Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year

04.10.2016

Ecologists have estimated that invasive (non-native) insects cost humanity tens of billions of dollars a year – and are likely to increase under climate change and growing international trade.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and CNRS and Paris-Sud University in France have compiled the first comprehensive and robust database of the global economic costs of invasive insects ─ but say estimates are likely to be greatly under-estimated because of the lack of research into costs in many parts of the world.


Credit: Dimitri Geystor (France)

One of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees, the Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar).

Previous estimates have been “spatially incomplete and of questionable quality”.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report a minimum US$70billion a year cost globally to goods and services, and more than US$6.9 billion a year on health costs of invasive insects.

“Most of the damage to human industry occurs in agriculture and forestry ─ damage and loss of production but also costs of clean-up, eradication and prevention,” says Professor Corey Bradshaw, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. “But billions of dollars are spent on the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases like dengue, West Nile virus and chikungunya disease spread by insects that have invaded other countries.”

Among the costly insects are the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) transported worldwide from eastern Asia and capable of consuming as much as 400 g of wood a day, and the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), of Eurasian origin, which is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees.

The researchers report that these costs are probably just “the tip of the largely unseen and unmeasured iceberg” because many regions of the world, such as Africa and South America, have yet to measure and estimate many of these costs.

Correcting for minimal sampling bias could bring total annual global costs of invasive insects as high as US$270 billion.

“Ultimately, the average citizen pays for most of these costs, but we can generally reduce the costliest sorts of damage by investing in better detection and early eradication measures,” says Professor Bradshaw.

The researchers say that costs are also likely to increase.

“There are two main phenomena leading to an increased frequency of introductions and potentially expanding distributions of the costliest insect invaders: international trade and global warming,” says Dr Franck Courchamp, Senior CNRS Researcher at Systematic Ecology and Evolution Laboratory (CNRS/Paris-Sud University/AgroParisTech).

“In addition to improving guidelines for estimating the full costs of invasive insects, vigilant planning, public-awareness campaigns and community participation could potentially relieve society of billions of dollars of annual expense, and reduce a great deal of human suffering.”

The research was supported by Foundation BNP Paribas, ANR InvaCost and the Australian Research Council.

Media Contact:

Professor Corey Bradshaw, University of Adelaide, Mobile: +61 (0) 400 697 665, corey.bradshaw@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Franck Courchamp, CNRS, Mobile: +33 16915 5685, franck.courchamp@u-psud.fr

Robyn Mills, Media Officer, Phone: +61 8 8313 6341, Mobile: +61 (0)410 689 084, robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills | newswise

Further reports about: CNRS West Nile virus economic costs global warming gypsy moth insects

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>