Biases in global effects of exotic species on local invertebrates: a systematic review

Abstract

Historical gaps and biases in the literature may have influenced the current knowledge of the impacts of invaders on global biodiversity. We performed a systematic review and compiled the main gaps and biases in the literature and the reported negative, neutral and positive effects of exotic species on local invertebrates worldwide. We analysed the relation of these reported effects to the biogeographical origin of the exotic species, the environmental characteristics of the invaded area, the trophic level of the exotic species and of the invaded local fauna, and the elapsed time after first introduction. We analysed 1276 publications comprising 2984 study cases. From these, 1786 cases included “control” situations (without exotics) and provided quantitative supporting evidence of the effects of exotic species on local invertebrates. The main gaps in the literature included tropical and arid climates, estuaries and marine ecosystems, as well as exotic species coming from Neotropical, Australian, Oriental, Ethiopian and Antarctic regions. Carnivorous and herbivorous species were underreported as exotic species and as impacted invertebrates. The considered variables were mostly unrelated to the reported effects, suggesting that the effects of exotic species on local invertebrates are heterogeneous and not unidirectional. Many impacted invertebrates were assemblages of undefined composition in terms of the native or exotic nature of the invaded organisms. Further avenues to reduce the identified biases in the current knowledge about the effects of exotic species on local invertebrates are also indicated.

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Acknowledgements

The MF’s grant was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq (401045/2014-5), program Ciência sem Fronteiras, and by the Universidad de Alcalá. MF’s contract is currently supported by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. We are grateful to Bruno R. Ribeiro, Geiziane Tessarolo and Marcelo Weber for helping with map formatting, and to Javier Seoane Pinilla and Elena Velado Alonso for statistical suggestions. Regular meetings with Asunción Saldaña, Pilar Castro-Díez and Álvaro Alonso (group of Invasive Species of the Universidad de Alcalá) also provided useful comments for the elaboration of an early version of this manuscript. LMB has been supported by the National Institutes for Science and Technology (INCT) in Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation (MCTIC/CNPq, 465610/2014-5, FAPEG) and by a CNPq Grant (304314/2014-5).

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Correspondence to Margarita Florencio.

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Florencio, M., Lobo, J.M. & Bini, L.M. Biases in global effects of exotic species on local invertebrates: a systematic review. Biol Invasions 21, 3043–3061 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02062-1

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Keywords

  • Arthropods
  • Biogeographical regions
  • Human disturbance
  • Insects
  • Invader impacts
  • Trophic groups