Petr Pyšek: Macroecology of plant invasions: global synthesis across habitats (SynHab)

The goal of EXPRO projects, awarded by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), is to create favourable circumstances for the development of excellent research, to set the standards of excellent science, to help to overcome barriers limiting the success rate of ERC project proposals, and to provide an opportunity to obtain valuable knowledge and experience for those interested in submitting highly prestigious European grant projects.

Petr Pyšek has been studying plant invasions for more than 20 years and in this project, he focuses on global synthesis.

Studies on determinants of regional variation in numbers of naturalized plants largely overlook one key factor, which is the type of habitat that is invaded. This is because at global scale there is, despite intensive research, still lack of rigorous data on habitat affinities of alien species, both in their native and invaded ranges. SynHab will collect such data and provide so far the most robust generalizations of patterns and macroecological determinants of invasions worldwide, by employing habitat affinities together with a wide range of interacting factors – environmental, climatic, and socioeconomic, as well as biologically relevant species traits, residence times, pathways and propagule pressure. To yield a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms that are at play at a finer scale, this big picture will be supplemented by zooming in on plant invasions in different types of natural habitats in protected areas. This will inform us about filtering from regional pools of alien plants into habitats with different position along the disturbance and propagule pressure continuum.