Do atmospheric events explain the arrival of an invasive ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) in the UK?

Autoři: Pilvi Siljamo aff001;  Kate Ashbrook aff002;  Richard F. Comont aff002;  Carsten Ambelas Skjøth aff002
Působiště autorů: Meteorological Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland aff001;  School of Science & the Environment, University of Worcester, Worcester, England, United Kingdom aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article


Species introduced outside their natural range threaten global biodiversity and despite greater awareness of invasive species risks at ports and airports, control measures in place only concern anthropogenic routes of dispersal. Here, we use the Harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, an invasive species which first established in the UK from continental Europe in 2004, to test whether records from 2004 and 2005 were associated with atmospheric events. We used the atmospheric- chemistry transport model SILAM to model the movement of this species from known distributions in continental Europe and tested whether the predicted atmospheric events were associated with the frequency of ladybird records in the UK. We show that the distribution of this species in the early years of its arrival does not provide substantial evidence for a purely anthropogenic introduction and show instead that atmospheric events can better explain this arrival event. Our results suggest that air flows which may assist dispersal over the English Channel are relatively frequent; ranging from once a week from Belgium and the Netherlands to 1–2 times a week from France over our study period. Given the frequency of these events, we demonstrate that atmospheric-assisted dispersal is a viable route for flying species to cross natural barriers.

Klíčová slova:

Airports – Atmospheric chemistry – Belgium – France – Insect pests – Invasive species – Monte Carlo method – Weather


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