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Natural and Climate Change Mediated Invasions

  • Steve I. LonhartEmail author
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 204)

Species distributions are constantly in flux. Biological and physical factors continually influence the rates of range expansions and contractions, altering the distribution of species in space and through time (MacArthur 1972; Brown 1995; Brown et al. 1996). Ranges expand as individuals colonize new areas and contract as populations become locally extinct. Understanding how organisms respond to environmental changes and describing the underlying mechanisms are key research components in the fields of ecology and biogeography. Knowing where populations occur—and where they are absent—provides insights into the ecological and physical factors that regulate patterns of density and distribution (see also Chap. 2, Carlton).

Historically, biological responses were due to natural processes and often occurred over long (geological) time scales. More recently, anthropogenic (i.e. human-mediated) processes have played an increasingly important role in driving patterns of density and distribution. In this chapter I will present biological invasions in the context of geographic range shifts, explore range shifts due to natural, anthropogenic, and artificial processes, and consider how climate change is already affecting species distributions.

Keywords

Geographic Range Pacific Decadal Oscillation Biological Invasion Range Expansion Regime Shift 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monterey Bay National Marine SanctuaryNOAA and Institute of Marine Sciences, University of CaliforniaSantz CruzUSA

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