Natural Hazards

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 1751–1764 | Cite as

Spatial similarity in the distribution of invasive alien plants and animals in China

Original Paper


With ongoing development of global economy and increasing trade between countries, China faces increasingly serious invasions by alien species, causing great harm and potential disasters to agriculture, forestry and natural environment. According to a national survey of invasive alien species in China, there are 265 species of invasive alien plants and 171 species of invasive alien animals in China, most of which are widely distributed. In general, there are more invasive species, either plants or animals, in the south than in the north, and more in coastal areas than in interior areas. The distribution of first detection locations of invasive alien plants and animals shows a similar pattern. The cluster analyses showed that the distribution of invasive alien plants and animals was significantly influenced by geographical region, and the alien species of invasive plants and animals were similar in the same geographical region. Thus, the overall distribution of invasive alien plants and animals are spatially similar in China. The results remind us an ongoing invasion pressure from other countries to China and from the provinces with more invasive species to the provinces with less invasive species. Considering different biological and ecological characteristics of plants and animals, common social-economic factors and environmental conditions in each province lead to such similar spatial patterns, supporting the distribution prediction of establishment possibility based on the invasive pest assemblages.


Spatial pattern First detection locations Invasive alien species per unit area Cluster analysis Invasion pressure 



The authors are grateful to Mark van Kleunen, Chi Yuan and Fengqiao Liu for their kind manuscript suggestions and revision. The work is supported by the Basic Scientific Research Foundation of Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine (number 2014JK014 and 2014JK015), Public Welfare Project for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (number 201310091 and 201410080) and the S&T Project (number 2014IK019 and 2014IK290) of General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China. Pan X. also thanks for personal financial support from Scientific Research Foundations for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Ministry of Education, the People’s Republic of China and Beijing Nova Programme. We also thank the people that worked very hard on making the national inventory of invasive species in China.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant QuarantineChinese Academy of Inspection and QuarantineBeijingChina
  2. 2.Xinjiang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine BureauUrumqiChina

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