Matthew Mclaughlin, U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, U.S. discussed on Science Magazine Podcast


That might yet be undetected? Our results suggest that upwards of a quarter of this group of non native species, the hemiptera species may not have been discovered at the end of our study in 2012. That's a substantial portion. It's about 250 species compared to at that point we had discovered about 700 species. One of the goals of this paper seems to be to model the relationship between trade and invasives and figure out what the main drivers are that disconnect them, what lessons can we take away from this? I think there are a couple of lessons. I think for targeting inspection efforts, this can provide some really great background information. We see that the marginal risk changes pretty dramatically over time and it changes across world regions. What this means is that we may have a relatively risky trading partner that then the risk from their imports decreases over time in contrast. Some imports may become more risky over time. The other thing that we found that was extremely interesting was thinking very carefully about how to account for some of these really important mechanisms in the discovery process was really helpful. So we have a nice proxy for search effort in here. What this means is that how hard are we looking for the bugs? It's very hard to measure. This can be done by academic institutions, governments, individuals, just about anyone can look for bugs. So it's really hard to know how much search effort is going on. So we use discoveries of native amateur species to proxy for those. And that really helped us to identify a very important part of the establishment and discovery process. And I think that this can open a lot of new avenues for thinking about how to use your existing information to answer the questions that you're looking at about non native species discoveries. Is it possible to take this approach, making a model like this, looking at the history of discovery and helping other places in the world model their invasives influx and maybe help abate that? I'll stay away from the policy implications of it. But using similar information, we could certainly study the establishment and discovery process in other contexts. There's nothing that's necessarily unique about the U.S., other than we have some great data resources that allow us to look back at trade into the mid 19th century. And that we have an abundance of species records to draw from. Thanks, Matt. Thank you, Sarah. Matthew McLaughlin is a research economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, economic research service. You can find a link to the science advances paper we discussed at science dot org slash podcast. Stay tuned for the next installment in our series on books at the intersection of race and science. This month, host Angela saney.

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