Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

CABI Book Chapter

Invasion biology: hypotheses and evidence.

Book cover for Invasion biology: hypotheses and evidence.


This book, containing 18 chapters, combines the hierarchy-of-hypotheses (HoH) approach with hypothesis networks for invasion biology. This book aims to further develop the HoH approach by inviting critical comments (Part I), apply it to 12 major invasion hypotheses (Part II) and explore how it can be expanded to a hierarchically structured hypothesis network (Chapter 7 and Part III). It is importa...

Chapter 5 (Page no: 30)

A hierarchy of hypotheses or a network of models.

Many different explanations for biological invasions have been proposed, yet there is little evidence that any of them are general. Invasion biologists are increasingly favouring a multicausal outlook rather than seeking single explanations of invasions, or seeking to identify a list of characteristics of invasive species. The time is ripe for systematization of ideas in invasion biology. The hierarchy-of-hypotheses (HoH) framework proposed by Jeschke and Heger thus comes at an opportune moment but we believe that it must be modified substantially to be useful. A principal problem is the notion that science proceeds simply by testing hypotheses, which neglects the roles of models (the source of hypotheses) and of the broader constitutive theories that give rise to models. Accepting or rejecting hypotheses seems to us a doomed approach for complex phenomena like invasions, in which multiple causes are likely to account for the differences between invading and native populations. This multicausality also means that explanations for invasions are not likely to be strictly hierarchical. Finally, the criteria proposed for retaining hypotheses in the HoH - support by a majority of empirical studies - is ad hoc and beset by severe statistical problems. We argue that examination of a network of models - rather than a hierarchy of hypotheses - is needed to move the field forward.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Invasion biology: searching for predictions and prevention, and avoiding lost causes. Author(s): Cassey, P., García-Díaz, P., Lockwood, J. L., Blackburn, T. M.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 14) The hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach. Author(s): Heger, T., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 19) Hierarchy of hypotheses or hierarchy of predictions? Clarifying key concepts in ecological research. Author(s): Farji-Brener, A. G., Amador-Vargas, S.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 23) Mapping theoretical and evidential landscapes in ecological science: Levins' virtue trade-off and the hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach. Author(s): Griesemer, J.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 38) The hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach updated - a toolbox for structuring and analysing theory, research and evidence. Author(s): Heger, T., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 49) A network of invasion hypotheses. Author(s): Enders, M., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 60) Biotic resistance and island susceptibility hypotheses. Author(s): Jeschke, J. M., Debille, S., Lortie, C. J.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 71) Disturbance hypothesis. Author(s): Nordheimer, R., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 79) Invasional meltdown hypothesis. Author(s): Braga, R. R., Gómez Aparicio, L., Heger, T., Vitule, J. R. S., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 92) Enemy release hypothesis. Author(s): Heger, T., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 103) Evolution of increased competitive ability and shifting defence hypotheses. Author(s): Müller, C.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 124) Tens rule. Author(s): Jeschke, J. M., Pyšek, P.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 133) Phenotypic plasticity hypothesis. Author(s): Torchyk, O., Jeschke, J. M.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 140) Darwin's naturalization and limiting similarity hypotheses. Author(s): Jeschke, J. M., Erhard, F.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 147) Propagule pressure hypothesis. Author(s): Jeschke, J. M., Starzer, J.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 157) Synthesis. Author(s): Jeschke, J. M., Heger, T.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 167) Conclusions and outlook. Author(s): Heger, T., Jeschke, J. M.