Thursday, 15 June 2017

Worldwide hotspots for alien plants and animals: Islands and coastal regions

Date: June 12, 2017
Source: University of Konstanz

The study was published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution on 12 June 2017.

Humans are responsible for the movement of an increasing number of species into new territories which they previously never inhabited. The number of established alien species varies according to world region. What was previously unclear is where the most established alien species could be found and which factors characterise their distribution.

An international team consisting of 25 researchers under the leadership of Dr Wayne Dawson from the University of Durham (United Kingdom), who began his research on this topic in Mark van Kleunen's research group in Konstanz, created a database for eight animal and plant groups (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, spiders, ants and vascular plants) that were found to occur in regions outside of their original habitat. The study of the distribution of these species led the research team to identify 186 islands and 423 mainland regions in total. This project allowed the researchers to illustrate the global distribution of established alien species within a large number of organism groups for the first time.

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