Om centret – Københavns Universitet

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Om centret

About Centre for Invasive Species

Climate change is a major threat to sustainable use of natural resources, and biological invasions, including new species with direct impact on natural habitats as well as urban ecosystems and plant production systems, represent a major component of global change. The way these organisms (together with existing pests and beneficials) will respond to a changing climate is of fundamental importance to urban ecosystems, agricultural production and land use. The scientific fields most relevant for understanding, predicting and managing these processes include evolutionary biology, global change ecology, macroecology, invasion ecology, weed and pest science, and agroecology.

Main objective

The main objective of the Centre for Invasive Species is therefore to merge efforts and facilities within the new University of Copenhagen, where strong expertise is available in these six complementary disciplines. The research network will catalyze a better understanding of the evolution and ecology of invasive organisms and pests, which will improve management of climate change impacts in natural ecosystems and plant production systems. This will be achieved by promoting interdisciplinary collaborations on invasive taxa over large geographic scales and across changing environments. Integration is needed between theoretical, experimental and field ecology to link evolutionary patterns to environmental change, and to get the benefit of large quantitative syntheses. In addition to understanding invasion ecology and pest biology per se, a principal goal of the network is to advance our understanding of basic research questions in ecology and evolution, to integrate practical activities targeting invasive species in Denmark, and to increase the public awareness of this major ecological problem.

Scientific objective

The scientific objective of the Centre for Invasive Species is to combine and to integrate the different research areas involved in the field of evolutionary plant and arthropod invasion ecology, and to merge efforts and expertise within the new University of Copenhagen to reach a critical mass in this area. Aims and expected achievements of the programme are to promote integrated thematic networks between complementary research teams, working on aspects of evolutionary biology, pest science and invasion ecology, to promote their focus on climate change. The applied objective of the Centre is to unify and combine the scattered research and management activities on invasive species in Denmark

Main activities

The main activities of the Centre for Invasive Species will be formation of a national database and homepage, developing co-operations with leading international research groups, a national workshop in august 2008, and an international workshop combined with an IARU PhD summer school in august 2009, coordinated with the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Understanding biological invasions and mitigating the effects of climate change, are central to several priority fields of the international conventions to which Denmark is committed. The Centre for Invasive Species would help to enhance our predictive knowledge of invasive species and pests, and to improve the comprehension and management of climate change.