Shifting Paradigms in the Field of Invasion Ecology
Charles W. Martin*
Department of Biology , Coastal Carolina University,P.O. Box 261954, Conway, SC 29528-6054,USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Charles W. Martin
Department of Biology
Coastal Carolina University
P.O. Box 261954, Conway
SC 29528-6054, USA
Tel: (843) 349-2779
Received Date: December 15, 2011; Accepted Date: December 17, 2011; Published Date: December 19, 2011
Citation: Martin CW (2011) Shifting Paradigms in the Field of Invasion Ecology. J Ecosys Ecograph 1:e101. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000e101
Copyright: © 2011 Martin CW. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and and source are credited.
Historically, introductions of species outside their native geographic ranges have been considered to be among the greatest of all threats to native ecosystems [1-4]. Prior to human advancement across the globe, unique assemblages of organisms evolved on geographically separated continents, and came to be easily distinguishable (i.e., "Wallace's 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 [3,5]. Although recognized earlier , the pioneering and most influential work on the topic was Charles Elton's 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 Elton's work, the field of invasion ecology was established.