Will climate change promote future invasions?



Biological invasion is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Using ensemble forecasts from species distribution models to project future suitable areas of the 100 of the world's worst invasive species defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, we show that both climate and land use changes will likely cause drastic species range shifts. Looking at potential spatial aggregation of invasive species, we identify three future hotspots of invasion in Europe, northeastern North America, and Oceania. We also emphasize that some regions could lose a significant number of invasive alien species, creating opportunities for ecosystem restoration. From the list of 100, scenarios of potential range distributions show a consistent shrinking for invasive amphibians and birds, while for aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates distributions are projected to substantially increase in most cases. Given the harmful impacts these invasive species currently have on ecosystems, these species will likely dramatically influence the future of biodiversity.