Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Use of meteorological data in biosecurity.

Abstract

Pests, pathogens and diseases cause some of the most widespread and damaging impacts worldwide - threatening lives and leading to severe disruption to economic, environmental and social systems. The overarching goal of biosecurity is to protect the health and security of plants and animals (including humans) and the wider environment from these threats. As nearly all living organisms and biological systems are sensitive to weather and climate, meteorological, 'met', data are used extensively in biosecurity. Typical applications include, (i) bioclimatic modelling to understand and predict organism distributions and responses, (ii) risk assessment to estimate the probability of events and horizon scan for future potential risks, and (iii) early warning systems to support outbreak management. Given the vast array of available met data types and sources, selecting which data is most effective for each of these applications can be challenging. Here we provide an overview of the different types of met data available and highlight their use in a wide range of biosecurity studies and applications. We argue that there are many synergies between meteorology and biosecurity, and these provide opportunities for more widespread integration and collaboration across the disciplines. To help communicate typical uses of meteorological data in biosecurity to a wide audience we have designed the 'Meteorology for biosecurity' infographic.