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Invaders on the move – niche and spread dynamics of introduced alien plants in the Pacific

This research is supported by the German Science Foundation DFG (2023-2026; Grant no. ZU 361.3-1 to Damaris Zurell)


The key aim of NichePac is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms driving niche dynamics and spread of alien plants. We will use the Pacific region as a model system as it hosts exceptionally high numbers of alien plants, many of which have also naturalized in other parts of the world. In the project, we will (i) quantify observed niche shifts between native ranges and invaded mainland vs. invaded island systems, (ii) assess the naturalization potential of alien plants in the Pacific region as well as the predictors explaining their establishment success, and (iii) predict spatiotemporal spread dynamics and spatiotemporal hotspots of potential plant invasions. Overall, this will allow an improved predictive capacity of potential future naturalization and spread of alien species, contributing to the scientific basis of conservation and management of invasive species.


  • Juliano Sarmento Cabral (Univ. Birmingham, UK)
  • Dylan Craven (Universidad Mayor, Chile)
  • Laure Gallien (Univ. Grenoble Alpes, France)
  • Tiffany Knight (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv, Germany)
  • Hanno Seebens (Senckenberg BIK-F, Germany)
  • Patrick Weigelt (Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany)