The influence of human activities on biodiversity is extensive and worldwide. In fact, there may not be any untouched region as the impacts of anthropogenic climate change and occurrences of biological invasions are ubiquitous across biomes.
It’s an old idea that plants that are specialised for particular pollinators should become invasive less often than those which can be pollinated by a broad range of animal species. Most plant species will not encounter their original pollinators when introduced elsewhere so to reproduce in their novel range they will have to recruit novel pollinators.
Invasive alien trees pose a very significant threat indeed to freshwater invertebrates, especially endemic species, in the biodiversity hotspot of the Cape Floristic Region. Among these invertebrates are dragonflies, which are highly sensitive to changes in habitat, especially the adverse effects of alien invasive trees.
C·I·B core team member Prof. Melodie McGeoch and C·I·B post-doc Dr Dian Spear were co-authors of a recent report in Science that has received substantial global press coverage. The study synthesises the outcomes of global indicators of biodiversity threat to establish whether or not nations have honoured their commitment to reducing biodiversity loss.
Getting a handle on biological invasions around the world — the species, the impacts and the responses
Invasive alien species are generally accepted as being one of the top three threats to biodiversity worldwide, but until now there has been no metric for assessing the magnitude problem globally, its impact and our responses to it.