Pest risk maps for invasive alien species: a roadmap for improvement
Pest risk maps are powerful visual communication tools to describe where invasive alien species might arrive, establish, spread, or cause harmful impacts. These maps inform strategic and tactical pest management decisions, such as potential restrictions on international trade or the design of pest surveys and domestic quarantines. Diverse methods are available to create pest risk maps, and can potentially yield different depictions of risk for the same species. Inherent uncertainties about the biology of the invader, future climate conditions, and species interactions further complicate map interpretation. If multiple maps are available, risk managers must choose how to incorporate the various representations of risk into their decisionmaking process, and may make significant errors if they misunderstand what each map portrays. This article describes the need for pest risk maps, compares pest risk mapping methods, and recommends future research to improve such important decision-support tools.