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 17 (Page no: 157)


About 1100 studies focusing on 12 major invasion hypotheses have been analysed in Chapters 8-16 of this book. A network of these 12 hypotheses, in which topically similar hypotheses are connected, was presented in Chapter 7. We here combine and synthesize these previous chapters, colour coding the hypothesis network depending on the level of empirical support of each hypothesis. Overall, six of the 12 hypotheses were supported by the majority of available empirical studies, three hypotheses were questioned by the majority of studies, and empirical studies were undecided for the three remaining hypotheses. The three questioned hypotheses were: evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA), biotic resistance and the tens rule. On the basis of these findings, we propose an alternative hypothesis network in which the biotic resistance hypothesis and the tens rule are replaced by revised hypotheses that are better empirically supported, and the EICA hypothesis is abandoned because the better empirically supported shifting defence hypothesis already is a refinement of this hypothesis. The revised hypothesis network therefore consists of 11 major hypotheses. Most studies analysed in this book focused on terrestrial plants in affluent countries, whereas other taxonomic groups, habitats and other countries are underrepresented in the invasion literature. Observational studies currently dominate the field. We further found that the level of empirical support has declined over time for some but not all focal hypotheses. The hypothesis network featured here is provided online, where it is also connected to the empirical data analysed in this book. This website is envisioned as the initiation of an advanced online tool that grows beyond invasion biology and should cover different scientific disciplines such as community ecology, biodiversity science and evolutionary biology. It is meant to visualize the major concepts, ideas and hypotheses in these disciplines including their links and connections, thus featuring a large structured network that is connected to the data generated in these disciplines.

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: 5 (Page no: 30) A hierarchy of hypotheses or a network of models. Author(s): Scheiner, S. M., Fox, G. A.
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: 18 (Page no: 167) Conclusions and outlook. Author(s): Heger, T., Jeschke, J. M.