Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Predicting the spread of all invasive forest pests in the United States.

Abstract

We tested whether a general spread model could capture macroecological patterns across all damaging invasive forest pests in the United States. We showed that a common constant dispersal kernel model, simulated from the discovery date, explained 67.94% of the variation in range size across all pests, and had 68.00% locational accuracy between predicted and observed locational distributions. Further, by making dispersal a function of forest area and human population density, variation explained increased to 75.60%, with 74.30% accuracy. These results indicated that a single general dispersal kernel model was sufficient to predict the majority of variation in extent and locational distribution across pest species and that proxies of propagule pressure and habitat invasibility - well-studied predictors of establishment - should also be applied to the dispersal stage. This model provides a key element to forecast novel invaders and to extend pathway-level risk analyses to include spread.