Economic activity and distribution of an invasive species: evidence from night-time lights satellite imagery data.
This study addresses economic and ecological aspects related to aquatic invasive species occurrence and spread. The relative importance of these two factors driving the probability of occurrence of Elodea canadensis species in lakes of Sweden is quantified. Night-time lights data, a proxy for economic activity, is generated from satellite imagery and mapped to key environmental variables known to constrain the species' distribution. Economic and environmental data are then matched with the species' observational records at the lake scale. Evidence from a spatial probit model shows a robust positive relationship between economic activity and invasion of uninvaded lakes.