Unevenly distributed biological invasion costs among origin and recipient regions

Emma J. Hudgins*, Ross N. Cuthbert, Phillip J. Haubrock, Nigel G. Taylor, Melina Kourantidou, Dat Nguyen, Alok Bang, Anna J. Turbelin, Desika Moodley, Elizabeta Briski, Syrmalenia G. Kotronaki, Franck Courchamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globalization challenges sustainability by intensifying the ecological and economic impacts of biological invasions. These impacts may be unevenly distributed worldwide, with costs disproportionately incurred by a few regions. We identify economic cost distributions of invasions among origin and recipient countries and continents, and determine socio-economic and biodiversity-related predictors of cost dynamics. Using data filtered from the InvaCost database, which inevitably includes geographic biases in cost reporting, we found that recorded costly invasive alien species have originated from almost all regions, most frequently causing impacts to Europe. In terms of cost magnitude, reported monetary costs predominantly resulted from species with origins in Asia impacting North America. High reported cost linkages (flows) between species’ native countries and their invaded countries were related to proxies of shared environments and shared trade history. This pattern can be partly attributed to the legacy of colonial expansion and trade patterns. The characterization of ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’ regions of invasive alien species and their associated cost can contribute to more sustainable economies and societies while protecting biodiversity by informing biosecurity planning and the prioritization of control efforts across invasion routes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalNature Sustainability
Early online date11 May 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 May 2023


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