Invasive aliens and sampling bias

Authors

  • Andrew M. Simons

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6, Canada
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* Correspondence: E-mail: asimons@ccs.carleton.ca

Abstract

Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain the observation of increased vigour of invasive alien plants in their nonindigenous ranges: phenotypic plasticity, and the post-invasion evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA). Here I specify how a general pattern of increased vigour may result from sampling bias. Ignoring failed invasions can account for the illusion of increased vigour over a broad range of assumptions. Plasticity and EICA need not be viewed as explanations for a general pattern of increased vigour even if they are the mechanisms underlying every occurrence.

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