Global socioeconomic drivers of insect invasions
Biological invasions are largely an unintended consequence of globalization. With increasing mobility, humans have accidentally transported organisms around the world, breaking the geographical boundaries that separated species ranges that persisted for millions of years of evolution. Among animals, insects are the most numerous group of species, with thousands of insect species having been established outside of their native ranges and many of these species causing immense impacts on agriculture, human health and conservation of native ecosystems. A team of ecologists and economists will explore the socioeconomic drivers of historical insect invasions around the world. By analyzing the timing of various insect species groups, the team intends to better understand the pathways by which these species have been transported and the socioeconomic forces responsible for these invasions. The team also plans to explore how biogeographic characteristics of source species pools and properties of invaded habitats interact with these external drivers. Finally, these analyses will also seek to identify how historical implementation of quarantine policies have affected these processes. Ultimately, this information should provide critical information for improving policies aimed at minimizing future invasions as globalization expands trade and travel in the future.