The progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science


Interdisciplinarity is needed to gain knowledge of the ecology of invasive species and invaded ecosystems, and of the human dimensions of biological invasions. We combine a quantitative literature review with a qualitative historical narrative to document the progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science since 1950. Our review shows that 92.4% of interdisciplinary publications (out of 9192) focus on ecological questions, 4.4% on social ones, and 3.2% on social–ecological ones. The emergence of invasion science out of ecology might explain why interdisciplinarity has remained mostly within the natural sciences. Nevertheless, invasion science is attracting social–ecological collaborations to understand ecological challenges, and to develop novel approaches to address new ideas, concepts, and invasion-related questions between scholars and stakeholders. We discuss ways to reframe invasion science as a field centred on interlinked social–ecological dynamics to bring science, governance and society together in a common effort to deal with invasions.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Ana S. Vaz
Christoph Kueffer
Christian A. Kull
David M. Richardson
Stefan Schindler
A. Jesús Muñoz-Pajares
Joana R. Vicente
João Martins
Cang Hui, Stellenbosch University
Ingolf Kühn, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
João P. Honrado

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