First meeting: tba
Species invasions are widespread in human-dominated landscapes, often resulting in social, ecological, and economic impacts due to altered ecosystem services, impacts on human health, and control efforts. Until recently, the study of biological invasions has focused on developing concepts, frameworks, and paradigms mainly for (semi)natural ecosystems. However, urban ecosystems differ radically in that the environmental impacts of human activity are detrimental to many species, and so maintaining native biodiversity and the ecosystem services that benefit people in cities can be difficult and expensive. Therefore, interest in species invasions within urban ecosystems is growing rapidly. This proposal advocates for the creation of a global collaboration to test hypotheses and pursue a mechanistic understanding of the patterns and mechanisms underlying non-native plant species (hereafter NNPS) invasions in urban environments and how improved knowledge of patterns and mechanisms can inform policy and management of urban ecosystems. Our main objectives are: 1) to determine where urban NNPS are in the context of global plant trait-based niche space, 2) to determine which ecological, climatic, and socio-economic drivers and mechanisms explain the functional diversity of NNPS across major cities globally, 3) to understand how relationships between urban NNPS, and the traits that define their niche space, can be linked to their ecosystem services and disservices. Together, tackling these objectives will unify urban ecology and biological invasions to provide fundamental insight into one of the main drivers of change in the Anthropocene.
In person participants: tba