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Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups

June 20, 2017

Human-mediated transport beyond biogeographic barriers has led to the introduction and establishment of alien species in new regions worldwide. However, we lack a global picture of established alien species richness for multiple taxonomic groups. Here, we assess global patterns and potential drivers of established alien species richness across eight taxonomic groups (amphibians, ants, birds, freshwater fishes, mammals, vascular plants, reptiles and spiders) for 186 islands and 423 mainland regions. Hotspots of established alien species richness are predominantly island and coastal mainland regions. Regions with greater gross domestic product per capita, human population density, and area have higher established alien richness, with strongest effects emerging for islands. Ants and reptiles, birds and mammals, and vascular plants and spiders form pairs of taxonomic groups with the highest spatial congruence in established alien richness, but drivers explaining richness differ between the taxa in each pair. Across all taxonomic groups, our results highlight the need to prioritize prevention of further alien species introductions to island and coastal mainland regions globally.

Publication Year 2017
Title Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups
DOI 10.1038/s41559-017-0186
Authors Wayne Dawson, Dietmar Moser, Mark van Kleunen, Holger Kreft, Jan Pergl, Petr Pysek, Patrick Weigelt, Marten Winter, Bernd Lenzner, Tim M. Blackburn, Ellie Dyer, Phillip Cassey, Sally-Louise Scrivens, Evan P. Economo, Benoit Guenard, Cesar Capinha, Hanno Seebens, Pablo Garcia-Diaz, Wolfgang Nentwig, Emili Garcia-Berthou, Christine Casal, Nicholas E. Mandrak, Pam Fuller, Carsten Meyer, Franz Essl
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nature Ecology & Evolution
Index ID 70188655
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center