Invasive species can cause extensive environmental damage and impose substantial economic costs. Growing empirical evidence suggests that the occurrence and spread of biological invasive species (including aquatic invaders) is mainly human-induced. However, the lack of good quality data on this relationship is a major scientific shortcoming.

This study addresses the relationship between economic and ecological factors and the presence of Elodea canadensis (Canadian waterweed) in Sweden’s lakes by using night-time light satellite data imagery. The research findings show a robust positive relationship between economic activity and the incidence of invasive species in lakes.