Ranking of invasive spread through urban green areas in the world's 100 most populous cities

Hui, Cang; Richardson, David; Visser, Vernon
December 2017
Biological Invasions;Dec2017, Vol. 19 Issue 12, p3527
Academic Journal
Urban landscapes are highly fragmented (leading to the extinction of native species) as well as transformed and disturbed (creating novel environments). Such conditions provide non-native species with opportunities to establish and spread through 'urban green areas' (UGAs). UGAs can serve as stepping stones for many alien species to recruit and may become sources of propagules to launch invasions in adjoining natural ecosystems. There is great diversity in the spatial structures of UGAs worldwide; these are determined by the city's level of development, human density, urban planning policy, and history. We explore the invasion risks of, and the potential of invasive spread in, UGAs in the world's 100 most populous cities (in 40 countries). Based on maps of enhanced vegetation index at 250 m resolution over the extent of 25 by 25 km for each city centre, we simulate the invasion and spread of a reference species (a virtual ruderal invasive species) from the city centre into surrounding urban or rural areas. Doing so allowed us to provide an objective baseline for comparing urban susceptibility to such invasions across diverse cultures, histories and societies. We derive the global ranking of invasive spread potential for each city based on the rate of spread of the reference species, and the ranking of 40 countries, based on the average rate of spread in their cities. We explore correlates of spread rates after 100 time steps (years) by examining the roles of climate (mean annual temperature and rainfall), human demography (city population size and growth rate), and socio-economic indicators [human footprint, human development index and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita]. Small city population size and high GDP per capita are the only significant predictors of high potential for invasive spread. Among the G20 countries, Canada, South Korea, South Africa, France, USA and Brazil all feature in the top-10 countries, and Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Dallas in the USA, Chittagong in Bangladesh, Toronto in Canada and Brasilia in Brazil are listed among the top 10 cities overall. Our results can serve as a global baseline assessment of invasive spread risks through UGAs, and call for improved protocols for monitoring, planning and management of UGAs.


Related Articles

  • Geographical range as predictor of spatial expansion of invading birds. LE QUILLIEC, SOLÉNE CROCI, PATRICIA; CLERGEAU, PHILIPPE // Biodiversity & Conservation;Feb2007, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p511 

    Many studies have been carried out on predictive traits, such as geographical range, but most of them were related to introduced species and considered the invasion as a whole. The contrasting results previously obtained suggest that studies should take into account the dynamics of the invasion...

  • Characteristics and habitats of non-native plant species in the city of Chonju, southern Korea. Zerbe, Stefan; Choi, Il-Ki; Kowarik, Ingo // Ecological Research;Jan2004, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p91 

    Investigations on non-native organisms have become an important task of modern ecology throughout the world. The major objective of this study was to identify the characteristics and habitats of non-native plant species in Korean cities in order to derive conclusions on the success of biological...

  • The Floriculture and Nursery Industry's Struggle with INVASIVE SPECIES. PARRELLA, MICHAEL P.; WAGNER, ANDREA; FUJINO, DAVID W. // American Entomologist;Spring2015, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p39 

    The article focuses on invasive species which is a plant or animal that is not native to a specific location and has a tendency to spread, and belief to cause damage to the environment, human economy and human health. It mentions the estimated number of invasive species in the U.S. wherein they...

  • DETAILED ANALYSIS OF URBAN-ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS IN AN URBAN LIFE QUALITY MODEL. Esparza, Jesica B.; Dicroce, Luciano; Martini, Irene; Discoli, Carlos A. // Theoretical & Empirical Researches in Urban Management;May2012, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p5 

    The problems in both urban and environment are those that originate from the increase of urban growth and are the result of the deterioration of environmental conditions. As a place of population growth, commercial and industrial activity, cities concentrate energy and resources use and waste...

  • Demographic flexibility influences colonization success: profiling invasive fish species in the Danube River by the use of population models. Jarić, Ivan; Jaćimović, Milica; Cvijanović, Gorčin; Knežević-Jarić, Jelena; Lenhardt, Mirjana // Biological Invasions;Jan2015, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p219 

    Invasive species have the ability to modify their life-history traits in newly colonized areas, with positive shifts in specific life history traits under favourable environmental conditions. If such positive changes in their life history result in a comparably larger population growth rate, it...

  • Saving for a rainy day. Benyus, Janine // American Forests;Autumn98, Vol. 104 Issue 3, p24 

    Examines how cities balance natural vegetation with development in the United States. Initiatives to include a matrix of organic infrastructure to city maps; Use of greenscape in stormwater containment; Application of the Citygreen software in city planning.

  • Urban Form, Energy and the Environment: A Review of Issues, Evidence and Policy. Anderson, William P.; Kanaroglou, Pavlos S.; Miller, Eric J. // Urban Studies (Routledge);Feb96, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p7 

    The spatial configuration of cities and its relationship to the urban environment has recently been the subject of empirical, theoretical and policy research. Because of the disciplines involved, relevant articles are scattered over a large number of journals. The objective of this paper is to...

  • GIS Based Measurement and Regulatory Zoning of Urban Ecological Vulnerability. Xiaorui Zhang; Zhenbo Wang; Jing Lin // Sustainability (2071-1050);2015, Vol. 7 Issue 8, p9924 

    Urban ecological vulnerability is measured on the basis of ecological sensitivity and resilience based on the concept analysis of vulnerability. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA) methods are used, supported by the spatial analysis tools of GIS, to define different levels of...

  • Spatial Pattern and Determinants of the First Detection Locations of Invasive Alien Species in Mainland China. Dingcheng Huang; Runzhi Zhang; Ke Chung Kim; Suarez, Andrew V. // PLoS ONE;Feb2012, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p1 

    Background: The unintentional transport of species as a result of human activities has reached unprecedented rates. Once established, introduced species can be nearly impossible to eradicate. It is therefore essential to identify and monitor locations where invaders are most likely to establish...

  • The Tens Rule in Invasion Biology: Measure of a True Impact or Our Lack of Knowledge and Understanding? Jarić, I.; Cvijanović, G. // Environmental Management;Dec2012, Vol. 50 Issue 6, p979 

    The Tens Rule, as well as the last stage described therein, i.e., the proportion of established species that becomes pests, is frequently perceived by the scientific community to indicate that introduced established species have little impact on communities. This belief is dangerous because it...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics