Novel chemicals engender myriad invasion mechanisms.
Non-native invasive species (NIS) release chemicals into the environment that are unique to the invaded communities, defined as novel chemicals. Novel chemicals impact competitors, soil microbial communities, mutualists, plant enemies, and soil nutrients differently than in the species' native range. Ecological functions of novel chemicals and differences in functions between the native and non-native ranges of NIS are of immense interest to ecologists. Novel chemicals can mediate different ecological, physiological, and evolutionary mechanisms underlying invasion hypotheses. Interactions amongst the NIS and resident species including competitors, soil microbes, and plant enemies, as well as abiotic factors in the invaded community are linked to novel chemicals. However, we poorly understand how these interactions might enhance NIS performance. New empirical data and analyses of how novel chemicals act in the invaded community will fill major gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of biological invasions. A novel chemical-invasion mechanism framework shows how novel chemicals engender invasion mechanisms beyond plant-plant or plant-microorganism interactions.