Biological Invasion and Its Research in China: An Overview

Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 11)


The rapid economic development in China significantly triggered the merchandise trade, international tourism, as well as species migration and exchange in the past 30 years. Under such circumstances, large-scale biological invasions happened intensively in agricultural lands, forests, grasslands, islands, fishery, wetlands, rivers, marine and natural reserves since the last decade of twentieth century. Invasive alien species (IAS) not only cause economic losses and ecosystem meltdown, but also pose threats to human health, food supply and national safety. Since the beginning of twenty-first century, China has considerably invested in basic and applied research of IAS to meet the urgent needs in terms of prevention and management. The theories and experiences of IAS research from other countries provide valuable references to China. On the other hand, due to its own geographic, economic, cultural and historic features, China has some different motivations, emphasizes and methods for IAS researches. In this chapter we give brief introduction about IAS research in China including: the occurrence and damage of IAS, the aspects that have been studied mostly, the achievements we already got, the role of government, and the international cooperation. We also illustrate the necessity, purpose and outline of this book. In a summary, the capacity of biological invasion research and IAS management in China significantly grow in the last 20 years, which has largely contributed to the social benefits, environmental protection and economic development of this country. For the coming decades, we expect the globalization, human activity and climate change will pose more threats in terms of biological invasions, and China will be ready and well prepared for such a challenge.


Biological invasions Invasive alien species Ecosystem Biodiversity Research 



We are grateful to Prof. Aibin Zhan from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) China for his valuable comments on the manuscript. We also thank Prof. Daniel Simberloff from University of Tennessee USA for his helpful suggestions on the analysis of biological invasion research in this chapter, during/after the 3th National Congress of Biological Invasion, Haikou, China, 2010.


  1. De Barro PJ, Liu SS, Boykin LM, Dinsdale AB (2011) Bemisia tabaci: a statement of species status. Annu Rev Entomol 56:1–19CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ding JQ, Mack RN, Lu P, Ren MX, Huang HW (2008) China’s booming economy is sparking and accelerating biological invasions. Bioscience 58:317–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ding H, Xu HG, Qiang S, Meng L, Han ZM, Miu JL, Hu BS, Sun HY, Huang C, Lei JC, Le ZF (2011) Status and trends of biological invasion into China. J Ecol Rural Environ 27(3):35–41Google Scholar
  4. Dong SM, Yin WX, Kong GH, Yang XY, Qutob D, Chen QH, Kale SD, Sui YY, Zhang ZG, Dou DL et al (2011) Phytophthora sojae avirulence effector Avr3b is a secreted NADH and ADP-ribose pyrophosphorylase that modulates plant immunity. PLoS Pathog 7:e1002353CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Feng YL, Lei YB, Wang RF, Callaway RM, Valiente-Banuet A, Inderjit LYP, Zheng YL (2009) Evolutionary tradeoffs for nitrogen allocation to photosynthesis versus cell walls in an invasive plant. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:1853–1856CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Feng YL, Li YP, Wang RF, Callaway RM, Valiente-Banuet A, Inderjit (2011) A quicker return energy-use strategy by populations of a subtropical invader in the non-native range: a potential mechanism for the evolution of increased competitive ability. J Ecol 99:1116–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gao Y, Yu HW, He WM (2014) Soil space and nutrients differentially promote the growth and competitive advantages of two invasive plants. J Plant Ecol 7:396–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. He Q, Cui BS, An Y (2012) Physical stress, not biotic interactions, preclude an invasive grass from establishing in forb-dominated salt marshes. PLoS ONE 7:e33164CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Huang FF, Peng SL, Chen BM, Liao HX, Huang QQ, Lin ZG, Liu G (2015) Rapid evolution of dispersal-related traits during range expansion of an invasive vine Mikania micrantha. Oikos 124:1023–1030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jiang XL, Zhang WG, Wang G (2007) Biodiversity effects on biomass production and invasion resistance in annual versus perennial plant communities. Biodivers Conserv 16:1983–1994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jing MF, Guo BD, Li HY, Yang B, Wang HN, Kong GH, Zhao Y, Xu HW, Wang Y, Ye WW et al (2016) A Phytophthora sojae effector suppresses endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated immunity by stabilizing plant Binding immunoglobulin Proteins. Nat Commun 7:11685CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Jiu M, Zhou XP, Tong L, Xu J, Yang X, Wan FH, Liu SS (2007) Vector-virus mutualism accelerates population increase of an invasive whitefly. PLoS ONE 2:e182CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Li ZQ, Bogaert J, Nijs I (2005) Gap pattern and colonization opportunities in plant communities: effects of species richness, mortality, and spatial aggregation. Ecography 28:777–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liao CZ, Peng RH, Luo YQ, Zhou XH, Wu XW, Fang CM, Chen JK, Li B (2008) Altered ecosystem carbon and nitrogen cycles by plant invasion: a meta-analysis. New Phytol 177:706–714CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Lin W, Zhou GF, Cheng XY, Xu RM (2007) Fast economic development accelerates biological invasions in China. PLoS ONE 2:e1208CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Liu HX, Wen JB (2000) Pay attention to effects of biological invasion. World Agric 9:26–28Google Scholar
  17. Liu MQ, Bjornlund L, Ronn R, Christensen S, Ekelund F (2012) Disturbance promotes non-indigenous bacterial invasion in soil microcosms: Analysis of the roles of resource availability and community structure. PLoS ONE 7:e45306CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu SS, De Barro PJ, Xu J, Luan JB, Zang LS, Ruan YM, Wan FH (2007) Asymmetric mating interactions drive widespread invasion and displacement in a whitefly. Science 318:1769–1772Google Scholar
  19. Liu TL, Song TQ, Zhang X, Yuan HB, Su LM, Li WL, Xu J, Liu SH, Chen LL, Chen TZ et al (2014) Unconventionally secreted effectors of two filamentous pathogens target plant salicylate biosynthesis. Nat Commun 5:4686CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Lu QG (1999) Damage of biological invasion. World Agric 4:38–39Google Scholar
  21. Lu ZJ, Ma KP (2005) Scale dependent relationships between native plant diversity and the invasion of croftonweed (Eupatorium adenophorum) in southwest China. Weed Sci 53:600–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Luan JB, Yao DM, Zhang T, Walling LL, Yang M, Wang YJ, Liu SS (2013) Suppression of terpenoid synthesis in plants by a virus promotes its mutualism with vectors. Ecol Lett 16:390–398CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Pan XY, Geng YP, Zhang WJ, Li B, Chen JK (2006) The influence of abiotic stress and phenotypic plasticity on the distribution of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides along a riparian zone. Acta Oecologica Int J Ecol 30:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Qiang S, Chen GQ, Li BP, Meng L (2010) Invasive alien species in Chinese agricultural ecosystems and their management. Biodivers Sci 18:647–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Qin RM, Zheng YL, Valiente-Banuet A, Callaway RM, Barclay GF, Pereyra CS, Feng YL (2013) The evolution of increased competitive ability, innate competitive advantages, and novel biochemical weapons act in concert for a tropical invader. New Phytol 197:979–988CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Sun JH, Lu M, Gillette NE, Wingfield MJ (2013) Red turpentine beetle: innocuous native becomes invasive tree killer in China. Annu Rev Entomol 58:293–311CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Wan FH, Yang NW (2016) Invasion and management of agricultural alien insects in China. Annu Rev Entomol 61:77–98CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wan FH, Zheng XB, Guo JY (2005) Biology and management of invasive alien species in agriculture and forestry. Science Press, Beijing, 820 ppGoogle Scholar
  29. Wan FH, Li BP, Guo JY (2008a) Biological invasions: biological control theory and practice. Science Press, Beijing, 596 ppGoogle Scholar
  30. Wan FH, Xie BY, Chu D (2008b) Biological invasions: legislations and management strategies. Science Press, Beijing, 316 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Wan FH, Guo JY, Zhang F (2009) Research on biological invasions in China. Science Press, Beijing, 302 ppGoogle Scholar
  32. Wan FH, Peng DL, Wang R (2010) Biological invasions: risk analysis and early prevention. Science Press, Beijing, 757 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. Wan FH, Feng J, Xu J (2011a) Biological invasions: detection, surveillance and monitoring. Science Press, Beijing, 589 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Wan FH, Xie BY, Yang GQ (2011b) Invasion biology. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  35. Wan FH, Liu QR, Xie M (2015a) Biological invasion: illustrated handbook for invasion plants in China. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  36. Wan FH, Hou YM, Jiang MX (2015b) Invasion biology. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  37. Wan FH, Yu GY, Xie M (2016) Biological invasion: illustrated handbook for invasion animals in China. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang Q, Wang CH, Zhao B, Ma ZJ, Luo YQ, Chen JK, Li B (2006) Effects of growing conditions on the growth of and interactions between salt marsh plants: implications for invasibility of habitats. Biol Invasions 8:1547–1560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang QQ, Han CZ, Ferreira AO, Yu XL, Ye WW, Tripathy S, Kale SD, Gu BA, Sheng YT, Sui YY et al (2011a) Transcriptional programming and functional interactions within the Phytophthora sojae RXLR effector repertoire. Plant Cell 23:2064–2086CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang R, Wang JF, Qiu ZJ, Meng B, Wan FH, Wang YZ (2011b) Multiple mechanisms underlie rapid expansion of an invasive alien plant. New Phytol 191:828–839CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Weber E, Sun SG, Li B (2008) Invasive alien plants in China: diversity and ecological insights. Biol Invasions 10:1411–1429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wu H, Carrillo J, Ding JQ (2016) Invasion by alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides, is associated with decreased species diversity across the latitudinal gradient in China. J Plant Ecol 9:311–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xian XQ, Chen H, Zhao J, Wan FH (2013) Introduction to the database of invasive alien species in China. Plant Prot 39(5):103–109Google Scholar
  44. Xie Y, Li ZY, Gregg WP, Dianmo L (2001) Invasive species in China – an overview. Biodivers Conserv 10:1317–1341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xu HG, Qiang S (2011) China’s invasive alien species. Science Press, Beijing, 684 ppGoogle Scholar
  46. Xu KY, Ye WH, Cao HL, Deng X, Yang QH, Zhang Y (2004) The role of diversity and functional traits of species in community invasibility. Bot Bull Acad Sinica 45:149–157Google Scholar
  47. Xu HG, Ding H, Li MY, Qiang S, Guo JY, Han ZM, Huang ZG, Sun HY, He SP, Wu HR, Wan FH (2006a) The distribution and economic losses of alien species invasion to China. Biol Invasions 8:1495–1500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Xu HG, Qiang S, Han ZM, Guo JY, Huang ZG, Sun HY, He SP, Ding H, Wu HR, Wan FH (2006b) The status and causes of alien species invasion in China. Biodivers Conserv 15:2893–2904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Xu H, Chen K, Ouyang ZY, Pan XB, Zhu SF (2012a) Threats of invasive species for China caused by expanding international trade. Environ Sci Technol 46:7063–7064CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Xu HG, Qiang S, Genovesi P, Ding H, Wu J, Meng L, Han ZM, Miao JL, Hu BS, Guo JY et al (2012b) An inventory of invasive alien species in China. NeoBiota 15:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yang PJ, Liang GQ (1996) Summary on ecological problems of biological invasions. Nat Enem Insects 18(1):91–97Google Scholar
  52. Yang ZQ, Wang XY, Zhang YN (2014) Recent advances in biological control of important native and invasive forest pests in China. Biol Control 68:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yuan JJ, Ding WX, Liu DY, Kang H, Freeman C, Xiang J, Lin YX (2015) Exotic Spartina alterniflora invasion alters ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CH4 and N2O and carbon sequestration in a coastal salt marsh in China. Glob Chang Biol 21:1567–1580CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Zhang T, Luan JB, Qi JF, Huang CJ, Li M, Zhou XP, Liu SS (2012) Begomovirus-whitefly mutualism is achieved through repression of plant defences by a virus pathogenicity factor. Mol Ecol 21:1294–1304CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhao LL, Mota M, Vieira P, Butcher RA, Sun JH (2014) Interspecific communication between pinewood nematode, its insect vector, and associated microbes. Trends Parasitol 30:299–308CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Zheng YL, Feng YL, Zhang LK, Callaway RM, Valiente-Banuet A, Luo DQ, Liao ZY, Lei YB, Barclay GF, Pereyra CS (2015) Integrating novel chemical weapons and evolutionarily increased competitive ability in success of a tropical invader. New Phytol 205:1350–1359CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhu XZ, Zhang JT, Ma KP (2011) Soil biota reduce allelopathic effects of the invasive Eupatorium adenophorum. PLoS ONE 6:e25393CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhu DH, Wang P, Zhang WZ, Yuan Y, Li B, Wang J (2015) Sampling and complementarity effects of plant diversity on resource use increases the invasion resistance of communities. PLoS ONE 10:e0141559CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Lab for Biology of Plant Disease and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations