Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A standardized response to biological invasions

January 1, 2009

The Policy Forum “Will threat of biological invasions unite the European Union?” (P. E. Hulme et al., 3 April, p. 40) emphasized the major regulatory and political challenges faced by European institutions. However, they are not alone in facing the tremendous threat of biological invasions; this is a global challenge with infrastructure needs described nearly a decade ago (1). Hulme et al. emphasized that the perspective of Europe as the source, rather than recipient, of invasive alien species (IAS) needs revision. Other continents and countries face similar challenges. For example, as major forces in the world economy, China and the United States import and export substantial quantities of goods, which makes these two nations leading sources and recipients of IAS. However, inadequate funding, inappropriate methodology, and inconsistent data assembly have precluded generation of IAS inventories and have rendered conclusions about the percentage of IAS in the total flora and fauna of a region ambiguous. The number of information networks devoted to IAS is increasing globally, which may help to integrate IAS research at all scales, particularly if data sharing and compatibility can be improved. However, standardized information and technological platforms to share such information are lacking.

Related Content