Invasive species, ecosystem services and human well-being

Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Sep;24(9):497-504. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.016. Epub 2009 Jul 3.


Although the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) on native species are well documented, the many ways in which such species impact ecosystem services are still emerging. Here we assess the costs and benefits of IAS for provisioning, regulating and cultural services, and illustrate the synergies and tradeoffs associated with these impacts using case studies that include South Africa, the Great Lakes and Hawaii. We identify services and interactions that are the least understood and propose a research and policy framework for filling the remaining knowledge gaps. Drawing on ecology and economics to incorporate the impacts of IAS on ecosystem services into decision making is key to restoring and sustaining those life-support services that nature provides and all organisms depend upon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem*
  • Great Lakes Region
  • Hawaii
  • Humans
  • Population Dynamics
  • South Africa