The biogeography of ant invasions and its implications for biosecurity

Andy Suarez *1

1 University of Illinois, Departments of Entomology and Animal Biology, 320 Morrill Hall, 505 Goodwin

A longstanding goal in the study of biological invasions is to predict why some species are successful invaders while others are not.  To understand this process, we need detailed information on the pool of species with the opportunity to become established. Interception data from ants detected in quarantine is a great source of information on anthropogenic modes of dispersal in ants. Moreover, interception records provide unparalleled biogeographic and taxonomic perspectives on the species pool from which invaders are derived. In my talk, I will discuss general biogeographic and taxonomic patterns of ant invasions and highlight the value of using interception data as a monitoring tool. I will also discuss the importance of research on native populations of introduced species to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of success in biological invasions.

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