Ross N Cuthbert

Ross N Cuthbert
Queen's University Belfast | QUB · School of Biological Sciences

BSc (Hons) MSc PhD

About

201
Publications
53,851
Reads
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1,706
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in the effects of global change on ecosystems and economies. In particular, I examine the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of invasive species and quantify how environmental change mediates their effects. Other avenues of my research concern vector ecology, biosecurity, aquatic sciences, and plastics pollution.
Additional affiliations
March 2021 - present
Marine Biology
Position
  • Editor
January 2020 - present
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2020 - February 2022
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Visiting Scholar
Education
September 2016 - December 2019
Queen's University Belfast
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences
September 2014 - September 2016
Queen's University Belfast
Field of study
  • Ecological Management and Conservation Biology
September 2011 - July 2014
Queen's University Belfast
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Full-text available
Predicting future changes in interspecific interactions continues to be a challenge for environmental managers. This uncertainty is exacerbated by increasing biological invasions and the likelihood that the strength of trophic interactions among native species will change. Abiotic variables influence predator resource utilisation and abundance as w...
Article
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Wetlands are amongst the world’s most important ecosystems, providing direct and indirect benefits to local communities. However, wetlands worldwide continue to be degraded due to unsustainable use and improper resource management. In this paper, we assess the perceptions, importance, management and utilisation of wetlands among local community mem...
Article
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Context: Collisions between birds and aircraft (bird strikes) are a serious threat to aviation safety and these negative human–wildlife interactions are predicted to increase. As the wider spatial use of landscapes by birds can affect aviation safety (e.g. location of foraging and roosting sites), there is a clear need to implement effective manage...
Article
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Abstract Biological invasions by amphibian and reptile species (i.e. herpetofauna) are numerous and widespread, having caused severe impacts on ecosystems, the economy and human health. However, there remains no synthesised assessment of the economic costs of these invasions. Therefore, using the most comprehensive database on the economic costs of...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands physical and biological processes are fundamental to the distribution and structuring of organic matter in sediments. This study investigated spatial and temporal changes in organic matter sources in sediments within the Nylsvley Wetland, South Africa across two seasons, five sites and three wetland zones and identified pertinent contribut...
Article
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Anthropogenic activities have increasingly subjected freshwater ecosystems globally to various pressures. Increasing land use activities have been highly linked to deteriorating freshwater ecosystems and dwindling biodiversity. For sound management and conservation policies to be implemented, relations between land use, environmental, and biotic co...
Cover Page
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Article
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Biological invasions are increasing worldwide , damaging ecosystems and socioeconomic sectors. Two decades ago, the ''100 of the world's worst'' invasive alien species list was established by the IUCN to improve communications , identifying particularly damaging 'flagship' invaders globally (hereafter, worst). Whilst this list has bolstered invader...
Article
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The rate of biological invasions is growing unprecedentedly, threatening ecological and socioeconomic systems worldwide. Quantitative understandings of invasion temporal trajectories are essential to discern current and future economic impacts of invaders, and then to inform future management strategies. Here, we examine the temporal trends of cumu...
Article
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In addition to being a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, biological invasions also have profound impacts on economies and human wellbeing. However, the threats posed by invasive species often do not receive adequate attention and lack targeted management. In part, this may result from different or even ambivalent perceptions o...
Article
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Biological invasions are one of the main threats to biodiversity within protected areas (PAs) worldwide. Meanwhile, the resilience of PAs to invasions remains largely unknown. Consequently, providing a better understanding of how they are impacted by invasions is critical for informing policy responses and optimally allocating resources to preventi...
Article
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Ecological and socioeconomic impacts from biological invasions are rapidly escalating worldwide. While effective management underpins impact mitigation, such actions are often delayed, insufficient or entirely absent. Presently, management delays emanate from a lack of monetary rationale to invest at early invasion stages, which precludes effective...
Article
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Biological invasions are one of the top drivers of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. An underestimated consequence of invasions is the enormity of their economic impacts. Knowledge gaps regarding economic costs produced by invasive alien species (IAS) are pervasive, particularly for emerging economies such as India—the fastest growing economy worldw...
Article
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1. Biological invasions, especially invasive alien aquatic plants, are a major and growing ecological and socioeconomic problem worldwide. Freshwater systems are particularly vulnerable to invasion, where impacts of invasive alien species can damage ecological structure and function. Identifying abiotic and biotic factors that mediate successful in...
Article
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Interactions between multiple invasive alien species (IAS) might increase their ecological impacts, yet relatively few studies have attempted to quantify the effects of facilitative interactions on the success and impact of aquatic IAS. Further, the effect of abiotic factors, such as habitat structure, have lacked consideration in ecological impact...
Article
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Plankton are key components of wetland ecosystems, comprising different food web levels. In the present study, we assessed temporal plankton diversity patterns in three temporary wetland systems over winter inundation periods. We examined taxon relationships with environmental variability associated with wetland inundation phase changes, over six c...
Article
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Globally, the number of invasive non-indigenous species is continually rising, representing a major driver of biodiversity declines and a growing socioeconomic burden. Hemigrapsus takanoi, the Japanese brush-clawed shore crab, is a highly successful invader in European seas. However, the ecological consequences of this invasion have remained unexam...
Preprint
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Globalization challenges sustainability by intensifying the ecological and economic impacts of biological invasions. These impacts may be unevenly distributed worldwide, with costs disproportionately incurred by a few regions. Here, we identify how invasion economic costs are distributed among origin and recipient regions at country and continent l...
Article
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Large wood deposited in rivers provides ecological benefits for multiple trophic groups, but public perceptions of these deposits can be varied. In particular, flooding experiences linked to large wood debris could influence how the public and stake-holders view large wood deposited into the river ecosystem. Here, we assessed the perceptions toward...
Preprint
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As alien invasive species are a key driver of biodiversity loss, understanding patterns of rapidly changing global species compositions depends upon knowledge of biological invasion dynamics and trends. The Ponto-Caspian region is among the most notable donor regions for aquatic invasive species in Europe. Using macroinvertebrate time series collec...
Article
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Global contamination of freshwater ecosystems by chemical compounds, such as pesticides, may exert high pressure on biologically-driven organic matter decomposition. These pollutants may also impair the quality of organic substrates for colonising invertebrates and reduce primary productivity by decreasing the abundance of phytoplankton. In souther...
Article
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Habitat complexity can profoundly influence interactions between predators and their prey due to changes to foraging efficiencies. In aquatic systems, habitat alterations can alter pursuit times and swimming behaviours of predator–prey participants, which in turn could mediate the strength of their interactions and, thus, population dynamics. The l...
Article
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Globalization has led to the introduction of thousands of alien species worldwide. With growing impacts by invasive species, understanding the invasion process remains critical for predicting adverse effects and informing efficient management. Theoretically, invasion dynamics have been assumed to follow an “invasion curve” (S-shaped curve of availa...
Article
Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) is a physiological mechanism where environmental experiences of parents affect phenotypes of the offspring, and potentially facilitates organisms' survival in stressful environments. The Angouimois grain moth, Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier), is a dominant primary grain pest in Africa, particularly affecting sorghu...
Article
Full-text available
The global increase in biological invasions is placing growing pressure on the management of ecological and economic systems. However, the effectiveness of current management expenditure is difficult to assess due to a lack of standardised measurement across spatial, taxonomic and temporal scales. Furthermore, there is no quantification of the spen...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To assess spatio‐temporal and taxonomic patterns of available information on the costs of invasive freshwater bivalves, as well as to identify knowledge gaps. Location Global. Time period 1980–2020. Taxon studied Bivalvia. Methods We synthesize published global economic costs of impacts from freshwater bivalves using the InvaCost database a...
Article
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Anthropogenic land use changes influence ecosystem functioning and may alter trophic interactions. Intensification of free–range pastoral farming could promote degradation of aquatic habitats, with nutrient inputs adversely affecting water quality and resident communities. Reductions in natural enemies (and potentially efficacy thereof) and dampeni...
Article
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Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major driver of global biodiversity loss, hampering conservation efforts and disrupting ecosystem functions and services. While accumulating evidence documented ecological impacts of IAS across major geographic regions, habitat types and taxonomic groups, appraisals for economic costs remained relatively sparse. T...
Preprint
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As strategic transport infrastructures, canals provide wide-ranging economic benefits as well as save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. At the same time, by connecting previously biogeographically-isolated systems, they serve as corridors for the introduction and spread of aquatic alien species, potentially leading to unforeseen ecological and econo...
Article
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Wildfires are natural or anthropogenic phenomena increasing at alarming rates globally due to land-use alterations, droughts, climatic warming, hunting and biological invasions. Whereas wildfire effects on terrestrial ecosystems are marked and relatively well-studied, ash depositions into aquatic ecosystems have often remained overlooked but have t...
Article
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The use of pesticides in agricultural systems may have deleterious effects on surrounding environments. Aquatic systems are no exception and are increasingly polluted through the leaching of pesticides from agricultural activities. However, the pesticide pollution effects on key aquatic species have not been studied in many regions. In southern Afr...
Article
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Pioneering investigations on the effects of introduced populations on community structure, ecosystem functioning and services have focused on the effects of invaders on taxonomic diversity. However, taxonomic-based diversity metrics overlook the heterogeneity of species roles within and among communities. As the homogenizing effects of biological i...
Article
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In nature, insects concurrently face multiple environmental stressors, a scenario likely increasing with climate change. Integrated stress resistance (ISR) thus often improves fitness and could drive invasiveness, but how physiological mechanisms influence invasion has lacked examination. Here, we investigated cross tolerance to abiotic stress fact...
Article
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Invasive, submerged macrophytes negatively alter aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity through disruption of ecological structure and functioning. These plants are especially challenging and costly to control, with relatively few successful eradications. We examine the efficacy of dye treatments to control three invasive, submerged macrophyte species...
Preprint
Full-text available
Globally, the number of invasive non-indigenous species is continually rising, representing a major driver of biodiversity declines and a growing socio-economic burden. Hemigrapsus takanoi , the Japanese brush-clawed shore crab, is a highly successful invader in European seas. However, the ecological consequences of this invasion have remained unex...
Article
Full-text available
Despite voluminous literature identifying the impacts of invasive species, summaries of monetary costs for some taxonomic groups remain limited. Invasive alien crustaceans often have profound impacts on recipient ecosystems, but there may be great unknowns related to their economic costs. Using the InvaCost database, we quantify and analyse reporte...
Article
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Understanding trophic interactions is essential for the prediction and measurement of structure and function in aquatic environments. Communities in these ecosystems may be shaped by variables such as predator diversity, prey density and emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs), which are likely to influence trophic dynamics. In this study, we exa...
Article
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Invasive aquatic macrophytes tend to reproduce and spread through vegetative means, often via fragmentary propagules. Dispersal among aquatic sites may occur overland via attachment to various vectors, or within river systems by directional water currents. However, for many species the relationship between fragment size and resumption of growth is...
Article
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Invasive alien species continue to spread and proliferate in waterways worldwide, but environmental drivers of invasion dynamics lack assessment. Knowledge gaps are pervasive in the Global South, where the frequent heavy human-modification of rivers provides high opportunity for invasion. In southern Africa, the spatio-temporal ecology of a widespr...
Article
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Biological invasions are a major driver of biodiversity loss and socioeconomic burden globally. As invasion rates accelerate worldwide, understanding past invasion dynamics is essential to inform predictions of future invaders and impacts. Owing to a high diversity of pathways and current biosecurity gaps, aquatic systems near urban centres are esp...
Article
Invasive alien species (IAS) are a growing global ecological problem. Reports on the socioeconomic impacts of biological invasions are accumulating, but our understanding of temporal trends across regions and taxa remains scarce. Accordingly, we investigated temporal trends in the economic cost of IAS and cost-reporting literature using the InvaCos...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien fishes have had pernicious ecological and economic impacts on both aquatic ecosystems and human societies. However, a comprehensive and collective assessment of their monetary costs is still lacking. In this study, we collected and reviewed reported data on the economic impacts of invasive alien fishes using InvaCost, the most compre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biological invasions are a major component of anthropogenic environmental change, incurring substantial economic costs across all sectors of society and ecosystems. However, the economic costs of invasions have been disparately reported, lacking synthesis across taxonomic and sectorial scales. Using the newly compiled InvaCost database, we analyse...
Preprint
Full-text available
The global increase in biological invasions is placing growing pressure on the management of ecological and economic systems. However, the effectiveness of current management expenditure is difficult to assess due to a lack of standardised measurement across spatial, taxonomic and temporal scales. Furthermore, there is no quantification of the spen...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species are a growing global problem, and aquatic ecosystems have been regarded as particularly vulnerable. Biological invasions can alter ecosystem functioning, threaten native biodiversity and burden the global economy. Understanding alien species ability to disperse via locomotion following arrival to new environments is critical...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean climate river systems are among the most threatened ecosystems worldwide, due to a long history of anthropogenic impacts and alien invasive species introductions. Many of such rivers naturally exhibit a non-perennial flow regime, with distinct seasonal, inter-annual and spatial heterogeneity. The present study seeks to detect diatom c...
Article
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Predicting the myriad effects of climate change on ecological communities is a major challenge for scientists, and to date relatively few studies have focused on the effects of sea freshening on species interactions. In particular, changes in keystone species predatory effects could be pervasive. Here, we assess the consequences of decreasing salin...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental pollution and biological invasions are key drivers of biodiversity change. However, the effects of invasion and pollution on food webs remain largely unexplored. Here, we used stable isotopes to examine the effects of common carp Cyprinus carpio and pollution on trophic dynamics in six small reservoirs. Our results revealed that the t...
Chapter
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This chapter introduces and synthesizes food web dynamics within tropical and subtropical wetlands, considering a range of organisms at different trophic levels, hydrological characteristics, and wetland types. The relationship between hydroperiod and trophic dynamics is appraised considering both endorheic wetlands and those periodically connected...
Article
Environmental gradients may alter the ecological impacts of invasive alien species. In marine systems such as the Baltic Sea, current salinity is variable and seawater freshening is projected in future, potentially facilitating novel keystone predators. Here, we examine the influence of salinity variation in the western Baltic Sea (i.e. ambient 10,...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands in the Global South are under increasing pressure due to multiple stressors associated with global change. Water and sediment quality assessments, as well as biomonitoring using macroinvertebrates communities, are fundamental tools for informing wetland condition and management strategies. Here, we examine water and sediment parameters aff...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biological invasions by amphibian and reptile species (i.e. herpetofauna) are numerous and widespread and have caused severe impacts on ecosystems, the economy and human health. However, there remains no synthesised assessment of the economic costs of these invasions. Therefore, using the most comprehensive database on the economic costs of invasiv...
Article
Full-text available
The United States has thousands of invasive species, representing a sizable, but unknown burden to the national economy. Given the potential economic repercussions of invasive species, quantifying these costs is of paramount importance both for national economies and invasion management. Here, we used a novel global database of invasion costs (Inva...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems are threatened by multiple stressors which might interact in non-additive ways. Two key stressors in marine systems that are likely to be mediated by ongoing climate change are temperature and salinity. Here, we experimentally examine the influence of warming and desalination on mortality rates of a key herbivorous sea urchin, Pa...
Article
Increases in the frequency and magnitude of suboptimal temperatures as a result of climate change are subjecting insects to unprecedented stresses. This may negatively affect their fitness and the efficiency of their ecosystem service provision. Dung beetles are ecosystem service providers: through feeding on and burying dung, they facilitate nutri...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of climate change on the ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) remains understudied, with deoxygenation of aquatic environments often-overlooked as a consequence of climate change. Here, we therefore assessed how oxygen saturation affects the ecological impact of a predatory invasive fish, the Ponto-Caspian round goby (Ne...
Article
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Although the high costs of invasion are frequently cited and are a key motivation for environmental management and policy, synthesised data on invasion costs are scarce. Here, we quantify and examine the monetary costs of biological invasions in the United Kingdom (UK) using a global synthesis of reported invasion costs. Invasive alien species have...
Article
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The legacy of deliberate and accidental introductions of invasive alien species to Australia has had a hefty economic toll, yet quantifying the magnitude of the costs associated with direct loss and damage, as well as for management interventions, remains elusive. This is because the reliability of cost estimates and under-sampling have not been de...
Article
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Invasive alien species are a well-known and pervasive threat to global biodiversity and human well-being. Despite substantial impacts of invasive alien species, quantitative syntheses of monetary costs incurred from invasions in national economies are often missing. As a consequence, adequate resource allocation for management responses to invasion...