One of few meadows in the Great Basin Desert
Sahara mustard invasion in the Sonoran Desert
Cheatgrass invasion post-fire
Our new paper compares the spatial distributions of invasive vs. native plants across the US. Although we commonly think of invaders as starting at one unlucky spot and moving outward, our research found that invasive plants are incredibly widespread - even the relatively rare ones. In contrast, native plants do not receive the advantage of widespread human introduction. We're actively assisting the migration of invasives and leaving behind the natives.
A new paper led by Renee Vieira (MSc 2013) compares landscape correlates to invasion in Western Mass based on two different datasets - IPANE and Forest Stewardship Plans. We found that the two spatial datasets give very different impressions of how disturbance vs. propagule pressure influence invasion. Predictors of invasion based on a single landscape context may provide limited inference of invasion risk.
Spatial ecology uses geographic patterns of species across landscapes and regions to uncover patterns that help us understand what influences distribution. We focus primarily on non-native invasive plants, with a goal of better understanding the biogeography of invasion risk. Our research investigates how global change interacts with species invasion to affect native ecosystems. The above image highlights potential shifts in kudzu distribution with temperature warming. (source)