Historically, introductions of species outside their native geographic ranges have been considered to be among the greatest of all threats to native ecosystems. Prior to human advancement across the globe, unique assemblages of organisms evolved on geographically separated continents, and came to be easily distinguishable ( i.e., Wallaces Realms). As humans and technology advance, however, there is a growing homogenization of these assemblages throughout the world, often with detrimental consequences to the evolved community structure and function. Although recognized earlier, the pioneering and most influential work on the topic was Charles Eltons book, The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. Based on a series of radio interviews and short literary publications, this comprehensive work (at the time) provided a description of many species invasions (termed ecological explosions), as well as an attempt to generalize characteristics of species and ecosystems prone to successful invasion. Aimed at the public sector, this work raised concern about the future of native biota worldwide. As such, Elton was instrumental in promoting the development of theory, management principles, and inspiring research in the field. With Eltons work, the field of invasion ecology was established.
Last date updated on June, 2014