Kamis, 24 Maret 2011

Living with Invasive Species

What should be done when non-native species introduced into an ecosystem begin to outcompete native species? Should such invasive species, as they are called, be eradicated before they do serious damage to an ecosystem and lead to a loss of biodiversity? The traditional answer is yes, according to many conservationists. But the sad fact is that that most invasive species eradication efforts haven’t been very effective.

More recently, some conservationists are beginning to rethink the problem of invasive species. Perhaps invasive species should be viewed as a more normal part of the constant change that has been shaping our world since life began. Containment rather than eradication seems to be the new buzzword. Ecologists who study the effect of invasive species on ecosystems say that over time, native species begin to compete more effectively against invasive species. It may take decades or even centuries, but eventually a new ecosystem balance is likely to be achieved, with or without human intervention.

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