Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Invasive Species and Threats to Biodiversity

Invasive species are species introduced to an environment in which they are not native.  They take over native species’ resources and can cause irreparable damage.  Invasive species are the second largest threat to biodiversity.  In an article by NatureServe, it is noted “rare species with limited ranges and restricted habitat requirements are often particularly vulnerable to the influence of these alien invaders.”  It has been said that safeguarding our biodiversity is the best way to maintain our ecosystem.  To do this we must be aware of invasive species and how they can impact an ecosystem. 
- Habitat Modification:  change local environment conditions
. Competition with Native Species for Resources:  compete for same resources as native species
. Predation of Native Species:  depletion of native species
. Herbivory on Native Plants:  predation on plants
 -Bring in Pathogens:  harmful to animals, plants, and even humans
. Hybridize with Natives: leads to loss of genetic diversity

Thoughtless behavior about the environment can lead to unintentional introductions of invasive species into a new environment.  These “accidents” are in fact the majority of invasions.  We all need to be aware of how to combat invasive species. 

Key Information Resources:

National Invasive Species Council
NBII Invasive Species Node
Global Invasive Species Programme

Posted by: Mary Hoefler

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