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Global survey on alien invasive species impacts and management in mountains

Updated: Feb 14

--- Upcoming study ---


Invasive species are a major driver of change in global biodiversity and ecosystems. However, knowledge on the impact of invasive species’ on biodiversity, nature’s contributions to people, and human well-being in mountains is currently lacking. Are there differences in perceived impacts on ecosystem functions and nature’s contributions to people between IPBES regions and stakeholder groups? And how is this different between plants, animals, and microorganisms?


We conducted a global survey across IPBES regions and a broad range of stakeholders, including managers, land-owners, farmers, policy makers, conservation, and scientists. Over 600 respondents from all IPBES regions answered the MIREN survey on alien invasive species impacts in mountain regions. Our upcoming paper (stay tuned for the preprint, which will be linked here once online) “Global survey on alien invasive species impacts and management in mountains” provides perspectives on the impacts of invasive species on water, soil, biodiversity, pollination and disturbance processes along with their role in resource provisioning, human safety, human health, recreation and culture across regions and stakeholder groups.


Across all stakeholder groups and regions, biodiversity was generally seen to be overwhelmingly negatively affected by invasive alien species, whereas ecosystem services such as resource provisioning were also positively impacted. Regional differences in perception of impacts are larger than those between stakeholder groups. Respondents from the Americas, and government officials rated impacts as most negative, while respondents from Asia and the Pacific tended to be more positive, particularly for ecosystem services.


Perceived impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity by IPBES region and organism group. Organism groups on the left, as identified as most prominent in the system by respondents, are connected with their perceived impacts: dark red (-5) symbolizes massive negative impacts, blue (+5) massive positive impacts.


Perceived impacts of invasive alien species on resource provisioning differ by IPBES region and organism groups. Here again, organism groups on the left are connected with their perceived impact on resource provisioning on the right. Dark red (-5) symbolizes massive negative impacts, blue (+5) massive positive impacts.

Overall, there is concordance between invasive alien species’ impacts on ecosystem functions and services, suggesting that management to safeguard biodiversity will benefit people, and vice versa. Additionally, we assessed what sources of information guide invasive species management, who is involved, and how such activities are funded. Local management plans are the main source of guidance for management across regions. We hope the insights from our survey will serve to inform policy and foster collaborative action towards sustainable management practices for invasive species in mountain regions.


The team:


Alicia Donnellan Barraclough*, Sonya Geange*, Ronja E. M. Wedegärtner*, Davnah Urbach, Lohengrin Cavieres, Chelsea Chisholm, Jonas Lembrechts, Keith McDougall, Aníbal Pauchard, Cristóbal Pizaro, Irfran Rashid, Tim Seipel, Mark Snethlage, Vigdis Vandvik


* denotes co-lead authorship

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