Glob. Change Biol. (2013)


Biological invasion poses a serious threat to biodiversity. An important concern is how climatic changes might alter invasion dynamics and the extent to which this could enhance, or attenuate, the threat from invasive species. Céline Bellard from the Université Paris-Sud, France, and co-workers investigated this question using species distribution models to project changes in suitable areas for the world's 100 worst invasive species — as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Their results indicate that Europe, northeastern North America and Oceania are potential hotspots of invasion under climate and land-use change, with aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate distributions projected to substantially increase in most cases. However the news is not all bad; the authors also find a consistent shrinkage of suitable space for invasive species from certain groups, including amphibians and birds. Given the harmful impacts that invasive species have on ecosystems now, such changes are likely to have a significant influence on biodiversity in the future. AB