The Role of Natural and Human-Mediated Pathways for Invasive Agricultural Pests: A Historical Analysis of Cases from Brazil


Information about the geographic distribution of agricultural pests is the basis for all pest-related agricultural and environmental protection policies. However, often the pest’s records are incomplete and uncertain. Even with limitations, the pest records are needed for any country to organize a system for agriculture protection and to mobilize surveillance efforts. The first point is to identify the imminence of biological invasions, which can be accomplished through the collection of data on pest distribution. The basic information to evaluate the predictability of an invasion is geographic distribution and the identification of pathway types associated with the potential invader. Thus, the level of the risk of introduction is assessed more objectively. In this article, cases of introduction of pests were analyzed from published reports in Brazil in terms of their geographic distribution at the time of their introduction. Taking into consideration the country’s extensive terrestrial borders, this study attempts to elucidate the role played by different pathways in each bioinvasion. This analysis recognized the limitations of the historical method and underlying uncertainties of each invasion event. Human-mediated pathways were the main source of agricultural pest invasions in Brazil and the country was more a disperser than a receptor of exotic agricultural pests and diseases in South America. A new geographical hotspot (Northern South America and Caribbean Region) for possible invasions was identified.

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Lopes-da-Silva, M. , Sanches, M. , Stancioli, A. , Alves, G. and Sugayama, R. (2014) The Role of Natural and Human-Mediated Pathways for Invasive Agricultural Pests: A Historical Analysis of Cases from Brazil. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 634-646. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.57067.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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