Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to the United States (U.S.) biodiversity and have cost the U.S. over $120 billion in damages each year (Pimental et al. 2005). The impacts of invasive species range in size and scope from small-scale and localized up to broad shifts in ecosystem function and can influence economically essential species and those of conservation concern alike. The consequences of an invasion include not only degradation of the natural ecosystem but also economic repercussions and effects on human and wildlife health in the invaded areas.
The focus of this project is to conduct a global horizon scan to help identify alien vertebrate species within the Organisms in Trade Pathway at greatest risk of entering the country, establishing populations, and becoming invasive in the U.S. Our work will address arrival, establishment, and impact via consideration of propagule pressure, climatic similarity to occupied range, and prior invasion history of the focal species and its relatives, respectively.