December 31,2016 | Vol. 4
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Biological Invasion accelerate species displacement

Invasive alien species that have established and become so abundant in new geographic areas as to cause harm are one of the most pressing global environmental concerns. As invasive alien species spread, they often displace indigenous species or establish alien species, thus altering ecological communities and adversely affecting agricultural pest management, human well-being, and biodiversity. Recently, Dr Yulin Gao, a researcher at State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), in cooperation with a colleague from Oregon State University have published a review paper in the Annual Review of Entomology for their joint research on new understanding of species displacement.

A global classic case of species displacement: Western flower thrips
The research results briefly described the recent developments in their understanding of (1) the mechanisms by which species interact and how displacements occur; (2) how outcomes of these interspecific interactions are affected by the context of where and when they occur; and (3) the impacts of species displacements. Through this review, the authors indicated that displacements typically result from interactions of multiple mechanisms, not all of which involve direct competition. Various biotic and abiotic factors mediate these mechanisms, so variable outcomes occur when the same species interact in different environments. A better understanding of the mechanisms and mediating factors underlying displacements will be invaluable in predicting where displacements will occur, mitigating their occurrence, and managing their negative consequences.

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