Biologists are still trying to characterize species´ capability to invade new ecosystems, in the hope that incipient invasions may be predicted and stopped. Factors which affect the capacity of a species to invade a new environment include:

  • being relieved from the pressures of predators or parasites from the species´ native country;
  • being biologically "hardy", for example having short generations and a generalist diet;
  • being able to reproduce quickly and to out-compete local species and communities in their invaded area;
  • arriving in an ecosystem already disturbed by humans or some other factor.

The consequences of such invasions, which include the alteration of habitats and the disruption of natural ecosystem processes, are often catastrophic for native species.