Around 1,200 New Species To Arrive in a Global Scale, Damaging Biodiversity

The increase threatens the ecosystem and economies worldwide.
Deniz Yildiran
Egyptian goose, originally from Africa, is now established in Central and Western Europe.Professor Tim Blackburn, UCL

Referred originally as the non-native species, a big group of plants and animals are to increase by 36% worldwide, expectedly around 2050. Findings have been based on the comparison to 2005, per the study. 

It might sound a bit horrifying, but the meticulous order is apparently one step closer to go through a dramatic change unless any precaution is taken.


The study, led by the German Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and involving an international team from UCL, has stated that variations will depend on the regions. Europe is expected to take the top by a 64% increase followed by temperate latitudes of Asia, North America, and South America. Australia is in the last place to face the increasing percentage, the study indicates. 

Around 1,200 New Species To Arrive in a Global Scale, Damaging Biodiversity
Box tree moth, native to East Asia, is now found across Europe, Source: Professor Tim Blackburn, UCL

Globally, the expected increase in new arrivals will be mostly arthropod and bird species, including 1,200 ones on average. Europe will not welcome every species though. Mammals seem an exception among 2,500 new ones. 

"Our study predicts that alien species will continue to be added to ecosystems at high rates through the next few decades, which is concerning as this could contribute to harmful biodiversity change and extinction," co-author Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research and the Institute of Zoology, ZSL) said

Nevertheless, the research team says that the situation is not that desperate. They forecast the possibility of reducing numbers with stricter biosecurity regulations.

The research team created a mathematical model to calculate the number of new aliens coming up by 2050, drawing upon "estimated sizes of source pools and dynamics of historical invasions, under a 'business-as-usual' scenario that assumes a continuation of current trends."

Most Popular

The problem with the upswell is due to aliens' potential of being invasive which results in damaging the ecosystems and economies.

"Alien species are one of the main drivers of extinctions of animals and plants," UCL News clarifies. 

Slowing down the invasion is one option. As the species' movement has to do with international trade, it doesn't seem very possible, perhaps ideal to stop the whole thing. 

"However, stricter regulations and their rigorous enforcement could greatly slow the flow of new species. The benefits of such measures have been shown in some parts of the world. Regulations are still comparatively lax in Europe, and so there is great potential here for new measures to curtail the arrival of new aliens," Lead author Dr. Hanno Seebens said.

The study has been published in Global Change Biology.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron