Li Bo; Wei ShuJuan; Li Hui; Yang Qiang; Lu Meng
China is a rapidly developing country with the largest share of the world's population. The extent of human activity, combined with diverse climates and landscapes, may allow for greater risk of biological invasions. To date, at least 529 invasive species have been identified, including 270 species of higher plants, 198 species of animals and 61 species of microbes, resulting in an estimated annual economic loss of US$18.9 billion. Evidence to date suggests that different components of climate change (i.e. temperature, altered precipitation, extreme weather events and rising CO2 concentration) have already influenced the biology of invasive species in China. The influence of climate change may increase the negative economic or environmental consequences of some invasives; however, others may become disadvantaged. Although we are still at the earliest stages of understanding the consequences of climate change on invasive species biology, China is one of the countries that may be affected most dramatically by invasive species. Overall, understanding the interactions between climate change and invasive species biology is an important scientific challenge, but one in which Chinese scientists can make significant contributions. The inclusion of the invasive species issue in some of China's ongoing projects on global change could begin to address critical research needs in this area.