Bradley, Bethany A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Early, Regan I.; Grosholz, Edwin D.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Miller, Luke P.; Sorte, Cascade; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Diez, Jeffrey M.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Ibañez, Inés; Olden, Julian D. 2011. Global change, global trade, and the next wave of plant invasions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 10(1). Pages 20-28. (Abstract) (Online version)
Many nonâ€native plants in the US have become problematic invaders of native and managed ecosystems, but a new generation of invasive species may be at our doorstep. Here, we review trends in the horticultural trade and invasion patterns of previously introduced species and show that novel species introductions from emerging horticultural trade partners are likely to rapidly increase invasion risk. At the same time, climate change and water restrictions are increasing demand for new types of species adapted to warm and dry environments. This confluence of forces could expose the US to a range of new invasive species, including many from tropical and semiarid Africa as well as the Middle East. Risk assessment strategies have proven successful elsewhere at identifying and preventing invasions, although some modifications are needed to address emerging threats. Now is the time to implement horticulture import screening measures to prevent this new wave of plant invasions.