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Aim Effective policy and management responses to the multiple threats posed by invasive alien species (IAS) rely on the ability to assess their impacts before conclusive empirical evidence is available. A plethora of different IAS risk and/ or impact assessment protocols have been proposed, but it remains unclear whether, how and why the outcomes of such assessment protocols may differ. Location Europe. Methods Here, we present an in-depth evaluation and informed assessment of the consistency of four prominent protocols for assessing IAS impacts (EICAT, GISS, Harmonia + and NNRA), using two non-native parrots in Europe: the widespread ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and the rapidly spreading monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). Results Our findings show that the procedures used to assess impacts may influence assessment outcomes. We find that robust IAS prioritization can be obtained by assessing species based on their most severe documented impacts, as all protocols yield consistent outcomes across impact categories. Additive impact scoring offers complementary, more subtle information that may be especially relevant for guiding management decisions regarding already established invasive alien species. Such management decisions will also strongly benefit from consensus approaches that reduce disagreement between experts, fostering the uptake of scientific advice into policy-making decisions. Main conclusions Invasive alien species assessments should take advantage of the capacity of consensus assessments to consolidate discussion and agreement between experts. Our results suggest that decision-makers could use the assessment protocol most fit for their purpose, on the condition they apply a precautionary approach by considering the most severe impacts only. We also recommend that screening for high-impact IAS should be performed on a more robust basis than current ad hoc practices, at least using the easiest assessment protocols and reporting confidence scores.
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... The large number of protocols developed with similar objectives, as well as the substantial body of research comparing their outputs, shows the pivotal role of protocol choice in assessments (Glamuzina et al. 2017;Turbé et al. 2017;Vilà et al. 2019;Sohrabi et al. 2021). While this is important, there are also other crucial and more undervalued aspects in impact assessments. ...
... While this is important, there are also other crucial and more undervalued aspects in impact assessments. Previous studies have frequently illustrated the varying consistency of results when evaluating the same species with the same protocols (McGeoch et al. 2012;Almeida et al. 2013;Lawson et al. 2015;Turbé et al. 2017;González-Moreno et al. 2019;Vilizzi et al. 2019;Clarke et al. 2021; but see Volery et al. 2021). This finding raises doubts as to whether the choice of the evaluator can affect management prioritisations and, thus, whether risk assessments are reliable for providing information for decision-making. ...
... As for protocols, our results support previous studies observing high consistency in assessments using the Harmonia + , GISS and EICAT protocols (Essl et al. 2011;Kenis et al. 2012;Turbé et al. 2017;Volery et al. 2021), while EPPO and GABLIS protocols showed less consistency (Target 5 in Table 3). Our complementary analyses to discern the source of the variability associated with the protocols showed that a relative important part of the variance associated with protocols was not explained by the number of questions per protocol, the number of responses per question or the impact types asked in each protocol (Targets 6, 8 and 9 in Table 3). ...
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Impact assessments can help prioritising limited resources for invasive species management. However, their usefulness to provide information for decision-making depends on their repeatability, i.e. the consistency of the estimated impact. Previous studies have provided important insights into the consistency of final scores and rankings. However, due to the criteria to summarise protocol responses into one value (e.g. maximum score observed) or to categorise those final scores into prioritisation levels, the real consistency at the answer level remains poorly understood. Here, we fill this gap by quantifying and comparing the consistency in the scores of protocol questions with inter-rater reliability metrics. We provide an overview of impact assessment consistency and the factors altering it, by evaluating 1,742 impact assessments of 60 terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrates, invertebrates and plants conducted with seven protocols applied in Europe (EICAT; EPPO; EPPO prioritisation; GABLIS; GB; GISS; and Harmonia+). Assessments include questions about diverse impact types: environment, biodiversity, native species interactions, hybridisation, economic losses and human health. Overall, the great majority of assessments (67%) showed high consistency; only a small minority (13%) presented low consistency. Consistency of responses did not depend on species identity or the amount of information on their impacts, but partly depended on the impact type evaluated and the protocol used, probably due to linguistic uncertainties (pseudo-R ² = 0.11 and 0.10, respectively). Consistency of responses was highest for questions on ecosystem and human health impacts and lowest for questions regarding biological interactions amongst alien and native species. Regarding protocols, consistency was highest with Harmonia ⁺ and GISS and lowest with EPPO. The presence of few, but very low, consistent assessments indicates that there is room for improvement in the repeatability of assessments. As no single factor explained largely the variance in consistency, low values can rely on multiple factors. We thus endorse previous studies calling for diverse and complementary actions, such as improving protocols and guidelines or consensus assessment to increase impact assessment repeatability. Nevertheless, we conclude that impact assessments were generally highly consistent and, therefore, useful in helping to prioritise resources against the continued relentless rise of invasive species.
... Our study area is an example that suggests that range expansion in Monk Parakeets may occur by neighbourhood diffusion, occupying favourable adjacent areas. The general trend of the species in Spain is to spread, occupying practically all city gardens and parks [43,52], preferably those close to areas that are already occupied. At the city level, once favourable urban areas (mainly parks and gardens) are occupied, and the species reaches high density, Monk Parakeets are likely to begin colonizing suburban and rural areas, as is being observed at present in Malaga province (pers. ...
... In this area, the potential for some negative impacts exists. If the parakeet population were to spread into the rural areas, it could cause some of the negative economic and environmental effects that have been observed in other areas [43,52]. For this reason, it is necessary to know, in detail, the home range size, the dispersal process and population change over time, bearing in mind that it is easier and less costly to prevent the settlement of new individuals than to try to eliminate a parrot population once it is established. ...
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Invasive exotic species are currently a topic of interest for environmental management agencies and the media. This is due to the socio-economic and environmental problems that they are causing or may cause. The Monk Parakeet is a clear example of this, especially in some large cities, where populations are growing quickly, and their distribution continues to expand. In our study, we focused on a population that has been closely monitored during the last 25 years to understand its growth and change on a local scale to determine the maximum sustainable population size in the invaded area and to check when this population began to act as a source of new breeding colonies to adjacent areas. The first breeding of the species occurred in 2002, and from then, the average growth rate (r) of the population was 0.191 until 2016, when it stabilized and declined slightly (r = −0.043). The maximum growth rate occurred during the years 2002 and 2007 and was 0.314. The results obtained give us information about the carrying capacity of the study area, allowing us to explain the dispersal process of the species to neighboring areas, with populations that have reached maximum size serving as sources of individuals dispersing to suitable areas. In our study area, the species shows a strong preference for building its nests in palm trees and electric utility structures. Our study’s local focus on studying the population dynamics of an invasive species may allow us to understand the increased range of the species on a larger scale, which is necessary in order to be able to design appropriate and effective management strategies.
... Several tools have been developed. The two widely used ones are the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT), developed by Blackburn et al. (2014) to quantify environmental impacts and the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS), developed to assess environmental and economic impacts (Turbé et al. 2017). The GISS has been used for various taxa, including birds (Turbé et al. 2017;Shivambu et al. 2020), mammals (Hagen and Kumschick 2018), amphibians (Measey et al. 2016), fish (Orfinger and Goodding 2018), arthropods (Laverty et al. 2015) and selected plants (Novoa et al. 2016;Yazlik et al. 2018). ...
... The two widely used ones are the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT), developed by Blackburn et al. (2014) to quantify environmental impacts and the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS), developed to assess environmental and economic impacts (Turbé et al. 2017). The GISS has been used for various taxa, including birds (Turbé et al. 2017;Shivambu et al. 2020), mammals (Hagen and Kumschick 2018), amphibians (Measey et al. 2016), fish (Orfinger and Goodding 2018), arthropods (Laverty et al. 2015) and selected plants (Novoa et al. 2016;Yazlik et al. 2018). Using impact quantifying approaches like the GISS gives insights into which species are detrimental so that management prioritises those species with major impacts (Rumlerová et al. 2016) and provides information for decisions relating to the introduction of species (Bartz and Kowarik 2019). ...
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Invasive alien plant species have been identified as a major threat to biodiversity and the relationship with native avian dispersers may increase their invasion potential. The impact of invasive plant species needs to be quantified using comparable assessment tools across different habitats and species to allocate limited resources to high-priority species. Here, we used the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS) to assess the impacts of 16 fleshy-fruited alien invasive plant species in South Africa generally dispersed by native avian species. The results showed that fleshy-fruited invasive species have both environmental and socio-economic impacts. The cumulated impact scores for lantana ( Lantana camara ) and the tree of heaven ( Ailanthus altissima ) were the highest, with scores of 42 and 32, respectively. Some species, such as white mulberry ( Morus alba ), camphor tree ( Cinnamomum camphora ), American bramble ( Rubus cuneifolius ) and Brazilian pepper tree ( Schinus terebinthifolius ), had low overall impact scores of 8, 18, 14 and 16, respectively, but scored the maximum impact of 5 for certain mechanisms. Environmental impacts of fleshy-fruited invasive plant species had a high impact magnitude through effects on the ecosystem and vegetation. Socio-economic impacts were mainly through effects on forest production, agriculture and human health. Species with large crop sizes, small seeds and fruit sizes had higher environmental and socio-economic impact magnitude. The information generated in this study is important for guiding resource allocation and preventing the uncontrolled introduction of invasive species in South Africa. The impact of the fleshy-fruited invasive species transcended sectors and, therefore, effective management of invasive species will require the collaboration of multiple and inter-sectoral stakeholders in South Africa.
... This, in turn, may result in the introduction into new areas of a relatively limited set of species (Cassey et al., 2018), which may positively affect their invasion success (Abellán et al., 2017;Cassey et al., 2004;Duncan et al., 2001;Signorile et al., 2014;. We found that all three markets included the two most invasive parrot species in the world, the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameria) and the monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), despite their numerous recorded impacts (Turbé et al., 2017;Vallllosera et al., 2017). Finally, our results provide insights into the role played by anthropological drivers in configuring the pool of potentially invasive species at the earliest stage of the invasion process, when they are transported to a new region, and how globalization may be influencing them, facilitating the movement of species and the homogenization of species traded worldwide. ...
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The global pet trade is a major pathway for the introduction of invasive alien species. The composition of species selected for transport is driven by market demands, which may be influenced by a combination of both historical and cultural factors. We compared Eastern (Taiwan) and Western (Australia and the Iberian Peninsula) bird markets to explore factors associated with the species composition and geographic origin of the birds for sale. We used a bespoke randomization test to compare species composition, geographic origins, and species overlap at different taxonomic levels among bird markets across countries. Alien species identified in the study accounted for more than 10% of the world's bird species. Parrots and songbirds were the most common alien bird taxa traded across all markets. In both Iberian and Australian markets, there was a strong bias toward parrots, waxbills, gamebirds, and finches. In Taiwan, species traded more than expected were parrots, waxbills, starlings, and leafbirds. Neotropical species were the most traded group in the three markets. Afrotropical species were also traded more than expected in Iberian and Australian markets, while the Taiwanese traded more alien species from neighboring Asian regions. The bird trade focuses on the same few bird groups worldwide. The composition and origin of species preferred in the Western markets may be influenced by colonial histories, cultural similarity, and strict regulations on wildlife importation, while species preferences in Eastern markets are strongly influenced by regional culture and proximity. Propagule pressure is a dominant factor influencing the success of biological invasions; it is important to recognize differences in the composition of bird markets among regions because they can translate into different invasion risks, among other factors.
... The goals and characteristics of impact assessments are the same whether novel species are invasive or native in adjacent locations: namely, to evaluate the impacts of novel species in a way that is comparable across taxa and locations, and that transparently incorporates the best available data with moderate effort (Blackburn et al. 2014;Eisenmenger et al. 2016;Turbé et al. 2017). At least 29 protocols exist for invasive species impact assessment, several of which identify maximum potential impacts, whereas others predict likelihood of introduction and spread (Roy et al. 2017). ...
... Qualitative data capture local projects' attributes that cannot be measured universally (Pedro et al., 2018;Zhou et al., 2019). Quantitative data, on the other hand, offer comparable evaluations as they are less prone to professional bias (Turbé et al., 2017) and are essential for evidence-based studies in landscape architecture (Brown & Corry, 2011;Yang et al., 2016). Our survey results echo the professionals' tendency towards quantitative data, as seen in the increase in the number of studies and methods that measure landscape sustainability using big data. ...
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Sustainability Rating Systems are standard methods for achieving sustainable development of buildings and urban landscapes. However, they suffer from low adoption and implementation rates, mainly due to labour-intensive evaluation processes. This study explores how recent advancements in big data, combined with the availability of new urban environment datasets, could advance sustainability rating systems in landscape development. We compared between existing computational technology (supply) and industry performance evaluation needs (demand) using a systematic review and survey of Israel's professional communities as a case study. Of the existing indicators, Israeli professionals prioritised measuring socio-ecological indicators of landscapes in development projects , mainly at the urban level. Our review revealed that this level also holds available big data sustainability evaluation methods and technologies. Specifically, directed data for measuring ecology and volunteered and automated data for measuring social indicators. Such supply-demand links could significantly advance evaluation methods towards achieving a broader application of sustainable urban development.
... It is clear from our review that many of the dire predictions about the global ecological and economic impacts of naturalized parrots have not come true (Burger and Gochfeld 2009;Pruett-Jones et al. 2012;Hernández-Brito et al. 2014) and that nearly all naturalized parrot populations have no or low-level impacts (Turbé et al. 2017;White et al. 2019). We recognize that naturalized populations of Rose-ringed Parakeets and Monk Parakeets are expanding rapidly in many areas globally, and this could result in increased impacts in the future Senar et al. chap. ...
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Humans have moved species away from their native ranges since the Neolithic, but globalization accelerated the rate at which species are being moved. We fitted more than half million distribution models for 610 traded bird species on the CITES list to examine the separate and joint effects of global climate and land‐cover change on their potential end‐of‐century distributions. We found that climate‐induced suitability for modelled invasive species increases with latitude, because traded birds are mainly of tropical origin and much of the temperate region is ‘tropicalizing.’ Conversely, the tropics are becoming more arid, thus limiting the potential from cross‐continental invasion by tropical species. This trend is compounded by forest loss around the tropics since most traded birds are forest dwellers. In contrast, net gains in forest area across the temperate region could compound climate change effects and increase the potential for colonization of low‐latitude birds. Climate change has always led to regional redistributions of species, but the combination of human transportation, climate, and land‐cover changes will likely accelerate the redistribution of species globally, increasing chances of alien species successfully invading non‐native lands. Such process of biodiversity homogenization can lead to emergence of non‐analogue communities with unknown environmental and socioeconomic consequences. We fitted an ensemble including more than half million distribution models for 610 traded bird species on the CITES list, to examine the joint effects of global climate and land‐cover change on their potential end‐of‐century distributions. Climate suitability for modelled bird species will increase with latitude, because they are mainly of tropical origin and the temperate region is ‘tropicalizing’. Net forest gains across the temperate region could also increase the potential for colonization of low‐latitude birds.
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Risk assessments are fundamental to invasive species management and are underpinned by comprehensive characterization of invasive species impacts. Our understanding of the impacts of invasive species is growing constantly, and several recently developed frameworks offer the opportunity to systematically categorize environmental and socio‐economic impacts of invasive species. Invasive ants are among the most widespread and damaging invaders. Although a handful of species receive most of the policy attention, nearly 200 species have established outside their native range. Here, we provide a global, comprehensive assessment on the impacts of ants and propose a priority list of risk species. We used the Socio‐Economic Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (SEICAT), Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) and Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS) to analyse 642 unique sources for 100 named species. Different methodologies provided generally consistent results. The most frequently identified socio‐economic impacts were to human health. Environmental impacts were primarily on animal and plant populations, with the most common mechanisms being predation and competition. Species recognised as harmful nearly 20 years ago featured prominently, including Wasmannia auropunctata (little fire ant, electric ant), Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant), Anoplolepis gracilipes (yellow crazy ant), and Pheidole megacephala (African big‐headed ant). All these species except W. auropunctata have been implicated in local extinctions of native species. While our assessments affirmed that the most serious impacts have been driven by a small number of species, our results also highlight a substantial number of less well‐publicised species that have had major environmental impacts and may currently be overlooked when prioritising prevention efforts. Several of these species ranked as high or higher than some of the previously recognised “usual suspects”, most notably Nylanderia fulva (tawny crazy ant). We compared and combined our assessments with trait‐based profiles and other lists to propose a consensus set of 31 priority species. Ever‐increasing global trade contributes to growing rates of species introductions. The integrated approaches we used can contribute to robust, holistic risk assessments for many taxa entrained in these pathways.
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Invasive alien aquatic species, including marine and freshwater macroinvertebrates, have become increasingly important in terms of both environmental and socioeconomic impacts. In order to assess their environmental and economic costs, we applied the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS) and performed a comparison with other taxa of invaders in Europe. Impacts were scored into six environmental and six socioeconomic categories, with each category containing five impact levels. Among 49 aquatic macroinvertebrates, the most impacting species were the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis (Milne-Edwards, 1853) and the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771). The highest impacts found per GISS impact category were, separately; on ecosystems, through predation, as competitors, and on animal production. Eleven species have an impact score > 10 (high impact) and seven reach impact level 5 in at least one impact category (EU blacklist candidates), the maximum score that can be given is 60 impact points. Comparisons were drawn between aquatic macroinvertebrates and vertebrate invaders such as fish, mammals and birds, as well as terrestrial arthropods, revealing invasive freshwater macroinvertebrates to be voracious predators of native prey and damaging to native ecosystems compared with other taxa. GISS can be used to compare these taxa and will aid policy making and targeting of invasive species for management by relevant agencies, or to assist in producing species blacklist candidates.
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We evaluated damage to commercial crops caused by the monk parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus, in the Baix Llobregat agricultural area (1,024 ha) bordering the city of Barcelona, Spain. Average crop loss was 0.4% for tomatoes, 28% for corn, 9% for red plums, 36% for round plums, 37% for pears, 17% for persimmons, and 7% for quinces. Our data show that the potential damage to crops by monk parakeets in this invaded area is now a reality. As a wait–and–see approach is likely to be a more costly strategy in the long–term, policy makers should assess issues such as the extent of damage, feasibility/cost benefit analysis, and public opinion so as to avoid greater damage and loss in the future.
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Alien species can exert negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. Therefore, administrations from different sectors are trying to prevent further introductions, stop the spread of established species, and apply or develop programs to mitigate their impact, to contain the most harmful species, or to eradicate them if possible. Often it is not clear which of the numerous alien species are most important in terms of damage, and therefore, impact scoring systems have been developed to allow a comparison and thus prioritization of species. Here, we present the generic impact scoring system (GISS), which relies on published evidence of environmental and socio-economic impact of alien species. We developed a system of 12 impact categories, for environmental and socio-economic impact, comprising all kinds of impacts that an alien species may exert. In each category, the intensity of impact is quantified by a six-level scale ranging from 0 (no impact detectable) to 5 (the highest impact possible). Such an approach, where impacts are grouped based on mechanisms for environmental impacts and receiving sectors for socio-economy, allows for cross-taxa comparisons and prioritization of the most damaging species. The GISS is simple and transparent, can be conducted with limited funds, and can be applied to a large number of alien species across taxa and environments. Meanwhile, the system was applied to 349 alien animal and plant species. In a comparison with 22 other impact assessment methods, the combination of environmental and socio-economic impact, as well as the possibility of weighting and ranking of the scoring results make GISS the most broadly applicable system.
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Background Alien species are one of the major causes contributing to biodiversity loss. In Europe, over 340 alien bird species have been recorded in the wild, of which 74 are established. Among 12 established alien parrot species in Europe, the Rose-ringed Parakeet (RRP) Psittacula krameri is the most abundant and widespread. Objective Although one of the best documented alien vertebrates in Europe, historical and current datasets on RRP invasion success and demography have not been systematically collated and analysed. This paper therefore aims to bring together, verify and make available this information. Method Existing distribution and demographic data for the RRP in Europe were collated from the following sources: (a) literature search; (b) bird sighting databases; (c) regional bird experts; (d) RRP roost counts. With this data, we evaluated population size and growth per population, country and the whole of Europe in the period 1965-2015. Results The RRP is well established in Europe with at least 90 breeding populations in 10 countries, and a total population size of at least 85,000 birds as of 2015. For Western Europe, long-term demographic data indicate the species has grown considerably in number, although some populations have failed to persist. Data is scarce for countries in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe. Conclusion Our synthesis reveals a positive demographic trend across Europe, although locally, some populations appear to have reached carrying capacity. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying RRP population growth in Europe, and methods amenable to citizen-scientists are urgently required to monitor population and range dynamics.
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Prioritization is indispensable for the management of biological invasions, as recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity, its current strategic plan, and specifically Aichi Target 9 that concerns invasive alien species. Here we provide an overview of the process, approaches and the data needs for prioritization for invasion policy and management, with the intention of informing and guiding efforts to address this target. Many prioritization schemes quantify impact and risk, from the pragmatic and action-focused to the data-demanding and science-based. Effective prioritization must consider not only invasive species and pathways (as mentioned in Aichi Target 9), but also which sites are most sensitive and susceptible to invasion (not made explicit in Aichi Target 9). Integrated prioritization across these foci may lead to future efficiencies in resource allocation for invasion management. Many countries face the challenge of prioritizing with little capacity and poor baseline data. We recommend a consultative, science-based process for prioritizing impacts based on species, pathways and sites, and outline the information needed by countries to achieve this. This should be integrated into a national process that incorporates a broad suite of social and economic criteria. Such a process is likely to be feasible for most countries.
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The European Union’s (EU) new legislation concerning Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is a ground-breaking and commendable attempt to set a common standard for combating IAS across political jurisdictions at a multinational scale. However, the regulation, underpinned by a list of IAS of Union concern, affords Member States a degree of operational flexibility and its successful implementation will be dictated by appropriate national enforcement and resource use. In evaluating this EU legislation, we provide pragmatic recommendations based upon a geo-political analysis of the pan-European capabilities to combat IAS and discuss measures to avoid the risk that the regulation will promote a piecemeal response by stakeholders instead of a truly collaborative effort. We highlight a major deficit in the funding mechanisms to support a comprehensive implementation of the legislation and stress the importance of consultation with the broader scientific community, including with key stakeholders, businesses and the general public. Our recommendations will create incentives for industries, raise awareness among citizens and stakeholders, and help establish a social norm for the EU and further afield. The legislation offers a collaborative Europe the chance to demonstrate its commitment to tackling the problems of IAS and to achieve a successful conservation breakthrough of international importance.