Are the ecological effects of the “worst” marine invasive species linked with scientific and media attention?
byNathan R. Geraldi, Andrea Anton, Catherine E. Lovelock, Carlos M. Duarte
Geraldi, N. R., Anton, A., Lovelock, C. E., & Duarte, C. M. (2019). Are the ecological effects of the “worst” marine invasive species linked with scientific and media attention?. PloS one, 14(4), e0215691.
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.