Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 23396.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023396

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Comparisons between non-native species invasion and native species range expansion

Lixia Han1,2(), Yongjian Wang2,*()(), Xuan Liu1,3,*()()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049


Background & Aim: In response to the rapid global change, a growing number of species have been undergoing range shifts, which includes two main processes: one is the non-native species invasion mediated by human activities, and the other is the natural range expansion of native species. There are both similarities and differences between these two processes. It is thus critically important to distinguish their similarities and differences to develop scientific strategies for invasive species prevention and native species conservation.

Progresses: By comparing the non-native species invasion and native species range expansion, we found that both non-native species invasion and native species range expansion are increasing under global change. However, there are obvious differences in potential drivers, spatial-temporal scales, occurring rates, species traits predicting the process, and impacts on new ranges between the two processes. The non-native species invasion usually occurs over long distance with the aid of human activity, spreads rapidly after establishment, high predictive ability of species traits, and poses a serious threat to local biodiversity. By contrast, range expansion of native species usually occurs at smaller spatial scales, slower occurring rates, and lower predictive ability of species traits, thus generally has less impacts on new regions.

Prospects: As it is difficult to accurately determine the potential impacts of new-arrival species on recipient habitats, long-term monitoring and studies assessing the biological and ecological effects of these two processes on local population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem function are needed, which is important to develop schemes of non-native species mitigation and native biodiversity conservation.

Key words: biological invasion, biodiversity conservation, global change, niche dynamic, range expansion

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