Wetlands: Functioning, Biodiversity Conservation, and Restoration pp 61-90

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 191)

Biological Invasions: Concepts to Understand and Predict a Global Threat

  • Gerard van der Velde
  • Sanjeevi Rajagopal
  • Mirjam Kuyper-Kollenaar
  • Abraham Bij de Vaate
  • David W. Thieltges
  • Hugh J. MacIsaac


Charles Elton was the modern founder of the science of biological invasions. He wrote that ‘biological invasions are so frequent nowadays in every conti- nent and island, and even in the oceans, that we need to understand what is causing them and try to arrive at some general viewpoint about the whole business ’ (Elton 1958). He tried to predict the outcome of global invasion processes and assumed that invasions would result in homogenization of regional floras and faunas. The prediction of homogenization was formulated earlier by Lyell (1832) who, in contrast to Elton (1958), did not consider the resulting human-caused extinctions to be a cause of concern because, in his opinion, this was a natural process (Wilkinson 2004). Interest in biological invasions has rapidly increased in recent decades and today biological inva- sions are a major concern in ecology and conservation. Particularly dramatic consequences of invasions have been reported from island ecosystems where endemic species suffered severely, but wetlands (marshes, lakes, rivers) and estuaries are also among the most affected systems (Moyle 1996;Williamson 1996;Ruiz et al.1997). On the background of accelerating invasion rates, sci- ence has become increasingly interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms of biological invasions to predict invasion processes and impacts. Following a brief overview on the nature and impacts of invasions, we review different concepts regarding determinants of invasion success. We also highlight promising research areas to cope with this major threat to bio- diversity in wetlands.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alpine AE, Cloern JE (1992) Trophic interactions and direct physical effects control biomass and production in an estuary. Limnol Oceanogr 37:946–955Google Scholar
  2. Andow DA (2003) Biological invasions: assessment and management of environmental risk. Food & Fertilizer Technology Center. Available at http://www.fftc.agnet.org/library/article/eb538.htmlGoogle Scholar
  3. Apte S, Holland BS, Godwin LS, Gardner JPA (2000) Jumping ship: a stepping stone event mediating transfer of a non-indigenous species via a potentially unsuitable environment. Biol Invasions 2:75–79Google Scholar
  4. Armonies W (2001) What an introduced species can tell us about the spatial extension of benthic populations. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 209:289–294Google Scholar
  5. Armonies W, Reise K (1999) On the population development of the introduced razor clam Ensis americanus near the island of Sylt (North Sea). Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 52:291–300Google Scholar
  6. Bij de Vaate A, Jazdzewski K, Ketelaars HAM, Gollasch S, Velde G van der (2002) Geographical patterns in range extension of Ponto-Caspian macroinvertebrate species in Europe. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 59:1159–1174Google Scholar
  7. Binggeli P (1997) How relevant are ecologically equivalent species and vacant niches to the invasive potential of introduced species? In: TU Berlin (ed) Fourth International Conference on the ecology of invasive alien plants. Institut für Ökologie und Biologie der TU, Berlin, 28 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Binggeli P (2000) Time-lags between introduction, establishment and rapid spread of introduced environmental weeds. Proc Int Weed Sci Congr 3:2–14Google Scholar
  9. Blackburn TM, Duncan RP (2001) Determinants of establishment success in introduced birds. Nature 414:195–197PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Blackburn TM, Cassey P, Duncan RP, Evans KL, Gaston KJ (2004) Avian extinction and mammalian introductions on oceanic islands. Science 305:1955–1958PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Blanchard M (1997) Spread of the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata (L. 1758) in Europe: current state and consequences. Sci Mar 61:109–118Google Scholar
  12. Bruno JF, Stachowicz JJ, Bertness MD (2003) Including positive interactions in ecological theory. Trends Ecol Evol 18:119–125Google Scholar
  13. Burch JB, Bruce JI, Amr Z (1989) Schistosomiasis and malacology in Jordan. J Med Appl Malacol 1:139–163Google Scholar
  14. Carlton JT, Geller JB (1993) Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78–82Google Scholar
  15. Censky EJ, Hodge K, Dudley J (1998) Evidence of over-water dispersal of lizards due to hurricanes. Nature 395:556Google Scholar
  16. Cloern JE (1996) Phytoplankton bloom dynamics in coastal ecosystems: a review with some general lessons from sustained investigations of San Francisco Bay, California. Rev Geophys 34:127–168Google Scholar
  17. Cohen AN, Carlton JT (1994) Nonindigenous aquatic species in a United States estuary: a case study of the biological invasions of the San Francisco bay and delta. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. Colautti RI, MacIsaac HJ (2004a) A neutral terminology to define invasive species. Div Distr 10:135–141Google Scholar
  19. Colautti RI, Ricciardi A, Grigorovich IA, MacIsaac HJ (2004b) Does the enemy release hypothesis predict invasion success? Ecol Lett 7:721–733Google Scholar
  20. Colautti RI, Bailey SA, Overdijk C van, Amundsen K, MacIsaac HJ (2006a) Characterised and projected costs of nonindigenous species in Canada. Biol Invasions 8:45–59Google Scholar
  21. Colautti RI, Grigorovitch IA, MacIsaac HJ (2006b) Propagule pressure: A null model for biological invasions. Biol Invasions (in press)Google Scholar
  22. Courtenay WR, Stauffer JR (eds) (1984) Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fish species. John Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  23. Crawley MJ (1989) Chance and timing in biological invasions. In: Drake JA, et al (eds) Biological invasions: a global perspective. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp 407–423Google Scholar
  24. Crooks JA (2002) Characterizing ecosystem-level consequences of biological invasions: the role of ecosystem engineers. Oikos 97:153–166Google Scholar
  25. Davis MA, Grime JP, Thompson K (2000) Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. J Ecol 88:528–534Google Scholar
  26. Declerck S, Louette G, De Bie T, De Meester L (2002) Patterns of diet overlap between populations of non-indigenous and native fishes in shallow ponds. J Fish Biol 61:1182–1197Google Scholar
  27. Drake JA (1990) The mechanisms of community assembly and succession. J Theor Biol 147:213–233Google Scholar
  28. Duggan IC, Rixon CAM, MacIsaac HJ (2006) Popularity and propagule pressure: determinants of introduction and establishment of aquarium fish. Biol Invasions 8:393–398Google Scholar
  29. Duncan RP, Williams PA (2002) Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis challenged. Nature 417:608PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Elton CS (1927) Animal ecology. Sidgwich and Jackson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. Elton CS (1958) The ecology of invasions by animals and plants. Methuen & Co., LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Forsyth DM, Duncan RP (2001) Propagule size and the relative success of exotic ungulate and bird introductions in New Zealand. Ann Nat 157:583–595Google Scholar
  33. Goldberg DE, Rajaniemi T, Gurevitch J, Stewart-Oaten A (1999) Empirical approaches to quantifying interaction intensity: competition and facilitating along productivity gradients. Ecology 80:1118–1131Google Scholar
  34. Gratz NG (2004) Critical review of the vector status of Aedes albopictus. Med Vet Entomol 18:215–227PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Grevstad FS (1999) Probability of beetle population establishment increased with release size of population. Biol Invasions 1:313–323Google Scholar
  36. Grosholz E (2002) Ecological and evolutionary consequences of coastal invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 17:22–27Google Scholar
  37. Gurevitch J, Padilla DK (2004) Are invasive species major cause of extinctions? Trends Ecol Evol 19:470–474PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Harper J (1969) The role of predation in vegetational diversity. In: Woodwell GM, Smith HH (eds) Diversity and stability in ecological systems. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y., pp 48–62Google Scholar
  39. Havel JE, Lee CE, Vander Zanden MJ (2005) Do reservoirs facilitate invasions into landscapes? Bio Science 55:518–525Google Scholar
  40. Hebert PDN, Cristescu MEA (2002) Genetic perspectives on invasions: the case of the Cladocera. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 59:1229–1234Google Scholar
  41. Heger T, Trepl L (2003) Predicting biological invasions. Biol Invasions 5:313–321Google Scholar
  42. Hewitt CL, Huxel GR (2002) Invasion success and community resistance in single and multiple species invasion models: do the models support the conclusions? Biol Invasions 4:263–271Google Scholar
  43. Hunter JM, Rey L, Chu KY, Adekolu-John EQ, Mort KE (1993) Parasitic diseases in water sources development. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  44. Juliano SA, Lounibos LP (2005) Ecology of invasive mosquitoes: effects on resident species and on human health. Ecol Lett 8:558–574PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Kaufman LS (1992) Catastrophic change in species-rich freshwater ecosystems, the lessons of Lake Victoria. BioScience 42:846–858Google Scholar
  46. Kennedy TA, Naeem S, Howe KM, Knops JMH, Reich P (2002) Biodiversity as a barrier to ecological invasion. Nature 417:636–638PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Kimmerer WJ, Gartside E, Orsi IJ (1994) Predation by an introduced clam as the likely cause of substantial declines in zooplankton in San Francisco Bay. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 113:81–93Google Scholar
  48. Knowler D, Barbier EB (2000) The economics of an invading species: a theoretical model and case study application. Economic evaluation in classical biological control. In: Perrins C, Williamson M, Dalmazzone S (eds) The economics of biological invasions. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 70–93Google Scholar
  49. Kolar CS, Lodge DM (2001) Progress in invasion biology: predicting invaders. Trends Ecol Evol 16:199–204PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Kowarik I (1995) Time lags in biological invasions with regard to the success and failure of alien species. In: Pysek P, Prach K, Rejmánek M, Wade PM (eds) Plant invasions — general aspects and special problems. SPB Academic, Amsterdam. pp 15–38Google Scholar
  51. Lennon JT, Smith VH, Dzialowski AR (2003) Invasibility of plankton food webs along a trophic state gradient. Oikos 103:191–203Google Scholar
  52. Levine JM, D’Antonio CM (1999) Elton revisited: a review of evidence linking diversity and invasibility. Oikos 87:15–26Google Scholar
  53. Lockett MM, Gomon MF (2001) Ship mediated fish invasions in Australia: two new introductions and a consideration of two previous invasions. Biol Invasions 3:187–192Google Scholar
  54. Lockwood JL, Cassey P, Blackburn T (2005) The role of propagule pressure in explaining species invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 20:223–228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Lodge DM (1993) Biological invasions: lessons for ecology. Trends Ecol Evol 8:133–137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Lohrer AM (2001) A framework for empirical research on alien species. Proc Int Conf Mar Bioinvasions 2:88–91Google Scholar
  57. Lonsdale WM (1999) Global patterns of plant invasions and the concept of invisibility. Ecology 80:1522–1536Google Scholar
  58. Loreau M (2004) Does functional redundancy exist? Oikos 104:606–611Google Scholar
  59. Lozon J, MacIsaac HJ (1997) Biological invasions: are they dependent on disturbance? Environ Rev 5:131–144Google Scholar
  60. Lyell C (1832) Principles of geology, vol 2. John Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  61. MacArthur RH (1970) Species packing and competitive equilibrium for many species. Theor Pop Biol 1:1–11Google Scholar
  62. MacIsaac HJ, Grigorovich IA, Ricciardi A (2001) Reassessment of species invasions concepts: the Great Lakes basin as an example. Biol Invasions 3:405–416Google Scholar
  63. Mack RN, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Evans H, Clout M, Bazzaz FA (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecol Appl 10:689–710Google Scholar
  64. Maki K, Galatowitch S (2004) Movement of invasive aquatic plants into Minnesota (USA) through horticultural trade. Biol Conserv 118:389–396Google Scholar
  65. Minchin D, Gollasch S (2003) Fouling and ships hulls: how changing circumstances and spawning events may result in the spread of exotic species. Biofouling 19:111–122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Mitchell CJ, Niebylski GC, Smith GC, et al (1992) Isolation of eastern equine encephalitis virus from Aedes albopictus in Florida. Science 257:526–527PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Mooney HA, Cleland EE (2001) The evolutionary impact of invasive species. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:5446–5451PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Moore GC, Francy DA, Eliason DA, Monath TA (1988) Aedes albopictus in the United States: rapid spread of potential disease vector. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 4:356–361PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Moore JL, Mouquet N, Lawton JH, Loreau M (2001) Coexistence, saturation and invasion resistance in simulated plant assemblages. Oikos 94:303–314Google Scholar
  70. Moyle PB (1996) Effects of invading species on freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. In: Sandlund OT, Schei PJ, Viken A (eds) Proceedings of the Norway/UN conference on alien species, Trondheim, 1–5 July 1996. Directorate for Nature Management/Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, pp 86–92Google Scholar
  71. Moyle PB, Light T (1996) Fish invasions in California: do abiotic factors determine success? Ecology 77:1666–1669Google Scholar
  72. Occhipinti-Ambrogi A, Galil BS (2004) A uniform terminology on bioinvasions: a chimera or an operative tool? Mar Pollut Bull 49:688–694PubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Olden JD, Poff NL, Douglas MR, Douglas ME, Fausch KD (2004) Ecological and evolutionary consequences of biotic homogenization. Trends Ecol Evol 19:18–24PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Osenberg CW, Schmitt, RJ, Holbrook SJ, Abusaba KE (1994) Detection of environmental impacts: natural variability, effect size, and power analysis. Ecol Appl 4:16–30Google Scholar
  75. Parker IM, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Goodell K, Wonham M, Kareiva PM, williamson MH, Von Holle B, Moyle PB, Byers JE, Goldwasser L (1999) Impact: toward a framework for understanding the ecological effects on invaders. Biol Invasion 1:3–19Google Scholar
  76. Perrings C, Williamson MH, Dalmazzone S (eds) (2001) The economics of biological invasions. Edward Elgar, LondonGoogle Scholar
  77. Pimentel D, Lach L, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2000) Environmental and economic costs of nonindigenous species in the United States. BioScience 50:53–65Google Scholar
  78. Pimentel D, McNair S, Janecka J, Wightman J, Simmonds C, O’Connell C, Wong E, Russel I, Zern J, Aquino T, Tsomondo T (2001) Economic and environmental threats of alien plant, animal and microbe invasions. Agric Ecosyst Environ 84:1–20Google Scholar
  79. Pimentel D, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2004) Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecol Econ 52:273–288Google Scholar
  80. Ramcharan CW, Padilla DK, Dodson SI (1992) A multivariate model for predicting population fluctuations of Dreissena polymorpha in North American Lakes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 49:150–158Google Scholar
  81. Reise K (1998) Pacific oysters invade mussel beds in the European Wadden Sea. Senckenbergiana Mar 28:167–175Google Scholar
  82. Reise K, Gollasch S, Wolff WJ (2002) Introduced marine species of the North Sea coasts. In: Leppäkoski E, Gollasch S, Olenin S (eds) Invasive aquatic species of Europe. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 260–266Google Scholar
  83. Reise K, Dankers N, Essink K (2005) Introduced species. In: Essink K, Dettlann C, Farke H, Laursen K, Luerssen G, Marencic H, Wiersinga W (eds) Wadden Sea quality status report 2004. (Wadden Sea Ecosystems 19. Trilateral monitoring and assessment group) Common Wadden Sea Secretariate, Wilhelmshaven, pp 155–161Google Scholar
  84. Rejmanek M, Richardson DM (1996) What attributes make some plant species more invasive? Ecology 77:1655–1661Google Scholar
  85. Ricciardi A (2001) Facilitate interactions among aquatic invaders: is an “invasional meltdown” occurring in the Great Lakes? Can J Fish Aquat Sci 58:2513–2525Google Scholar
  86. Ricciardi A (2004) Assessing species invasions as a cause of extinction. Trends Ecol Evol 19:619Google Scholar
  87. Ricciardi A, MacIsaac HJ (2000) Recent mass invasion of the North American Great Lakes by Ponto-Caspian species. Trends Ecol Evol 15:62–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. Ricciardi A, Rasmussen JB (1999) Extinction of North American freshwater fauna. Conserv Biol 13:1200–1230Google Scholar
  89. Richardson DM, Pyšek P, Rejmánek M, Barbour MG, Panetta FD, West CJ (2000) Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Divers Distrib 6:93–107Google Scholar
  90. Rixon CAM, Duggan IC, Bergeron NMH, Ricciardi A, MacIsaac HJ (2005) Invasion risks posed by the aquarium trade and live fish markets on the Laurentian Great Lakes. Biodiv Conserv 14:1365–1381Google Scholar
  91. Rose S (1997) Lifelines. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  92. Ruiz GM, Carlton JT, Grosholz ED, Hines AH (1997) Global invasions of marine and estuarine habitats by non-indigenous species: mechanisms, extent, and consequences. Am Zool 37:621–632Google Scholar
  93. Sax DF, Gaines SD (2003) Species diversity from global decrease to local increase. Trends Ecol Evol 18:561–566Google Scholar
  94. Shrader-Frechette K (2001) Non-indigenous species and ecological explanation. Biol Philos 16:507–519Google Scholar
  95. Shrader-Frechette K, McCoy ED (1993) Method in ecology — strategies for conservation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  96. Simberloff D (1995) Why do introduced species appear to devastate islands more than mainland areas? Pac Sci 49:87–97Google Scholar
  97. Simberloff D (2003) Confronting introduced species: a form of xenophobia? Biol Invasions 5:179–192Google Scholar
  98. Simberloff D, Gibbons L (2004) Now you see them, now you don’t! — population crashes of established introduced species. Biol Invasions 6:161–172Google Scholar
  99. Simberloff D, Holle B von (1999) Positive interactions of non-indigenous species: invasional meltdown? Biol Invasions 1:21–32Google Scholar
  100. Stachowicz JJ (1999) Species diversity and invasion resistance in a marine ecosystem. Science 286:1577–1578PubMedGoogle Scholar
  101. Strayer DL, Blair EA, Caraco NF, Cole JJ, Findlay S, Nieder WC, Pace ML (2005) Interactions between alien species and restoration of large-river ecosystems. Arch Hydrobiol Suppl 155:133–145Google Scholar
  102. Thieltges DW (2005) Impact of an invader: epizootic American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata reduces survival and growth in European mussels. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 286:13–19Google Scholar
  103. Thieltges DW, Strasser M, Reise K (2003) The American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata (L.) in the northern Wadden Sea 70 years after its introduction. Helgol Mar Res 57:27–33Google Scholar
  104. Trussel GC (1996) Phenotypic plasticity in an intertidal snail: the role of common crab predator. Evolution 50:448–454Google Scholar
  105. Underwood AJ (1994) On beyond BACI: sampling designs that might reliably detect environmental disturbances. Ecol Appl 4:3–15Google Scholar
  106. Unmack PJ, Fagan WF (2004) Convergence of differentially invaded systems toward invader-dominance: time-lagged invasions as a predictor in desert fish communities. Biol Invasions 6:233–243Google Scholar
  107. Van der Velde G, Rajagopal S, Kelleher B, Muskó IB, Bij de Vaate A (2000) Ecological impact of crustacean invaders: general considerations and examples from the Rhine River. Crustacean Iss 12:3–33Google Scholar
  108. Van der Velde G, Nagelkerken I, Rajagopal S, Bij de Vaate A (2002) Invasions by alien species in inland freshwater bodies in western Europe: the Rhine delta. In: Leppäkoski E, Gollasch S, Olenin S (eds) Invasive aquatic species of Europe. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 360–372Google Scholar
  109. Vermeij GJ (1982) Phenotypic evolution in a poorly dispersing snail after arrival of a predator. Nature 299:349–350Google Scholar
  110. Vermeij GJ (1991) When biotas meet: understanding biotic interchange. Science 253:1099–1104PubMedGoogle Scholar
  111. Vitousek PM (1990) Biological invasions and ecosystem processes: towards an integration of population biology and ecosystem studies. Oikos 57:7–13Google Scholar
  112. Wellnitz T, LeRoy Poff N (2001) Functional redundancy in heterogeneous environments: implications for conservation. Ecol Lett 4:177–179Google Scholar
  113. Wilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J, Phillips A, Losos E (1998). Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. BioScience 48:607–616Google Scholar
  114. Williamson M (1996) Biological invasions. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  115. Williamson M (1999) Invasions. Ecography 22:5–12Google Scholar
  116. Williamson M, Fitter A (1996) The varying success of invaders. Ecology 77:1661–1665Google Scholar
  117. Wilkinson DM (2004) The long history of homogenization. Trends Ecol Evol 19:282–283Google Scholar
  118. Wolff WJ, Reise K 2002. Oyster imports as a vector for the introduction of alien species into northern and western European coastal waters. In: Leppäkoski E, Gollasch S, Olenin S (eds) Invasive aquatic species of Europe. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 193–205Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard van der Velde
    • 1
  • Sanjeevi Rajagopal
    • 1
  • Mirjam Kuyper-Kollenaar
    • 1
  • Abraham Bij de Vaate
    • 2
  • David W. Thieltges
    • 3
  • Hugh J. MacIsaac
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology, Institute for Wetland and Water ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Waterfauna Hydrobiological ConsultancyLelystadThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchWadden Sea Station SyltListGermany
  4. 4.Great Lakes Institute for Environmental ResearchUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

Personalised recommendations