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Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2015, 4(2): 36-66
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Article

What makes the plant invasion possible? Paradigm of invasion mechanisms, theories and attributes

Prabhat Kumar Rai
Department of Environmental Science, Mizoram University, Tanhril, Aizawl 796004, India

Received 26 January 2015;Accepted 5 March 2015;Published online 1 June 2015
IAEES

Abstract
Plant invasion is the second most severe threat to biodiversity after habitat fragmentation. Invasive species are alien species whose introduction and spread threatens ecosystems, habitats or species with socio-cultural, economic and/or environmental harm, and harm to human health. Present review precisely describes the global problems of invasion in different ecosystems, continents and its multifaceted impacts. Plant invasion is now increasingly being recognized as global problem and various continents are adversely affected, although to a differential scale. Quest for the ecological mechanism lying behind the success of invasive species over native species has drawn the attention of researches worldwide particularly in context of diversity-stability relationship. Transport, colonization, establishment and landscape spread may be different steps in success of invasive plants and each and every step is checked through several ecological attributes. Further, several ecological attribute and hypothesis (enemy release, novel weapon, empty niche, evolution of increased competitive ability etc.) were proposed pertaining to success of invasive plant species. However, single theory will not be able to account for invasion success among all environments as it may vary spatially and temporally. Therefore, in order to formulate a sustainable management plan for invasive plants, it is necessary to develop a synoptic view of the dynamic processes involved in the invasion process. Moreover, invasive species can act synergistically with other elements of global change, including land-use change, climate change, increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen deposition. Henceforth, a unified framework for biological invasions that reconciles and integrates the key features of the most commonly used invasion frame-works into a single conceptual model that can be applied to all human-mediated invasions.

Keywords invasion;phenotypic;productivity;disturbance.



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