Climate Change and Invasive Species: Are Non-natives Poised for Greater Success in Future Climatic Conditions?

Principal Investigator(s): 

Cascade Sorte, Jeffrey Dukes, and Joshua Lawler

Climate change and biological invasions are two of the greatest threats to the Earth’s species. Both climate change and invasions have, individually, caused population declines and local extinctions. In addition, recent studies suggest that some non-native species may ‘do better’ than native species as the climate changes. As a group composed of scientists studying aquatic, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems, we are working together to synthesize a broad body of research on non-native and native species’ responses to changing environmental conditions. Our goal is to better understand whether, overall, non-native species will be favored by climate change at the expense of native species. Therefore, the combined research will be incorporated into computer models to predict alterations in the distributions of non-native species, in order to yield predictions of species and locations that are particularly at risk of increased species invasions as the climate changes. Our results will substantially improve the quality of information available for invasive species management decisions.

More information about this research project and participants.