Economic costs of invasive alien species across europe

Phillip J. Haubrock*, Anna J. Turbelin, Ross N. Cuthbert, Ana Novoa, Nigel G. Taylor, Elena Angulo, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Thomas W. Bodey, César Capinha, Christophe Diagne, Franz Essl, Marina Golivets, Natalia Kirichenko, Melina Kourantidou, Boris Leroy, David Renault, Laura Verbrugge, Franck Courchamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)
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Biological invasions continue to threaten the stability of ecosystems and societies that are dependent on their services. Whilst the ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) have been widely reported in recent decades, there remains a paucity of information concerning their economic impacts. Europe has strong trade and transport links with the rest of the world, facilitating hundreds of IAS incursions, and largely centralised decision-making frameworks. The present study is the first comprehensive and detailed effort that quantifies the costs of IAS collectively across European countries and examines temporal trends in these data. In addition, the distributions of costs across countries, socioeconomic sectors and taxonomic groups are examined, as are socio-economic correlates of management and damage costs. Total costs of IAS in Europe summed to US$140.20 billion (or €116.61 billion) between 1960 and 2020, with the majority (60%) being damage-related and impacting multiple sectors. Costs were also geographically widespread but dominated by impacts in large western and central European countries, i.e. the UK, Spain, France, and Germany. Human population size, land area, GDP, and tourism were significant predictors of invasion costs, with management costs additionally predicted by numbers of introduced species, research effort and trade. Temporally, invasion costs have increased exponentially through time, with up to US$23.58 billion (€19.64 billion) in 2013, and US$139.56 billion (€116.24 billion) in impacts extrapolated in 2020. Importantly, although these costs are substantial, there remain knowledge gaps on several geographic and taxonomic scales, indicating that these costs are severely underestimated. We, thus, urge increased and improved cost reporting for economic impacts of IAS and coordinated international action to prevent further spread and mitigate impacts of IAS populations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-190
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the French National Research Agency (ANR-14-CE02-0021) and the BNP-Paribas Foundation Climate Initiative for funding the InvaCost project that allowed the construction of the InvaCost database. The present work was conducted following a workshop funded by the AXA Research Fund Chair of Invasion Biology and is part of the AlienScenario project funded by BiodivERsA and Belmont-Forum call 2018 on biodiversity scenarios. AN acknowledges funding from EXPRO grant no. 19-28807X (Czech Science Foundation) and long-term research development project RVO 67985939 (The Czech Academy of Sciences). CC was supported by Portuguese National Funds through Fundation para a Ci?ncia e a Tecnologia (CEECIND/02037/2017; UIDB/00295/2020 and UIDP/00295/2020). RNC was funded by a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. TWB acknowledges funding from the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie grant no. 747120. MG and CD were funded by the BiodivERsA-Belmont Forum Project ?Alien Scenarios? (BMBF/PT DLR 01LC1807C). NK was partially supported by the Russian Federationn Foundation for Basic Research (grant no.19-04-01029-A) [national literature survey] and the basic project of Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS (project no. 0287-2021-0011) [InvaCost database contribution]. DR thanks InEE-CNRS who supports the network GdR 3647 ?Invasions Biologiques?. Funds for AJT, EA and LBM contracts come from the AXA Research Fund Chair of Invasion Biology of University Paris Saclay. BL, DR and FC are French agents (affiliated, respectively, to the Mus?um National d?Histoire Naturelle, University of Rennes and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); their salaries, for which they are grateful, are typically not accounted for in assessment of costs on biological invasions. At last, the authors want to express their thanks for the translation of the abstract to other European languages, namely to Paride Balzani, Antonin Kouba, Sandra Hodic, and ROS Educational Consultancy Ltd & Garnock Media Ltd


  • Bodiversity
  • European Union
  • InvaCost
  • monetary impacts
  • non-native biota
  • socio-economic correlates
  • socioeconomic sectors


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