Impact of Biological Invasions on Infrastructure

  • Olaf BooyEmail author
  • Lucy Cornwell
  • Dave Parrott
  • Mike Sutton-Croft
  • Frances Williams
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 12)


Non-native species cause significant damage to hard infrastructure across the globe, affecting buildings, transportation, water and energy supplies. This review provides a broad account of non-native species impacts on infrastructure with links, directly or indirectly, to ecosystem services where relevant. The impacts of non-native species on hard infrastructure are discussed, with examples taken from around the world of some of the most prominent impacts. Of the non-native species listed as among the world’s worst 100 species by the IUCN, 14 are recognised as having impacts on hard infrastructure, with damage to buildings being most common (9 species) followed by energy and water (7 species each) and finally transport (5 species). Several species affect more than one infrastructure type, particularly for water and hydroelectric energy infrastructure. Using Great Britain as a case study, the economic costs arising from infrastructure impacts by non-native species are reviewed. Overall, a conservative estimate of the direct cost of non-native species to infrastructure in 2010 was approximately £310 million per annum, comprising 18 % of the overall cost of non-native species to Great Britain (£1.7billion).


Buildings Economic impact Energy Fouling Structural damage Transport Water 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olaf Booy
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lucy Cornwell
    • 1
  • Dave Parrott
    • 1
  • Mike Sutton-Croft
    • 1
  • Frances Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.Animal and Plant Health AgencyYorkUK
  2. 2.Centre for Wildlife Management, School of BiologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle-upon-TyneUK
  3. 3.CABINairobiKenya

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