Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Effects of climatic and social factors on dispersal strategies of alien species across China.

Abstract

Determination of dispersal strategies of alien species and its relationship with social and climatic factors are essential to understand the mechanisms of species invasion and adaption. Based on morphological trait, dispersal mode, and dispersal agent of diaspore of 562 alien species across China, we determined: (i) the proportions of five dispersal strategies (i.e., autochory, anemochory, hydrochory, zoochory, and anthropochory), (ii) the relationships between the dispersal strategies and socio-climatic factors in 34 administrative regions across China, and (iii) the correlations between different dispersal strategies. Anthropochory, zoochory, and anemochory account for nearly 90.0% of all the dispersal strategies of alien species. Mean frost days (MFD), mean annual humidity (MAH), and gross domestic product (GDP) were the main climatic and social factors that were correlated to different dispersal strategies. Zoochory was positively related to MFD, but negatively related to the autochory and anthropochory. MAH negatively influenced the anemochory, while GDP positively influenced the hydrochory. We classified the six dispersal strategies into two groups based on the correlations among dispersal strategies, group I included autochory and anthropochory, and group II included anemochory, hydrochory, and zoochory. Within a group, dispersal strategies were positively correlated, while between groups, dispersal strategies were negatively correlated. Positive correlation between different strategies might be co-owned while negative correlation between different strategies might not be co-owned by one alien species. Understanding the characteristics of the dispersal strategies of alien species is important for policy makers when controlling the dispersal of malignant invasive alien species, predicting the distribution, and decreasing or cutting off the dispersal pathways of invasive alien species.