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Am Nat. 2007 Jul;170(1):1-9. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

Waiting for invasions: a framework for the arrival of nonindigenous species.

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  • 1Centre for Mathematical Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The process of nonindigenous species (NIS) arrival has received limited theoretical consideration despite importance in predicting and preventing the establishment of NIS. We formulate a mechanistically based hierarchical model of NIS arrival and demonstrate simplifications leading to a marginal distribution of the number of surviving introduced individuals from parameters of survival probability and propagule pressure. The marginal distribution is extended as a stochastic process from which establishment emerges with a waiting time distribution. This provides a probability of NIS establishment within a specified period and may be useful for identifying patterns of successful invaders. However, estimates of both the propagule pressure and the individual survival probability are rarely available for NIS, making estimates of the probability of establishment difficult. Alternatively, researchers are able to measure proportional estimates of propagule pressure through models of NIS transport, such as gravity models, or of survival probability through habitat-matching indexes measuring the similarity between potentially occupied and native NIS ranges. Therefore, we formulate the relative waiting time between two locations and the probability of one location being invaded before the other.

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