Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2011

Can Invasive Species Ever Be Good?

A recent article in Wire Science recently caught my attention.  It was Sometimes Invasive Species Are Good The article talks about how non-native species may have benefits such as native species sometimes feed on non-native plants, how alien trees have helped restore pastures and  Zebra mussels have filtered lakes.

But:

The researchers admit to a certain bias of their own. “Negative roles listed here are not exhaustive and include only those that directly oppose the listed positive roles,” they write. “Many of the non-native species listed have other negative effects on conservation objectives.” (Underlining and bold my me)

There are no easy answers to the role of aliens.  We don’t always know all the consequences of their introduction.  Also some aliens are more invasive than others.  There may be some benefits but at what cost?

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