Insect Invasions

Full Title

Global socioeconomic drivers of insect invasions


Biological invasions are largely an unintended consequence of globalization. With increasing mobility, humans have accidentally transported organisms around the world, breaking the geographical boundaries that separated species ranges that persisted for millions of years of evolution. Among animals, insects are the most numerous group of species, with thousands of insect species having been established outside of their native ranges and many of these species causing immense impacts on agriculture, human health and conservation of native ecosystems. A team of ecologists and economists will explore the socioeconomic drivers of historical insect invasions around the world. By analyzing the timing of various insect species groups, the team intends to better understand the pathways by which these species have been transported and the socioeconomic forces responsible for these invasions. The team also plans to explore how biogeographic characteristics of source species pools and properties of invaded habitats interact with these external drivers. Finally, these analyses will also seek to identify how historical implementation of quarantine policies have affected these processes. Ultimately, this information should provide critical information for improving policies aimed at minimizing future invasions as globalization expands trade and travel in the future.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Andrew Liebhold, USDA Forest Service
Michael Springborn, University of California-Davis
Cleo Bertelsmeier, University of Lausanne
Eckehard Brockerhoff, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute)
Derek Kellenberg, University of Montana
Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, Resources for the Future; University of Maryland
Hanno Seebens, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
Takehiko Yamanaka, Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences
Deepa Pureswaran, Canadian Forest Service
Robert Griffin, USDA
Catherine Katsar, USDA APHIS PPQ
Carol McAusland, University of British Columbia
Helen F Nahrung, University of the Sunshine Coast
Rebecca Turner, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute)
Abby Stilwell, USDA APHIS PPQ
Paul Mwebaze, CSIRO

Related Content