The invasive niche, a multidisciplinary concept illustrated by gorse (Ulex europaeus).
This study analyzes the natural and social factors influencing the emergence and publicization of the invasive status of a fast-growing bush, gorse (Ulex europaeus), by comparison between countries on a global scale. We used documents collected on the web in a standardized way. The results show that in all the countries studied, there are several public statuses attributed to gorse. The invasive status is the one that is most shared. The other most frequently encountered status are those of noxious weed, and those of which are economically useful. The invasive status is publicized in nearly all countries, including those where gorse is almost absent. We quantified the publicization of the invasive gorse status of gorse by an indicator with 5 levels, and then performed a multivariate analysis that combines natural and social explanatory variables. The results lead us to propose the concept of invasive niche, which is the set of natural and social parameters that allow a species to be considered invasive in a given socio-ecosystem.