Research Topic

Invaders on the Horizon! Scanning the Future of Invasion Science and Management

About this Research Topic

In the current era of dynamic human-environment changes, the phenomenon of biological invasions has become a key fingerprint of the Anthropocene. In response to these rapid changes, several horizon scans of invasion science have been recently proposed for fostering progress and adjusting the course of ...

In the current era of dynamic human-environment changes, the phenomenon of biological invasions has become a key fingerprint of the Anthropocene. In response to these rapid changes, several horizon scans of invasion science have been recently proposed for fostering progress and adjusting the course of invasion research and management. The focus of these scans has ranged from discrete taxonomic groups and specific contexts to global scale taxa, environments, and geographical regions, following consultation processes, case studies and literature analyses. With these efforts, a consensus seems to emerge around the relevance of particular technological, ecological and social issues for advancing invasion science in the upcoming decades.

These issues relate to the pursuit of:

Technological Advances

● Managing invasions through genetic tools, including metagenomic data, e-DNA for surveillance and monitoring,
gene drive and genome editing for control;
● Applying remote sensing tools for risk assessment and modeling, namely based on UAV/UAS devices, satellites,
LiDAR, and phenological and acoustic monitoring systems;
● Using robots and high-tech tools for the control of invasive species (e.g. biomimetic robotics).

Ecological Knowledge

● The role of microbiota on invasion processes, including the feedbacks between invasions and microbes, the
appearance of microbe invasions, and interactions with soil biota;
● Rapid evolution (and adaptation) of invasiveness, including the role of genetics and epigenetics, and responses to
climate change and novel ecosystems;
● Making predictive ecology more relevant to policymakers and practitioners by supporting better identification of
potential invasive species (and traits), accounting for the role of historic macroecology and improving analytical
methods for real-life situations.

Social and Political Perspectives

● Regulations, policy and implementation that alter dispersal opportunities, such as those from emerging markets,
trade and globalization agreements, and geopolitical conflicts;
● Public participation in early detection, prevention and management, including from citizen science approaches
and social media networks and platforms;
● Awareness, values and attitudes towards alien species, namely dealing with sociocultural resistance to
management, denialism, conflicts of interest and impact valuation.

This Research Topic intends to encourage the development of the emerging issues presented above through profiling different perspectives, debates and case studies that will contribute to advancing the way biological invasions can be understood, studied and managed in both research and political arenas. We invite different types of contributions, ranging from opinions and commentaries to original research and reviews. Submissions that consider different social-ecological contexts, cover a range of invasive species, and provide an interdisciplinary focus are particularly welcome.


Keywords: anthropocene, emerging issues, horizon scan, multidisciplinary, technology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

20 November 2020 Manuscript
14 December 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 November 2020 Manuscript
14 December 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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