Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fighting crimes against biodiversity: How to catch a killer weed

Date:
February 10, 2012
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Invasive species which have the potential to destroy biodiversity and influence global change could be tracked and controlled in the same way as wanted criminals, according to new research.

Invasive species which have the potential to destroy biodiversity and influence global change could be tracked and controlled in the same way as wanted criminals.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen Mary, University of London

Invasive species which have the potential to destroy biodiversity and influence global change could be tracked and controlled in the same way as wanted criminals, according to new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Geographic profiling (GP) was originally developed as a statistical tool in criminology, where it uses the locations of linked crimes (for example murder, rape or arson) to identify the predicted location of the offender's residence. The technique is widely used by police forces and investigative agencies around the world.

Now, a team led by Dr Steven Le Comber from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences has shown that this technique can also be used to identify the source of populations of invasive animals and plants such as Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed.

Invasive species are now viewed as the second most important driver of world biodiversity loss behind habitat destruction and have been identified as a significant component of global change. The cost of invasive species can run from millions to billions of pounds. For these reasons, prevention and control of invasive species has been identified as a priority for conservation organisations and government wildlife and agriculture ministries globally.

Writing in the journal Ecography, the team describe how they used computer simulations to compare GP to existing ways of monitoring invasive species. The team also analysed historical data from the Biological Records Centre (BRC) for 53 invasive species in Great Britain, ranging from marine invertebrates (such as the Japanese oyster) to woody trees (for example, Norway spruce), and from a wide variety of habitats (including coastal habitats, woodland and human-made habitats) to attempt to identify the source of each species. In both the computer simulations and the real datasets, GP dramatically outperformed other techniques, particularly as the number of sources (or potential sources) increased. Dr Steven Le Comber who led the study, explains:

"We found that existing methods performed reasonably well finding a single source, but did much less well when there were multiple sources -- as is typically the case as invasive species spread The results show that geographic profiling could potentially be used to control the spread of invasive species by identifying sources in the early stages of invasions, when control efforts are most likely to be effective."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark D. Stevenson, D. Kim Rossmo, Robert J. Knell, Steven C. Le Comber. Geographic profiling as a novel spatial tool for targeting the control of invasive species. Ecography, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2011.07292.x

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Fighting crimes against biodiversity: How to catch a killer weed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210111256.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2012, February 10). Fighting crimes against biodiversity: How to catch a killer weed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210111256.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Fighting crimes against biodiversity: How to catch a killer weed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210111256.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins