Intra-country introductions unraveling global hotspots of alien fish species
Alien or non-native species are defined as species living outside their natural distributional ranges. The spread of alien species is increasing globally as a result of rapid technological advances and globalization. Recent investigations have estimated global hotspots of alien established species on the basis of geopolitical boundaries, including Dawson et al. (in: Nat Ecol Evol 1:186. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0186, 2017). In particular, these investigations do not consider Intra-Country Established Alien Species, i.e., successful introductions that occur among regions within the same country. In continental countries such as Brazil, the USA and China, studies excluding Intra-Country Established Alien Species (IEAS) waste essential information. Here, we argue that researchers should also consider intra-country introductions when estimating and addressing the risks of alien introductions. By using detailed data for freshwater fish including IEAS in large countries, we demonstrate that novel hotspots for IEAS have arisen worldwide. We illustrate emblematic examples of IEAS, as well as their vectors and negative impacts, to demonstrate the range of impacts that might be missed when excluding IEAS data from analysis. We recognize the need for generalizations, but generalizations based on incomplete data can misinform conservation efforts, particularly in megadiverse regions. Ignores IEAS influences how we count non-native species, invasions and perceive invisibility and impacts. Consequently, upcoming records and analysis of invasion patterns and management of aliens and EAS global hotspots must account for such biases in quantifying the IEAS portion.
KeywordsConservation policy Watershed Global assessment Invasion risk Spatial grain Geographic distribution Non-native species
This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001. We are also grateful to the CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) for research grants provided to JRSV (Process Numbers: 302367/2018-7 and 303776/2015-3), to AAP (Process Numbers: 307984/2015-0; 402828/2016-0), and to VSD (Process Number: 167382/2017-9). Finally, many thanks to Dr. Kirk Winemiller, Dr. David Hoeinghaus, Dr. Angus Jackson, Dr. James Nienow and all anonymous reviewers for improvements on previous versions of this manuscript, and to Dr. Katsutoshi Watanabe for providing data from Japan.
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