The distribution and introduction pathway of alien invasive species in China
XU Hai-Gen, QIANG Sheng, HAN Zheng-Min, GUO Jian-Ying, HUANG Zong-Guo, SUN Hong-Ying, 6, HE Shun-Ping, 7, DING Hui, WU Hai-Rong, WAN Fang-Hao
Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (6):
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Alien invasive species have become a serious environmental issue throughout the world. It is necessary to launch a nationwide investigation on alien invasive species, so as to obtain baseline data, identify causes of invasion, and put forward effective control strategies and measures. Data on classification, origin, pathway and environmental impacts of alien invasive micro-organisms, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, weeds, trees in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and alien invasive species in marine ecosystems of China were analyzed, based on literature research, field survey and consultation. 283 alien invasive species have been identified in China, and the number of species of alien invasive micro-organisms, aquatic plants, terrestrial plants, aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, fish, and mammals were 19, 18, 170, 25, 33, 3, 10, and 5, respectively. The proportion of alien invasive species originating from America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania were 55.1%, 21.7%, 9.9%, 8.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Many institutions and individuals in China lack adequate knowledge of ecological and environmental consequences caused by alien invasive species, with some blindness in the introduction of alien species. For instance, 50.0% of alien invasive plants were intentionally introduced as pasture, feed stock, ornamental plants, textile plants, medicinal plants, vegetables, or lawn plants. 25% of alien invasive animals were intentionally introduced for cultivation, recreation, or biological control. In addition, much effort has been made on introduction of alien species, and little attention has been paid to the management of introduced alien species, which may allow their escape into natural environments and potential threats to the environment. There are also gaps in the quarantine system in China. All invasive micro-organisms were unintentionally introduced, through timber, seedlings, flowerpots, or soil. 76.3% of alien invasive animals invaded through commodity or transportation facilities because of the failure of quarantine. It is recommended that quarantine measures should be strictly implemented. At the same time, the intentional introduction of alien species should be strictly managed and a system of risk assessment should be implemented.