Five potential consequences of climate change for invasive species

Jessica J. Hellmann, James E. Byers, Britta G. Bierwagen, Jeffrey S. Dukes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

902 Scopus citations


Scientific and societal unknowns make it difficult to predict how global environmental changes such as climate change and biological invasions will affect ecological systems. In the long term, these changes may have interacting effects and compound the uncertainty associated with each individual driver. Nonetheless, invasive species are likely to respond in ways that should be qualitatively predictable, and some of these responses will be distinct from those of native counterparts. We used the stages of invasion known as the "invasion pathway" to identify 5 nonexclusive consequences of climate change for invasive species: (1) altered transport and introduction mechanisms, (2) establishment of new invasive species, (3) altered impact of existing invasive species, (4) altered distribution of existing invasive species, and (5) altered effectiveness of control strategies. We then used these consequences to identify testable hypotheses about the responses of invasive species to climate change and provide suggestions for invasive-species management plans. The 5 consequences also emphasize the need for enhanced environmental monitoring and expanded coordination among entities involved in invasive-species management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-543
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Invasion pathway
  • Invasive species
  • Invasive-species management


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