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Risk of Biological Invasions Is Concentrated in Biodiversity Hotspots
[ Update Time: 2016-10-09 ]

Understanding the locations of potential invasion hotspots and the extent to which they overlap with biodiversity hotspots is crucial for prioritizing efforts to reduce the impacts of alien species on global biodiversity. Using ensembles of species distribution models based on climate, anthropogenic predictors, vegetation, and water resources, we predict global potential invasion hotspots for alien herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians). On average, when subjected to current and future climate scenarios, potential richness of alien herpetofauna per grid cell (the minimum unit of our spatial variables for modeling and projecting) in biodiversity hotspots is nearly 1.4 times higher than in other regions. Furthermore, potential invasion hotspots are projected to occupy a large proportion of the total area within biodiversity hotspots. These results suggest that biodiversity hotspots are at greater risk from alien herpetofaunal invasions than are other regions. Our results provide key information for globally targeting early detection and rapid-response programs to help prevent or mitigate future impacts of alien herpetofauna on biodiversity.

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