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Improving International Trade Regulation by Considering Intraspecific Variation for Invasion Risk Assessment of Commercially Traded Species: The Bombus terrestris Case

Abstract : International trade of species facilitates the establishment of nonnative organisms. Highlighting areas potentially suitable for invasive species (risk areas) allows for effective importation regulations to prevent the spread of and the potential damage caused by such species. Species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used to predict risk areas but they usually disregard intraspe-cific differentiation and corresponding differences in climatic requirements. We used Bombus terrestris as an example of a commonly traded species and developed SDMs at the species-and subspecies-level to assess the value of subspecific information for risk area predictions. We show that species-level models are less efficient than subspecies-based SDMs and that risk areas differ considerably between subspecies. Therefore, the invasive potential of a species can depend on the subspecies imported and the particular climatic condition of the target area. This paves the way to novel policy-relevant guidelines to legislate for smart regulations instead of complete import interdictions.
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Thomas Lecocq, Pierre Rasmont, Alexander Harpke, Oliver Schweiger. Improving International Trade Regulation by Considering Intraspecific Variation for Invasion Risk Assessment of Commercially Traded Species: The Bombus terrestris Case. Conservation Letters, Wiley, 2016, 9 (4), pp.281 - 289. ⟨10.1111/conl.12215⟩. ⟨hal-01575674⟩

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