by Julie Lockwood
Edition: 1st., 2006
Biological invaders represent a principle threat to the maintenance of global biodiversity, human health, and the success of human economic enterprises. The continuing globalization of society ensures that the need to understand the process of biological invasion is becoming increasingly important. This is evident in the growth in grants being given for work on biological invasions (UC Davis has just received a massive grant to put together an interdisciplinary group to work on invasion biology) and the increasing number of courses being developed and taught. Recently there has been an exponential growth of published articles on the topic within top biological journals such as ecology, the american naturalist, nature, and science, as well as the rise of, biological invasions, a journal dedicated to the subject.Despite this, there are currently no textbooks on the subject. There is a proliferation of higher level monographs and research books which often focus on one person's research and on a particular species but these are of little value to teaching and most courses rely on primary literature and readings.The book will focus on ecological patterns and mechanisms of invasion biology and will target upper-division undergraduates and beginning graduate students. While covering many basic ecological theories, the textbook purposefully discusses these within the unique context of the multi-stage invasion process, starting with the transport and release of non-native organisms and moving through the establishment, spread, and impacts of invasive species.The text will have a decidedly applied tone, and will emphasize ways of testing the utility of ecological theories within an applied context using a variety of investigative techniques (e.g., observation, modeling, and experimentation). It will be comprehensive, but will rely on detailed case studies to convey many ecological themes. This approach narrows the focus of the text, and thus avoids common textbook pitfalls such as over-generalization and factual overload.It is clear from the reviews that the management of biological invaders is an important aspect of the subject that is not covered particularly well in the proposal. The authors felt that this may be the case and were happy to jig the contents list around a little to include this if the reviewers felt it important.