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Climate Change

"Invasive alien species (IAS) and climate change, with land use change and changes in the nitrogen and carbon cycles, are identified as the top four drivers of global biodiversity loss. Their relative importance depends on the ecoregion being considered. Biodiversity loss is accelerating because of the globalization of trade and increased international tourism.

Climate change can facilitate IAS as:

  • new species, that may become invasive, will be entering regions due to climate change,
  • species hierarchies in ecosystems will change, leading to new dominants that may have invasive tendencies, and
  • climate induced stress in an ecosystem will facilitate invasive pathways." (Source: CABI 2010)

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Selected Resources

The section below contains selected highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. To view all related content for this subject, click on "View all resources for subject" in the top left of this page.

Council or Task Force

National Invasive Species Council.
Approved by ISAC Dec 9, 2010.
Australian Invasive Species Council.

Partnership

International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Academia.

Prepared by: The Ad Hoc Working Group on Invasive Species and Climate Change.
Prepared for: The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) and The National Invasive Species Council (NISC).
This report is the result of more than 2 years of hard work by federal and non-federal experts.

This report is targeted at a broad audience of people interested in invasive species, climate change and natural resource management. It is structured to first provide a brief overview of the connections between invasive species and climate change before looking specifically at how these communities approach conservation and natural resource management.

This document addresses the broader framework of invasive species management and climate change adaptation as tools to enhance and protect ecosystems and their natural resources in the face of these drivers of change. The review of tools and methods will be of interest to managers working at specific sites and to individuals making strategic decisions at larger geographic scales. Policy-makers and government agencies at the local, state and national levels may be interested in the issues related to institutional coordination and recommendations, while the scientific and research community may focus on the application of assessment tools. Finally, the public as a whole may benefit from the overall focus on how the drivers of climate change and invasive species intersect and the potential ramifications these will have on the natural world.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Separately, climate change and invasive species are two of the greatest threats to biodiversity and the ecosystem services upon which humanity relies. Combined their impacts will be compounded, potentially resulting in negative feedback loops with increasingly dire consequences. This publication from GISP highlights recent efforts to identify the underlying dynamics linking these two global change drivers and the optimal responses for the policy-making and research communities.
Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.
Invasive species and climate change represent two of the five major global change threats to ecosystems. An emerging initiative of the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center aims to develop management-relevant research to improve invasive species management in the face of climate change. Through working groups, information sharing and targeted research, this project addresses the information needs of invasive species managers in the context of climate change.
Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center.
What will the changes in climate mean for the distribution and occurrences of pests? What tools will help in addressing the needs? The Northeastern IPM Center is partnering with other leading organizations on initiatives related to climate change and pests.

Federal Government

USDA. FS. Climate Change Resource Center.
Evidence suggests that future climate change will further increase the likelihood of invasion of forests and rangelands by nonnative plant species that do not normally occur there (invasive plants), and that the consequences of those invasions may be magnified. Read through the synthesis for more information on the factors that influence plant invasions and how these factors interact with one another.
USDA. Office of the Chief Economist.
Includes reports and various related resources providing a comprehensive syntheses of the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. agriculture and forests. Scientists from the Federal service, universities, non-governmental organizations, industry, tribal lands and the private sector contributed to the national stakeholder workshops and the peer-reviewed studies. The reports evaluate current conditions and look ahead to the next 25 to 100 years and the potential consequences of climate change.
Environmental Protection Agency.
This report reviews available literature on climate-change effects on aquatic invasive species (AIS) and examines state-level AIS management activities. Data on management activities came from publicly available information, was analyzed with respect to climate-change effects, and was reviewed by managers. This report also analyzes state and regional AIS management plans to determine their capacity to incorporate information on changing conditions generally, and climate change specifically. Final Report EPA/600/R-08/014.
United States Global Change Research Program.

International Government

Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
On 20 November 2006 the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee (BDAC), whose role it was to advise the then Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, held a one day workshop in Canberra on climate change and invasive species’ impacts on biodiversity. The various sections in this report are based upon topics discussed on the day, but they incorporate many additional findings drawn from recent research.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia). AdaptNRM.

Academic

Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Pennsylvania and New York Sea Grants worked together with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to compile 10 lesson plans focusing on the potential interactions between aquatic invasive species and the changing climate.