Table 1. Summary of five major components in the two examples (Soybean trade between Brazil and China, and Red imported fire ant [RIFA] invasion).

Soybean trade Red imported fire ant (RIFA) invasion
Systems Sending • Brazil • South America
Receiving • China • United States
Spillover • United States, some unknown countries • Some unknown countries
Flows Material/Energy • soybeans • pesticides
• money
• fossil fuels in transportation
Information • prices • invasion control methods
• agricultural techniques
Agents • farmers • ants
• governments • traders
• companies • farmers
Causes Economic • China’s demand for soybeans • demand for tradable goods
Political • government interest in investment • government promotion of international trade
Technological • improved tropical agricultural technology • advancement in transportation modes
Environmental • differences in climate • aggressive nature of species
Cultural • cultural preference for soybeans • preference for foreign goods
Effects Environmental • loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services • biodiversity loss
• CO2 emissions • agricultural crop loss
• unknown effects in spillover systems • unknown effects in spillover systems
Socioeconomic • intensive land use • agricultural income loss
• displacement of local people • property damage
• farmers’ gain / loss of income from soybeans • unknown effects in spillover systems
• unknown effects in spillover systems