“Globalization and the anthropogenic spread of invasive social insects” has been published in Current Opinion in Insect Science.
Social insects are among the worst invasive species and a better understanding of their anthropogenic spread is needed. Here, I highlight recent research demonstrating that social insects have been dispersed since the early beginnings of globalized trade and in particular after the Industrial Revolution, following two waves of globalization. Many species have complex invasion histories, with multiple independent introduction events and frequent secondary spread. The major source and recipient regions differ markedly across ants, wasps, termites and bees, probably linked to their different introduction pathways. At a more local scale, anthropogenic factors such as irrigation, urbanization or the presence of railways facilitate invasions. In the future, social insect invasions could further accelerate due to intensifying global trade and novel introduction pathways.
The full paper can be found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214574521000079[ssba-buttons]