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Do atmospheric events explain the arrival of an invasive ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) in the UK?

Siljamo, P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2317-9125, Ashbrook, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6555-8791, Comont, Richard F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9918-9813 and Skjøth, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5992-9568 (2020) Do atmospheric events explain the arrival of an invasive ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) in the UK? PLOS ONE, 15 (1). e0219335. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Species introduced outside their natural range threaten global biodiversity and despite greater awareness of invasive species risks at ports and airports, control measures in place only concern anthropogenic routes of dispersal. Here, we use the Harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, an invasive species which first established in the UK from continental Europe in 2004, to test whether records from 2004 and 2005 were associated with atmospheric events. We used the atmospheric- chemistry transport model SILAM to model the movement of this species from known distributions in continental Europe and tested whether the predicted atmospheric events were associated with the frequency of ladybird records in the UK. We show that the distribution of this species in the early years of its arrival does not provide substantial evidence for a purely anthropogenic introduction and show instead that atmospheric events can better explain this arrival event. Our results suggest that air flows which may assist dispersal over the English Channel are relatively frequent; ranging from once a week from Belgium and the Netherlands to 1–2 times a week from France over our study period. Given the frequency of these events, we demonstrate that atmospheric-assisted dispersal is a viable route for flying species to cross natural barriers.

Item Type: Article
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The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the official URL.

Uncontrolled Keywords: Research Article, Ecology and environmental sciences, Engineering and technology, People and places, Earth sciences, Physical sciences, Biology and life sciences, Research and analysis methods
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Copyright Info: Open access article
SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Kate Ashbrook
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2020 12:34
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 12:34
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9058

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