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Hosting major international events leads to pest redistributions

Li, Shaojian, Guo, Lei, Ren, Shunxiang, De Barro, Paul J., Qiu, Bao-Li
Biodiversity and conservation 2014 v.23 no.5 pp. 1229-1247
arthropod pests, arthropods, biodiversity, games, herbivores, invasive species, landscaping, ornamental plants, trade, China
Human trade and transport is a major contributor to the global spread of invasive species and biodiversity change. Much of the focus on anthropogenic spread has been the movement of species between countries with far less attention being placed on the within country spread. For invasive arthropods, trade in ornamentals is a key contributor to global spread, but the role played by the transport of ornamentals within countries has been less well explored. In China, the hosting of major international events is an important expression of national and international pride and prestige. Hosting these is associated with the substantial use of landscaping to beautify the sites, all of which need to transport considerable numbers of plants to the event sites from various parts of China. To assess the consequences of this in terms of the spread of arthropod pests we sampled ornamental plants used to landscape the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing and the 16th Asia Games in Guangzhou. Plants used to landscape the Olympic Games were transported from ten provinces from across the eastern half of China. A total of 44 species of herbivorous arthropods belonging to six orders were recorded with eight species being new records for Beijing. Plants used at the 16th Asian Games came from five provinces. In total 32 species of arthropod herbivores belonging to six orders were recorded with four being new records for Guangdong province. Our results suggested that measures need to be considered to reduce the likelihood of invasive species spread when hosting major international events.