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      Establishing surveillance areas for tackling the invasion of Vespa velutina in outbreaks and over the border of its expanding range

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The yellow-legged hornet Vespavelutina is an invasive alien species in many areas of the world. In Europe, it is considered a species of Union concern and national authorities have to establish surveillance plans, early warning and rapid response systems or control plans. These strategies customarily require the assessment of the areas that could be colonised beyond outbreaks or expanding ranges, so as to establish efficient containment protocols. The hornet is spreading through a mix of natural diffusion and human-mediated transportation. Despite the latter dispersion mode is hardly predictable, natural diffusion could be modelled from nest data of consecutive years. The aim of this work is to develop a procedure to predict the spread of the yellow-legged hornet in the short term in order to increase the efficiency of control plans to restrain the diffusion of this species. We used data on the mean distances of colonial nests between years to evaluate the probability of yellow-legged hornet dispersal around the areas where the species is present. The distribution of nests in Italy was mainly explained by elevation (95% of nests located within 521 m a.s.l.) and distance from source sites (previous years’ colonies; 95% within 1.4–6.2 km). The diffusion models developed with these two variables forecast, with good accuracy, the spread of the species in the short term: 98–100% of nests were found within the predicted area of expansion. A similar approach can be applied in areas invaded by the yellow-legged hornet, in particular beyond new outbreaks and over the border of its expanding range, to implement strategies for its containment. The spatial application of the models allows the establishment of buffer areas where monitoring and control efforts can be allocated on the basis of the likelihood of the species spreading at progressively greater distances.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Different climatic envelopes among invasive populations may lead to underestimations of current and future biological invasions

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            Streamlining 'search and destroy': cost-effective surveillance for invasive species management.

            Invasive species surveillance has typically been targeted to where the species is most likely to occur. However, spatially varying environmental characteristics and land uses may affect more than just the probability of occurrence. Biodiversity or economic value, and the ease of detection and control are also likely to vary. We incorporate these factors into a detection and treatment model of a low-density invader to determine the surveillance strategy that minimizes expected management costs. Sites with a high probability of invader occurrence and great benefits associated with detection warrant intensive surveillance; however, the optimum investment is a nonlinear function of these factors. Environments where the invader is relatively easy to detect are prioritized for surveillance, although only a moderate investment is necessary to ensure a high probability of detection. Intensive surveillance effort may be allocated to other sites if the probability of occurrence, budget and/or expected benefits is sufficiently high.
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              Ecological effects and management of invasive alien Vespidae

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                May 14 2019
                May 14 2019
                : 46
                : 51-69
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.46.33099
                © 2019

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