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  1. Garnas, Jeff R. (Ed.)
    Abstract Some introduced species cause severe damage, although the majority have little impact. Robust predictions of which species are most likely to cause substantial impacts could focus efforts to mitigate those impacts or prevent certain invasions entirely. Introduced herbivorous insects can reduce crop yield, fundamentally alter natural and managed forest ecosystems, and are unique among invasive species in that they require certain host plants to succeed. Recent studies have demonstrated that understanding the evolutionary history of introduced herbivores and their host plants can provide robust predictions of impact. Specifically, divergence times between hosts in the native and introduced ranges of a nonnative insect can be used to predict the potential impact of the insect should it establish in a novel ecosystem. However, divergence time estimates vary among published phylogenetic datasets, making it crucial to understand if and how the choice of phylogeny affects prediction of impact. Here, we tested the robustness of impact prediction to variation in host phylogeny by using insects that feed on conifers and predicting the likelihood of high impact using four different published phylogenies. Our analyses ranked 62 insects that are not established in North America and 47 North American conifer species according to overall risk and vulnerability, respectively. We found that results were robust to the choice of phylogeny. Although published vascular plant phylogenies continue to be refined, our analysis indicates that those differences are not substantial enough to alter the predictions of invader impact. Our results can assist in focusing biosecurity programs for conifer pests and can be more generally applied to nonnative insects and their potential hosts by prioritizing surveillance for those insects most likely to be damaging invaders. 
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  2. Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), is a non-native planthopper that recently established in the Northeastern United States. Little is known about the spatial dynamics of its invasion and key drivers associated with its regional spread. Here, using field survey data from a total of 241,366 survey locations from 2014–2019 in the eastern USA, we quantified rates of SLF spread and modeled factors associated with the risk of SLF invasion. During the study period, SLF invasion appears to be associated with both short- and long-distance dispersal. On average, the number of newly invaded counties per year increased since initial discovery, with 0–14 long-distance dispersal events per year and median jump distances ranging from 55 to 92 km/year throughout the study period. Radial rates of spread, based on two of the three analysis methods applied, varied from 38.6 to 46.2 km/year. A Cox proportional hazards model suggested that risk of SLF invasion increased with a proxy for human-aided dispersal, human population per county. We anticipate that SLF will continue to spread via both long- and short-distance dispersals, especially via human activities. Efforts to manage SLF populations potentially could target human-mediated movement of SLF to reduce rates of spread. 
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  3. Abstract

    International trade continues to drive biological invasions. We investigate the drivers of global nonnative ant establishments over the last two centuries using a Cox proportional hazards model. We use country‐level discovery records for 36 of the most widespread nonnative ant species worldwide from 1827 to 2012. We find that climatic similarity combined with cumulative imports during the 20 years before a species discovery in any given year is an important predictor of establishment. Accounting for invasions from both the native and previously invaded “bridgehead” regions substantially improves the model's fit, highlighting the role of spatial spillovers. These results are valuable for targeting biosecurity efforts.

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  4. Abstract Aim

    Non‐native species are part of almost every biological community worldwide, yet numbers of species establishments have an uneven global distribution. Asymmetrical exchanges of species between regions are likely influenced by a range of mechanisms, including propagule pressure, native species pools, environmental conditions and biosecurity. While the importance of different mechanisms is likely to vary among invasion stages, those occurring prior to establishment (transport and introduction) are difficult to account for. We used records of unintentional insect introductions to test (1) whether insects from some biogeographic regions are more likely to be successful invaders, (2) whether the intensity of trade flows between regions determines how many species are intercepted and how many successfully establish, and (3) whether the variables driving successful transport and successful establishment differ.


    Canada, mainland USA, Hawaii, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, South Korea, South Africa.


    To disentangle processes occurring during the transport and establishment stages, we analysed border interceptions of 8199 insect species as a proxy for transported species flows, and lists of 2076 established non‐native insect species in eight areas. We investigated the influence of biogeographic variables, socio‐economic variables and biosecurity regulations on the size of species flows between regions.


    During transport, the largest species flows generally originated from the Nearctic, Panamanian and Neotropical regions. Insects native to 8 of 12 biogeographic regions were able to establish, with the largest flows of established species on average coming from the Western Palearctic, Neotropical and Australasian/Oceanian regions. Both the biogeographic region of origin and trade intensity significantly influenced the size of species flows between regions during transport and establishment. The transported species richness increased with Gross National Income in the source country, and decreased with geographic distance. More species were able to establish when introduced within their native biogeographic region.

    Main Conclusions

    Our results suggest that accounting for processes occurring prior to establishment is crucial for understanding invasion asymmetry in insects, and for quantifying regional biosecurity risks.

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  5. null (Ed.)
  6. Most biological invasion literature—including syntheses and meta-analyses and the resulting theory—is reported from temperate regions, drawing only minimally from the tropics except for some island systems. The lack of attention to invasions in the tropics results from and reinforces the assumption that tropical ecosystems, and especially the continental tropics, are more resistant to invasions. We have critically assessed biological invasions in the tropics and compared them with temperate regions, finding relatively weak evidence that tropical and temperate regions differ in their invasibility and in the traits that determine invader success and impacts. Propagule pressure and the traits that promote adaptation to disturbances (e.g., high fecundity or fast growth rates) are generally favorable to invasions in both tropical and temperate regions. We emphasize the urgent need for greater investment and regional cooperation in the study, prevention, and management of biological invasions in the tropics. 
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