Economic costs of invasive alien species across Europe

Phillip J. Haubrock, Anna J. Turbelin, Ross N. Cuthbert, Ana Novoa, Nigel G. Taylor, Elena Angulo, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Thomas W. Bodey, César Capinha, Christophe Diagne, Franz Essl, Marina Golivets, Natalia Kirichenko, Melina Kourantidou, Boris Leroy, David Renault, Laura Verbrugge, Franck Courchamp

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123 Citations (Scopus)
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Biological invasions continue to threaten the stability of ecosystems and societies that are dependent on their services. Whilst the ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) have been widely reported in recent decades, there remains a paucity of information concerning their economic impacts. Europe has strong trade and transport links with the rest of the world, facilitating hundreds of IAS incursions, and largely centralised decision-making frameworks. The present study is the first comprehensive and detailed effort that quantifies the costs of IAS collectively across European countries and examines temporal trends in these data. In addition, the distributions of costs across countries, socioeconomic sectors and taxonomic groups are examined, as are socio-economic correlates of management and damage costs. Total costs of IAS in Europe summed to US$140.20 billion (or €116.61 billion) between 1960 and 2020, with the majority (60%) being damage-related and impacting multiple sectors. Costs were also geographically widespread but dominated by impacts in large western and central European countries, i.e. the UK, Spain, France, and Germany. Human population size, land area, GDP, and tourism were significant predictors of invasion costs, with management costs additionally predicted by numbers of introduced species, research effort and trade. Temporally, invasion costs have increased exponentially through time, with up to US$23.58 billion (€19.64 billion) in 2013, and US$139.56 billion (€116.24 billion) in impacts extrapolated in 2020. Importantly, although these costs are substantial, there remain knowledge gaps on several geographic and taxonomic scales, indicating that these costs are severely underestimated. We, thus, urge increased and improved cost reporting for economic impacts of IAS and coordinated international action to prevent further spread and mitigate impacts of IAS populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-190
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021


  • Bodiversity
  • European Union
  • InvaCost
  • monetary impacts
  • non-native biota
  • socio-economic correlates
  • socioeconomic sectors


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