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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GLOBAL CHANGE IN SEMI-ARID RANGELANDS: ECOSYSTEM RESPONSES AND MANAGEMENT ADAPTATIONS

Location: Rangeland Resources Research

Title: Global change, global trade, and the next wave of plant invasions

Authors
item Bradley, Bethany -
item Blumenthal, Dana
item Early, Regan -
item Grosholz, Ted -
item Lawler, Joshua -
item Miller, Luke -
item Sorte, Cascade -
item D'Antonio, Carla -
item Diez, Jeffrey -
item Dukes, Jeffrey -

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2011
Publication Date: December 2, 2011
Citation: Bradley, B.A., Blumenthal, D.M., Early, R., Grosholz, T.D., Lawler, J., Miller, L.P., Sorte, C., D'Antonio, C.M., Diez, J.D., Dukes, J.S. 2011. Global change, global trade, and the next wave of plant invasions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 10:20-28.

Interpretive Summary: Many invasive plants in the United States have become problematic for native and managed ecosystems, but a new generation of invaders may be at our doorstep. We show that novel species introductions from emerging horticulture trade partners are likely to rapidly increase invasion risk. At the same time, climate change and water restrictions are increasing demand for new types of species adapted to warm and dry environments. This confluence of forces will likely expose the U.S. to a range of new invasive species, including many from tropical and semi-arid Africa as well as the Middle East.

Technical Abstract: Many non-native, invasive plants in the United States have become problematic for native and managed ecosystems, but a new generation of invaders may be at our doorstep. We review trends in the horticultural trade and invasion patterns of previously introduced species and show that novel species introductions from emerging horticulture trade partners are likely to rapidly increase invasion risk. At the same time, climate change and water restrictions are increasing demand for new types of species adapted to warm and dry environments. This confluence of forces will likely expose the U.S. to a range of new invasive species, including many from tropical and semi-arid Africa as well as the Middle East. Risk assessment strategies have proven successful elsewhere at identifying and preventing invasions, although some modifications are needed to address emerging threats. Now is the time to implement horticulture import screening measures to prevent this new wave of plant invaders.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014