I am interested in understanding ecological interactions
through the lens of non-native species. Species introductions
often cause noticeable disruptions to community function and
provide "natural" systems on which to test hypotheses about how
species respond to novel selective forces. For instance, in
co-evolved communities, in co-evolved systems, predators can have
population and community effects both through consumption and
intimidation of their prey. However, when either the predator
or the prey is an introduced species, recognition of either a
novel food source, or a novel predatory threat may not occur.
This can cause unpredictiable and unstable community dynamics.
However, in some invaded systems, predators do appear to recognize
novel prey, and vice versa. This raises the question of whether
this recognition occurs via plasticity or adaptation.