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Quantifying the interactions and impacts of invasive species in the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, Brazil

Abstract

Biological invasion occurs when a species introduced in a novel habitat forms a persistent population that spreads through an uncontrolled proliferation. It is considered the second leading cause of loss of biological diversity. Although biological invasions is a global phenomenon, few studies were carried in the Neotropics. Data from the Neotropics is scarce for all processes related to invasion: initial diagnosis, characterization of invasive species, communities and habitats invaded, as well as the predicted impacts through models, and the establishment of management actions. Biological invasions can alter community, landscape and ecosystem structure and functionality such as diversity, productivity, food webs including nutrient cycling and energy flow. Species alteration may also reduce or eliminate an ecosystem's ability to provide ecological goods and services. (AU)

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