Predicting the Geography of Species' Invasions via Ecological Niche Modeling

Submitted by Andy Anderson
ABSTRACT Species' invasions have long been regarded as enormously complex processes, so complex as to defy predictivity. Phases of this process, however, are emerging as highly predictable: the potential geographic course of an invasion can be anticipated with high precision based on the ecological niche characteristics of a species in its native geographic distributional area. This predictivity depends on the premise that ecological niches constitute long‐term stable constraints on the potential geographic distributions of species, for which a sizeable body of evidence is accumulating. Hence, although the entire invasion process is indeed complex, the geographic course that invasions are able to take can be anticipated with considerable confidence.