Ducatillon, J.-M. Dufour-Dror, K.J. Esler, J.B. Friday, A.C. Gouveia, et al. 2011. Adoption, use and perception of Australian Acacias around the world. Diversity and Distributions 17: 822–836.

  44. Kull, C.A., S.M. Carrière, S. Moreau, H.R. Ramiarantsoa, C. Blanc-Pamard, and J. Tassin. 2013. Melting pots of biodiversity: Tropical smallholder farm landscapes as guarantors of sustainability. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 55: 6–16.

  45. Larson, B. 2005. The war of the roses: Demilitarizing invasion biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 495–500.

  46. Larson, B.M.H. 2007. Who’s invading what? Systems thinking about invasive species. Canadian Journal of Plant Sciences 87: 993–999.

  47. Larson, B. 2011. Metaphors for environmental sustainability: Redefining our relationship with nature. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  48. Larson, B.M.H. 2013. The metaphorical links between ecology, ethics, and society. In Linking ecology and ethics for a changing world: Values, philosophy, and action, ed. R. Rozzi, S.T.A. Pickett, C. Palmer, J.J. Armesto, and J.B. Callicott, 137–145. Dordrecht: Springer.

  49. Latombe, G., M.A. McGeoch, and C. Hui. 2015. Zetadiv: Functions to compute compositional turnover using zeta diversity. R package.

  50. Leydesdorff, L., and I. Rafols. 2009. A global map of science based on the ISI subject categories. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60: 348–362.

  51. Li, J., M.-H. Wang, and Y.-S. Ho. 2011. Trends in research on global climate change: A Science Citation Index expanded-based analysis. Global and Planetary Change 77: 13–20.

  52. Liu, J., T. Dietz, S.R. Carpenter, M. Alberti, C. Folke, E. Moran, A.N. Pell, P. Deadman, et al. 2007. Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science 317: 1513–1516.

  53. Lockwood, J.L., M.F. Hoopes, and M.P. Marchetti. 2007. Invasion ecology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  54. Lövei, G.L. 1997. Global change through invasion. Nature 388: 627–628.

  55. Mann, R. 1979. Exotic species in aquaculture. Oceanus 22: 29–35.

  56. Matzek, V., J. Covino, J.L. Funk, and M. Saunders. 2013. Closing the knowing–doing gap in invasive plant management: Accessibility and interdisciplinarity of scientific research. Conservation Letters 7: 208–215.

  57. McNeely, J.A. 2001. The great reshuffling: Human dimensions of invasive alien species. Gland: IUCN.

  58. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.

  59. N’Guyen, A., P.E. Hirsch, I. Adrian-Kalchhauser, and P. Burkhardt-Holm. 2016. Improving invasive species management by integrating priorities and contributions of scientists and decision makers. Ambio 45: 280–289.

  60. R Core Team. 2014. R: A language and environment for statistical computing, version 3.1.2. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

  61. Porter, A.L., and I. Rafols. 2009. Is science becoming more interdisciplinary? Measuring and mapping six research fields over time. Scientometrics 81: 719–745.

  62. Rafols, I., A.L. Porter, and L. Leydesdorff. 2010. Science overlay maps: A new tool for research policy and library management. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 61: 1871–1887.

  63. Richardson, D.M. 2011a. Invasion science: The roads travelled and the roads ahead. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 397–407. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  64. Richardson, D.M. (ed.). 2011b. Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  65. Richardson, D.M., and P. Pyšek. 2007. Classics in physical geography revisited: Elton, C.S. 1958: The ecology of invasions by animals and plants. Methuen: London. Progress in Physical Geography 31: 659–666.

  66. Richardson, D.M., and P. Pyšek. 2008. Fifty years of invasion ecology—The legacy of Charles Elton. Diversity and Distributions 14: 161–168.

  67. Richardson, D.M., and A. Ricciardi. 2011. Misleading criticisms of invasion science: A field guide. Diversity and Distributions 19: 1461–1467.

  68. Richardson, D.M., P. Pyšek, and J.T. Carlton. 2011. A compendium of essential concepts and terminology in invasion ecology. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 409–420. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  69. Rissman, A.R., and S. Gillon. 2016. Where are ecology and biodiversity in social–ecological systems research? A review of research methods and applied recommendations. Conservation Letters. doi:10.1111/conl.12250.

  70. Rodríguez-Labajos, B., R. Binimelis, and I. Monterroso. 2009. Multi-level driving forces of biological invasions. Ecological Economics 69: 63–75.

  71. Rotherham, I.D., and R.A. Lambert. 2011. Invasive and introduced plants and animals: Human perceptions, attitudes and approaches to management. London: Earthscan.

  72. Sax, D.F., J.J. Stachowicz, J.H. Brown, J.F. Bruno, M.N. Dawson, S.D. Gaines, R.K. Grosberg, A. Hastings, et al. 2007. Ecological and evolutionary insights from species invasions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22: 465–471.

  73. Schindler, S., B. Staska, M. Adam, W. Rabitsch, and F. Essl. 2015. Alien species and public health impacts in Europe: A literature review. NeoBiota 27: 1–23.

  74. Shaw, B.R., A. Howell, and K. Genskow. 2014. Evaluation of a movie theater advertisement campaign to promote behaviors that prevent spread of aquatic invasive species. Society and Natural Resources 27: 768–776.

  75. Simberloff, D. 2001. Eradication of island invasives: Practical actions and results achieved. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 16: 273–274.

  76. Simberloff, D. 2011. Charles Elton: Neither founder nor siren, but prophet. In Fifty years of invasion ecology. The legacy of Charles Elton, ed. D.M. Richardson, 11–24. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  77. Simberloff, D., J.-L. Martin, P. Genovesi, V. Maris, D.A. Wardle, J. Aronson, F. Courchamp, B. Galil, et al. 2013. Impacts of biological invasions: What’s what and the way forward? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28: 58–66.

  78. Stock, P., and R.J.F. Burton. 2011. Defining terms for integrated (multi-inter-trans-disciplinary) sustainability research. Sustainability 3: 1090–1113.

  79. Stork, H., and J.J. Astrin. 2014. Trends in biodiversity research—A bibliometric assessment. Open Journal of Ecology 4: 354–370.

  80. Tassin, J., and C.A. Kull. 2015. Facing the broader dimensions of biological invasions. Land Use Policy 42: 165–169.

  81. Tengö, M., E.S. Brondizio, T. Elmqvist, P. Malmer, and M. Spierenburg. 2014. Connecting diverse knowledge systems for enhanced ecosystem governance: The multiple evidence base approach. Ambio 43: 579–591.

  82. Thuiller, W., D.M. Richardson, P. Pyšek, G.F. Midgley, G.O. Hughes, and M. Rouget. 2005. Niche-based modelling as a tool for predicting the risk of alien plant invasions at a global scale. Global Change Biology 11: 2234–2250.

  83. Van Wilgen, B.W., B. Reyers, D.C. Le Maitre, D.M. Richardson, and L. Schonegevel. 2008. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa. Journal of Environmental Management 89: 336–349.

  84. Van Wilgen, B.W., S.J. Davies, and D.M. Richardson. 2014. Invasion science for society: A decade of contributions from the Centre for Invasion Biology. South African Journal of Science. doi:10.1590/sajs.2014/a0074.

  85. Vaz, A.S., C. Kueffer, C.A. Kull, D.M. Richardson, J.R. Vicente, I. Kühn, M. Schröter, J. Hauck, et al. 2017. Integrating ecosystem services and disservices: Insights from plant invasions. Ecosystem Services 23: 94–107.

  86. Vitousek, P.M. 1988. Diversity and biological invasions of Oceanic Islands. In Biodiversity, ed. E.O. Wilson, and F.M. Peter, 181–189. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

  87. Wagner, C.S., J.D. Roessner, K. Bobb, J.T. Klein, K.W. Boyack, J. Keyton, I. Rafols, and K. Börnerf. 2011. Approaches to understanding and measuring interdisciplinary scientific research (IDR): A review of the literature. Journal of Infometrics 165: 14–26.

  88. Watson, H.C. 1847. Cybele Britannica, vol. 1. London: Longman.

  89. Woodford, D.J., D.M. Richardson, H.J. MacIsaac, N.E. Mandrak, B.W. Van Wilgen, J.R.U. Wilson, and O.L.F. Weyl. 2016. Confronting the wicked problem of managing biological invasions. NeoBiota 31: 63–86.

  90. Zavaleta, E. 2000. Valuing ecosystem services lost to Tamarix invasion in the United States. In Invasive species in a changing world, ed. H.A. Mooney, and R.J. Hobbs, 261–300. Washington DC: Island Press.

  91. Zhang, L., M.-H. Wang, J. Hu, and Y.-S. Ho. 2010. A review of published wetland research, 1991–2008: Ecological engineering and ecosystem restoration. Ecological Engineering 36: 973–980.

Download references

Acknowledgements

A.S. Vaz was supported by FSE/MEC, FCT (PD/BD/52600/2014); J. Vicente by POPH/FSE, FCT (SFRH/BPD/84044/2012); J. Muñoz-Pajares by FEDER-FCT (UID/BIA/50027/2013; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006821), CIBIO (UID/BIA/50027/2013); S. Schindler by ACRP (KR13AC6K11141); D. Richardson by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, the Working for Water Programme through project on “Integrated Management of invasive alien species in South Africa”, and the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa (Grant 85417); C. Hui by the NRF (Grants 81825, 76912) and the Australian Research Council (DP150103017). We thank the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC; NSF DBI-1052875), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, the Synthesis Centre of iDiv (DFG FZT 118), and Thomson Reuters.

Author information

Correspondence to Ana S. Vaz.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (MP4 6245 kb)

Supplementary material 1 (MP4 6245 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (PDF 505 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Vaz, A.S., Kueffer, C., Kull, C.A. et al. The progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science. Ambio 46, 428–442 (2017) doi:10.1007/s13280-017-0897-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Biological invasions
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Non-native species
  • Scientometrics
  • Social–ecological research