Climate change is predicted to increase the rate of introduction and spread of invasive species—we are already experiencing this increased risk in BC. Due to climate change, we are experiencing more frequent and severe disturbances such as wildfires and floods. These large-scale disturbances, as well as smaller disturbances associated with our response to such events, enable invasive species to establish and take advantage of available resources before the native or desirable plant community can recover.

A changing climate also results in shifting ecological communities, as annual temperature and precipitation patterns change. These changes can allow invasive species—whether they are already in BC or are still outside the province—to move into new areas where they were previously unable to survive. Native ecosystems may also become less resilient due to climate change and so be less able to prevent invasion.

image of overgrown Kudzu plant
Kudzu is a plant that survives in warmer climates and has been termed ‘the plant the ate the south’ because of the extensive infestations in the southern United States.