Economic costs of biological invasions in Asia

Chunlong Liu, Christophe Diagne, Elena Angulo, Achyut Kumar Banerjee, Yifeng Chen, Ross N. Cuthbert, Phillip J. Haubrock, Natalia Kirichenko, Zarah Pattison, Yuya Watari, Wen Xiong, Franck Courchamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Invasive species have caused severe impacts on biodiversity and human society. Although the estimation of environmental impacts caused by invasive species has increased in recent years, economic losses associated with biological invasions are only sporadically estimated in space and time. In this study, we synthesized the losses incurred by invasions in Asia, based on the most comprehensive database of economic costs of invasive species worldwide, including 560 cost records for 88 invasive species in 22 countries. We also assessed the differences in economic costs across taxonomic groups, geographical regions and impacted sectors, and further identified the major gaps of current knowledge in Asia. Reported economic costs of biological invasions were estimated between 1965 and 2017, and reached a total of US$ 432.6 billion (2017 value), with dramatic increases in 2000—2002 and in 2004. The highest costs were recorded for terrestrial ectotherms, for species estimated in South Asia, and for species estimated at the country level, and were related to more than one impacted sector. Two taxonomic groups with the highest reported costs were insects and mammals, and two countries with the highest costs were India and China. Non-English data covered all of 12 taxonomic groups, whereas English data only covered six groups, highlighting the importance of considering data from non-English sources to have a more comprehensive estimation of economic costs associated with biological invasions. However, we found that the estimation of economic costs was lacking for most Asian countries and for more than 96% of introduced species in Asia. Further, the estimation is heavily biased towards insects and mammals and is very limited concerning expenditures on invasion management. To optimize the allocation of limited resources, there is an important need to better and more widely study the economic costs of invasive alien species. In this way, improved cost reporting and more collaborations between scientists and stakeholders are needed across Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-78
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic damages
  • InvaCost
  • invasive alien species
  • monetary losses
  • non-English data
  • non-native species


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