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Does governance play a role in the distribution of invasive alien species?

Does governance play a role in the distribution of invasive alien species?
Does governance play a role in the distribution of invasive alien species?
Invasive alien species (IAS) constitute a major threat to global biological diversity. In order to control their spread, a detailed understanding of the factors influencing their distribution is essential. Although international trade is regarded as a major force structuring spatial patterns of IAS, the role of other social factors remains unclear. Despite studies highlighting the importance of strong governance in slowing drivers of biodiversity loss such as logging, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, no study has yet analyzed its contribution to the issue of IAS. Using estimates of governance quality and comprehensive spatiotemporal IAS data, we performed multiple linear regressions to investigate the effect of governance quality upon the distribution of species listed under “100 of the worst” IAS in 38 Eurasian countries as defined by DASIE. Our model suggested that for countries with higher GDP, stronger governance was associated with a greater number of the worst IAS; in contrast, for the lowest GDP countries under analysis, stronger governance was associated with fewer of these IAS. We elucidate how the quality of governance within a country has implications for trade, tourism, transport, legislation, and economic development, all of which influence the spread of IAS. While our findings support the common assumption that strengthening governance benefits conservation interventions in countries of smaller economy, we find that this effect is not universal. Stronger governance alone cannot adequately address the problem of IAS, and targeted action is required in relatively high-GDP countries in order to stem the influx of IAS associated with high volumes of trade.
2045-7758
1984-1994
Evans, Thomas
54b2b203-fc24-474c-986d-22a84e71bb93
zu Ermgassen, Philine S.E.
a136c26c-f8ab-47b5-bcbe-6403189e44a8
Amano, Tatsuya
e7c187c3-c64d-4798-886e-14527301e162
Peh, Kelvin S.-H.
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc
Evans, Thomas
54b2b203-fc24-474c-986d-22a84e71bb93
zu Ermgassen, Philine S.E.
a136c26c-f8ab-47b5-bcbe-6403189e44a8
Amano, Tatsuya
e7c187c3-c64d-4798-886e-14527301e162
Peh, Kelvin S.-H.
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc

Evans, Thomas, zu Ermgassen, Philine S.E., Amano, Tatsuya and Peh, Kelvin S.-H. (2018) Does governance play a role in the distribution of invasive alien species? Ecology and Evolution, 8 (4), 1984-1994. (doi:10.1002/ece3.3744).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Invasive alien species (IAS) constitute a major threat to global biological diversity. In order to control their spread, a detailed understanding of the factors influencing their distribution is essential. Although international trade is regarded as a major force structuring spatial patterns of IAS, the role of other social factors remains unclear. Despite studies highlighting the importance of strong governance in slowing drivers of biodiversity loss such as logging, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, no study has yet analyzed its contribution to the issue of IAS. Using estimates of governance quality and comprehensive spatiotemporal IAS data, we performed multiple linear regressions to investigate the effect of governance quality upon the distribution of species listed under “100 of the worst” IAS in 38 Eurasian countries as defined by DASIE. Our model suggested that for countries with higher GDP, stronger governance was associated with a greater number of the worst IAS; in contrast, for the lowest GDP countries under analysis, stronger governance was associated with fewer of these IAS. We elucidate how the quality of governance within a country has implications for trade, tourism, transport, legislation, and economic development, all of which influence the spread of IAS. While our findings support the common assumption that strengthening governance benefits conservation interventions in countries of smaller economy, we find that this effect is not universal. Stronger governance alone cannot adequately address the problem of IAS, and targeted action is required in relatively high-GDP countries in order to stem the influx of IAS associated with high volumes of trade.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 January 2018
Published date: 1 February 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417063
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417063
ISSN: 2045-7758
PURE UUID: 03866a27-0ecf-4de3-a5b3-b4ab8d1549ce
ORCID for Kelvin S.-H. Peh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2921-1341

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Date deposited: 18 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 05 May 2018 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Thomas Evans
Author: Philine S.E. zu Ermgassen
Author: Tatsuya Amano

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