Are the ecological effects of the “worst” marine invasive species linked with scientific and media attention?
N.R. Geraldi, A. Anton, C.E. Lovelock, C.M. Duarte
PLoS ONE 14(4): e0215691, (2019)
Invasive species, Marine ecology, Marine ecosystems, F resh water, Citation analysis, Marine biology, Biodiversity, Mussels
Non-native species are a major driver of environmental change. In this study we assessed
the ecological impact of the “worst” non-native species and the associated scientific and
media publications through time to understand what influences interest in these species.
Ecological effect was based on a qualitative assessment reported in research publications
and additional searches of the scientific and media attention were conducted to determine
published articles and assess attention. We did not detect a relationship between the number of publications for a non-native species and the magnitude of the ecological effects of
that species or the number of citations. Media coverage on non-native species was low, only
evident for less than 50% of the non-native species assessed. Media coverage was initially
related to the number of scientific publications, but was short-lived. In contrast, the attention
to individual non-native species in the scientific literature was sustained through time and
often continued to increase over time. Time between detection of the non-native species
and the scientific/media attention were reduced with each successive introduction to a new
geographic location. Tracking publications on non-native species indicated that media attention does seem to be associated with the production of scientific research while scientific
attention was not related to the magnitude of the ecological effects.
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