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Biological Invasions

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1365–1378 | Cite as

When are eradication campaigns successful? A test of common assumptions

  • Therese Pluess
  • Ray Cannon
  • Vojtěch Jarošík
  • Jan Pergl
  • Petr Pyšek
  • Sven Bacher
Original Paper

Abstract

Eradication aims at eliminating populations of alien organisms from an area. Since not all eradications are successful, several factors have been proposed in the literature (mainly by referring to case studies) to be crucial for eradication success, such as infestation size or reaction time. To our knowledge, however, no study has statistically evaluated which factors affect eradication success and attempted to determine their relative importance. We established a unique global dataset on 136 eradication campaigns against 75 species (invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens) and statistically tested whether the following factors, proposed by others were significantly related to eradication success: (1) the reaction time between the arrival/detection of the organism and the start of the eradication campaign; (2) the spatial extent of the infestation; (3) the level of biological knowledge of the organism; and (4) insularity. Of these, only the spatial extent of the infestation was significantly related to the eradication outcome: local campaigns were more successful than regional or national campaigns. Reaction time, the level of knowledge and insularity were all unrelated to eradication success. Hence, some factors suggested as being crucial may be less important than previously thought, at least for the organisms tested here. We found no differences in success rates among taxonomic groups or geographic regions. We recommend that eradication measures should generally concentrate on the very early phase of invasions when infestations are still relatively small.

Keywords

Eradication success Invasive species Contingency planning Pest Risk Analysis Invasive species management Biological invasions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Richard Baker, Andrea Battisti, Marc Kenis, Nico van Opstal, Marc Cadotte and four anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on previous drafts of this paper and Sylvie Augustin, Peter Baufeld, Annemarie Breukers, Eckehard Brockerhoff, Mark Bullians, Louise Dumouchel, Dominic Eyre, Ben Gasman, Salla Hannunen, Katrin Kaminski, Olia Karadjova, John Kean, Hella Kehlenbeck, William Larkin, Lorenzo Marini, Sharon Matthews-Berry, Anthemis Melifronidou, Petra Mueller, Melanie Newfield, Mary Orr, Grant Telford, Sunil Singh, Edoardo Petrucco Toffolo, Olivier Pruvost, Serge Quirici, Peter Reed, Cécile Robin, Muriel Suffert, Dirk Jan van der Gaag, Peter Whittle, and Annie Yart for providing information on eradication campaigns. Work on this paper was supported by the European Commission under grant agreement number KBBE-212459, 7th Framework Programme, project PRATIQUE: Enhancement of Pest Risk Analysis Techniques. V.J., J.P. and P.P. were further supported by grants 206/09/0563, 504/11/1028 (Czech Science Foundation), AV0Z60050516, IAA600050811 (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), MSM0021620828 and LC06073 (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic). P.P. acknowledges support from a Praemium Academiae award from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Supplementary material

10530_2011_160_MOESM1_ESM.xls (72 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 72 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Therese Pluess
    • 1
  • Ray Cannon
    • 2
  • Vojtěch Jarošík
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jan Pergl
    • 4
  • Petr Pyšek
    • 4
    • 3
  • Sven Bacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecology and Evolution UnitUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.The Food and Environment Research AgencyYorkUK
  3. 3.Department of Ecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPrague 2Czech Republic
  4. 4.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicInstitute of BotanyPrůhoniceCzech Republic

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