Non-native invasive species and novel ecosystems

F1000Prime Rep. 2015 Apr 2:7:47. doi: 10.12703/P7-47. eCollection 2015.


Invasions by non-native species have caused many extinctions and greatly modified many ecosystems and are among the major anthropogenic global changes transforming the earth. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a dramatic burst of research in invasion biology has revealed a plethora of previously unrecognized impacts and laid bare the scope of the phenomenon. Similarly, research on various methods of managing invasions has expanded enormously, yielding incremental improvements in traditional methods and the advent of several new approaches, including the use of species-specific genetic and pheromonal methods. This research has advanced the field of restoration ecology, of which invasion management is a key component. Amidst this research progress, a group of critics has attempted to cast doubt on the extent of damaging impacts caused by non-native invasive species, the feasibility of counteracting them and restoring ecosystems, and the motives of scientists engaged in such endeavors. The criticisms are misguided but can potentially impede management of this pressing problem.

Publication types

  • Review