Currently there is debate around whether the outcome of alien plant invasions is the extinction of native plants. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Downey and Richardson refocus the debate around a series of thresholds along an extinction trajectory where extinction is the end point. They identify and discuss a range of factors that influence our ability to state that extinction has occurred and the role of these factors in determining breaches of the other thresholds along the trajectory. Over-emphasis on the end point of the extinction trajectory ignores strong evidence for declines and breaches of other thresholds along the trajectory which are critical for understanding and managing the threat.
Paul O. Downey, David M. Richardson, 2016, 'Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework', AoB Plants, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw047