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      A multiregional assessment of transnational pathways of introduction

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Information on the pathways by which alien taxa are introduced to new regions is vital for prioritising policy and management responses to invasions. However, available datasets are often compiled using disparate methods, making comparison and collation of pathway data difficult. Using a standardised framework for recording and categorising pathway data can help to rectify this problem and provide the information necessary to develop indicators for reporting on alien introductions. We combine the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Pathways Categorisation Scheme (CPC) with data compiled by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) to report on multiregional trends on alien introduction pathways over the past 200+ years. We found a significant increase in the documented number of multiregional alien introduction events across all pathways of the CPC’s three hierarchical levels. The ‘escape’ pathway is the most common documented pathway used by alien taxa. Transport stowaways via shipping-related pathways are a rapidly increasing contribution to alien introductions. Most alien introduction events were of unknown pathway origin, highlighting the challenge of information gaps in pathway data and reiterating the need for standardised information-gathering practices. Combining the CPC framework with alien introduction pathways data will standardise pathway information and facilitate the development of global indicators of trends in alien introductions and the pathways they use. These indicators have the potential to inform policy and management strategies for preventing future biological invasions and can be downscaled to national and regional levels that are applicable across taxa and ecosystems.

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          Most cited references 71

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          Ecology. Aquaculture--a gateway for exotic species.

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            Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines.

            In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.
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              No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide

              Although research on human-mediated exchanges of species has substantially intensified during the last centuries, we know surprisingly little about temporal dynamics of alien species accumulations across regions and taxa. Using a novel database of 45,813 first records of 16,926 established alien species, we show that the annual rate of first records worldwide has increased during the last 200 years, with 37% of all first records reported most recently (1970–2014). Inter-continental and inter-taxonomic variation can be largely attributed to the diaspora of European settlers in the nineteenth century and to the acceleration in trade in the twentieth century. For all taxonomic groups, the increase in numbers of alien species does not show any sign of saturation and most taxa even show increases in the rate of first records over time. This highlights that past efforts to mitigate invasions have not been effective enough to keep up with increasing globalization.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                January 20 2021
                January 20 2021
                : 64
                : 43-67
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.64.60642
                © 2021

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