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Increasing global costs of invasive insects – by Corey Bradshaw – 19.11.2015

Increasing global costs of invasive insects – by Corey Bradshaw – 19.11.2015

Future human population growth, economic expansion and possibly climate change will increase the prevalence and distribution of invasive insects, and there will therefore be massive and increasing costs to agriculture, forestry, human health, real estate, and ecosystems. At the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, we compiled a comprehensive database of estimated economic (agriculture, control, real estate, forestry; €), human health (disease; disabilityadjusted life years) and ecological (ecosystem services) costs of the worst 100 invasive insects globally. Our aim is to estimate a ‘global’ minimum cost of burgeoning invasions resulting from human economic activity, rising population sizes and climate warming, and determine the minimum savings accumulated to mid-century if society invests heavily in control and prevention now as opposed to paying for accrued damages.

Corey Bradshaw holds the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. He has a broad range of research interests including population dynamics, extinction theory, palaeo-ecology, sustainability, invasion biology, community ecology, and climate change impacts & mitigation. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 9 book chapters and two books. He is regularly featured in Australian and international media for his research. His blog, ConservationBytes.com, has been visited over 1.4 million times from biodiversity-interested people all over the world.