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Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 82 (4): 497-505, 2009
Quantitative analysis of the research in biological invasions in Chile: Trends and challenges
During the last decades, the study of biological invasions has reached an unforeseeable peak both in the theoretical and applied dimensions. In this article, we assess the trends in research on biological invasions in Chile between the years 1991 and 2008. The analysis was performed for animals and plants, according to the focus of the study, and the methods used in the article. The time series of published articles on biological invasions in Chile is significantly related to the number of publications on biological invasions world-wide. We found that most studies in Chile have focused on the invasion of introduced species, followed by the naturalization of species and finally, species introduction. The study of invasion patterns has more often been evaluated in introduced plants than animals, while the study of the impact of introduced species shows the opposite trend. Most studies of introduced plants and animals have used a sampling approach, followed by experimental studies. We conclude that there are still some important challenges for researchers focused on biological invasions, including: 1) along with describing patterns, the studies should also aim to understand the processes behind these patterns, 2) more experimental work should be incorporated, specially assessing invasion impacts, 3) a greater integration should exist between conservation and ecosystem restoration, and 4) local studies should consider current conceptual frameworks.
Key words:
alien, exotics, invasion ecology, non-native, scientific productivity

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