The Role of Tourism and Recreation in the Spread of Non-Native Species: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Managing the pathways by which non-native species are introduced and spread is consid- ered the most effective way of preventing species invasions. Tourism and outdoor recrea- tion involve the frequent congregation of people, vehicles and vessels from geographically diverse areas. They are therefore perceived to be major pathways for the movement of non- native species, and ones that will become increasingly important with the continued growth of these sectors. However, a global assessment of the relationship between tourism activi- ties and the introduction of non-native species–particularly in freshwater and marine envi- ronments–is lacking. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the impact of tourism and outdoor recreation on non-native species in terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments. Our results provide quantitative evidence that the abundance and richness of non-native species are significantly higher in sites where tourist activities take place than in control sites. The pattern was consistent across terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments; across a variety of vectors (e.g. horses, hikers, yachts); and across a range of taxonomic groups. These results highlight the need for widespread biose- curity interventions to prevent the inadvertent introduction of invasive non-native species (INNS) as the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors grow.