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News From the Field

Dispersal patterns key to invasive species' success


January 20, 2014

image of kudzu, or Japanese arrowroot Using synthetic biology, engineers have tested the limits of the Allee effect, where a certain number of individuals are needed for a group to survive. While intuition suggests that the more places a species spreads, the more it will thrive, scattering a population too thin by forming too many new colonies could result in the ruin of them all. The results have implications for both ecologists dealing with invasive species and medical practitioners fighting infections. Full Story

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Duke University

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