sImpact - Impact of invasive alien species: prediction and quantification

First meeting: 01.-04.07.2013

Sabrina Kumschick

iDiv member:
Ingolf Kühn

Project summary:
A predictive understanding of the impacts of alien species is crucial for mitigating future impacts, managing alien species and affected ecosystems, and conserving native biodiversity. There is a growing number of studies on the impacts of alien species invasions, but most focus on a single invader under very specific conditions. Furthermore, detecting and capturing impact has often been subjective and largely qualitative. This workshop aims at developing ways to improve and potentially unify impact quantification across taxa and biomes, and to reveal overarching patterns that can enhance our predictive power. We will pursue four objectives: 1) Achieve a more predictive understanding of alien species impacts; 2) Develop standard methods of quantifying impact; 3) Identify the major elements of a general theoretical framework for impact; and 4) Determine how to effectively incorporate impact into alien species risk assessments. These objectives not only seek to improve our scientific understanding of the effects of alien species, but also directly inform management on how to anticipate and prioritize invasion threats.

Sven Bacher (University of Fribourg), Tim Blackburn (Institute of Zoology), Jaimie Dick (Queens University), Tom Evans (Imperial College), Mirijam Gaertner (Stellenbosch University), Jonathan Jeschke (Technical University of Munich), Ingolf Kühn (Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ), Sabrina Kumschick (Stellenbosch University), Agata Mrugala, Jan Pergl (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), Petr Pyšek (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), Wolfgang Rabitsch (Environment Agency Austria), Anthony Ricciardi (McGill University), Dave Richardson (Stellenbosch University), Agnieszka Sendek (Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ), Montserrat Vilá (stación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC)), Marten Winter (German Centre for integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv))

Meeting report

sIMPACT started to develop the Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT), which is now in the process to be officially adopted by the IUCN as classification standard (similar to Red Lists). See:


Hawkins, C.L.; Bacher, S.; Essl, F. et al. (2015) Framework and guidelines for implementing the proposed IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT). see here

Jeschke, J.M., Bacher, S., Blackburn, T.M., Dick, J.T.A., Essl, F., Evans, T. et al. (2014). Defining the Impact of Non-Native Species. Conservation Biology, 28, 188-1194. see here

Blackburn, T.M., Essl, F., Evans, T., Hulme, P.E., Jeschke, J.M., Kühn, I. et al. (2014). A Unified Classification of Alien Species Based on the Magnitude of their Environmental Impacts. PLoS Biol, 12, e1001850. see here

Kumschick S, Essl F, Rabitsch W, et al. (2014) Ecological Impacts of Alien Species: Quantification, Scope, Caveats, and Recommendations A Unified Classification of Alien Species Based on the Magnitude of their Environmental Impacts. BioScience. see here

Richardson, D.M., Ricciardi, A. (2013) Misleading criticisms of invasion science: a field guide. Diversity and Distributions. see here

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