How anthropogenic activities affect the establishment and spread of non-indigenous species post-arrival

Emma L. Johnston, Katherine A. Dafforn, Graeme F. Clark, Marc Rius, Oliver Floerl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


When humans transport a species to a location outside its native range, multiple biotic and abiotic factors influence its post-arrival establishment and spread. Abiotic factors such as disturbance and environmental conditions determine the suitability of the new environment for an invader, as well as influence resource availability and ecological succession. Biotic processes such as competition, facilitation, predation and disease can either limit or promote invasion, as can emergent community-level traits such as species diversity. Synergies arise when the abiotic and biotic factors controlling invasion success are themselves influenced by anthropogenic activities, such as those associated with coastal urbanization and industrialization. Here we present a review of the major anthropogenic activities that affect the success of non-indigenous species (NIS) post-arrival. We prioritize the factors in terms of their ecological and evolutionary importance, and present potential management actions to reduce NIS success post-arrival. Evidence-based management has the potential to mitigate anthropogenic activities that enhance invasion success. High priority management actions include: 1) the removal, or containment, of legacy contaminants and reduction of new inputs to reduce the competitive advantage that some invaders have in contaminated environments, 2) the redesign of artificial structures to reduce colonization by NIS through eco-engineering, selection of construction materials and the ‘seeding’ of structures with native species to provide a priority advantage, 3) the management of dominant regional transport pathways to ensure that the risk of transporting NIS via our increasingly complex transport networks is minimized and 4) the protection and maintenance of biotic resilience in the form of intact living habitats and endemic diversity. Further research is required to advance our understanding of the role of anthropogenic activities in driving post-arrival success of NIS. Such work is vital for developing responsive and mechanistic management plans and ultimately for reducing the impacts of marine invasive species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-419
Number of pages31
JournalOceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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