Pest risk maps for invasive alien species: A roadmap for improvement

Robert C. Venette, Darren J. Kriticos, Roger D. Magarey, Frank H. Koch, Richard H A Baker, Susan P. Worner, Nadilia N Gómez Raboteaux, Daniel W. McKenney, Erhard J. Dobesberger, Denys Yemshanov, Paul J De Barro, William D. Hutchison, Glenn Fowler, Tom M. Kalaris, John Pedlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


Pest risk maps are powerful visual communication tools to describe where invasive alien species might arrive, establish, spread, or cause harmful impacts. These maps inform strategic and tactical pest management decisions, such as potential restrictions on international trade or the design of pest surveys and domestic quarantines. Diverse methods are available to create pest risk maps, and can potentially yield different depictions of risk for the same species. Inherent uncertainties about the biology of the invader, future climate conditions, and species interactions further complicate map interpretation. If multiple maps are available, risk managers must choose how to incorporate the various representations of risk into their decisionmaking process, and may make significant errors if they misunderstand what each map portrays. This article describes the need for pest risk maps, compares pest risk mapping methods, and recommends future research to improve such important decision-support tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Jason Beddow, Dan Borchert, Manuel Col-unga Garcia, Marla Downing, Kurt Gottschalk, Catherine Jarnevich, Kevin Porter, Trond Rafoss, Joe Russo, and Amos Ziegler for valuable contributions to discussions during the workshop and development of the pest risk mapping recommendations. We also thank Lisa Kennaway and Dan Fieselmann for their assistance in organizing the workshop. Ian Campbell, Monica Dorning, Claire Jarvis, Albert Simard, Doreen Watler, and three anonymous reviewers provided useful comments on earlier drafts of the article. We thank Kito Young for the artwork in figure 1. Contributions from R. C. V. were supported in part by the National Research Initiative of the US Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, grant number 2005-35605-15403.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Biological invasions
  • Biosecurity
  • Climate change
  • Ecological niche models
  • Pest risk assessment

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