A practical tool for assessing ecosystem services enhancement and degradation associated with invasive alien species

Rocio Martinez-Cillero*, Simon Willcock, Alvaro Perez-Diaz, Emma Joslin, Philippine Vergeer, Kelvin S.H. Peh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Current approaches for assessing the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) are biased toward the negative effects of these species, resulting in an incomplete picture of their real effects. This can result in an inefficient IAS management. We address this issue by describing the INvasive Species Effects Assessment Tool (INSEAT) that enables expert elicitation for rapidly assessing the ecological consequences of IAS using the ecosystem services (ES) framework. INSEAT scores the ecosystem service “gains and losses” using a scale that accounted for the magnitude and the reversibility of its effects. We tested INSEAT on 18 IAS in Great Britain. Here, we highlighted four case studies: Harmonia axyridis (Harlequin ladybird), Astacus leptodactylus (Turkish crayfish), Pacifastacus leniusculus (Signal crayfish) and Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam). The results demonstrated that a collation of different experts’ opinions using INSEAT could yield valuable information on the invasive aliens’ ecological and social effects. The users can identify certain IAS as ES providers and the trade-offs between the ES provision and loss associated with them. This practical tool can be useful for evidence-based policy and management decisions that consider the potential role of invasive species in delivering human well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3918-3936
Number of pages19
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019



  • alternative management
  • expert judgment
  • Great Britain
  • non-native
  • novel approach

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