Benefits and costs of controlling allergenic invasive alien plants in central Europe
Climate change will potentially increase the negative impacts of invasive alien plants as areas suitable for establishment will increase. For three non-native Asteraceae species, Ambrosia trifida (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), Artemisia annua and Iva xanthiifolia, increased impacts due to climate change may have profound impacts on human health (all three species are reported to cause allergenic reactions in humans) and agriculture. The future spread of all species was modelled under different climate change (a moderate scenario of +1.5 oC and a severe scenario of +2.4oC), management and spread scenarios to the year 2050. Under both climate change scenarios, spread increased for all species combined, but was more significant under the severe scenario. When applying management costs and associated benefits (savings in costs to human health and agriculture) to the predicted spread of the species, it was shown that early intervention yielded substantial savings. Under the moderate climate change scenario, net savings ranged from 19 to 582 million EUR whereas up to 1 063 million EUR may be saved under the severe climate change scenario. Such large figures highlight the benefits of managing these three invasive alien plants in Central Europe.
Plank L, Zak D, Getzner M, Follak S, Essl F, Dullinger S, Kleinbauer I, Moser D, Gattringer A (2016) Benefits and costs of controlling three allergenic alien species under climate change and dispersal scenarios in Central Europe. Environmental Science and Policy 56, 9-21.