Global threats from invasive alien species in the 21st Century and national response capacities
Nature Publishing Group
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Nature Publishing Group via the DOI in this record.
Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalisation facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here, we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of 21st century globalisation and environmental change and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing economies and biodiversity hotspots. The dominant invasion vectors differ between high-income countries (imports, particularly of plants and pets) and low-income countries (air travel). Uniting data on the causes of introduction and establishment can improve early-warning and eradication schemes. Most countries have limited capacity to act against invasions.. In particular, we reveal a clear need for proactive invasion strategies in areas with high poverty levels, high biodiversity, and low historical levels of invasion.
We thank Ricardo Dobrovolski, Andy Nelson, Ben Halpern, Catarina Meireles, Sarah Ayton and Ryan Bird Rafalski for supplying or collating data, and Rashid Al Badwawi, Olga Dmitrieva, Manar Maraqa and Nazmi Sellami for help with translation. The analysis was conducted as part of the Climate Change & Invasive Species Working Group supported by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a Center funded by the National Science Foundation (grant #EF-0553768), the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the State of California. The work was supported by the NERC GW4+ DTP PhD ‘Unexplained limits on species distributions. What do they mean for conservation?’
Vol. 7, Art. No. 12485