Predicting and preventing future species invasions
Invasive species cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year to the global economy, and are a major threat to native species and ecosystems. As global travel and trade accelerate, so does the transport (intentional and inadvertent) of species to new locations. Most newly-introduced species will not become invasive; in fact, many will fail to establish at all. The ability to predict which species will become invasive has the potential to prevent extinction and economic loss. But making such predictions is a tricky business.