Invasive alien species: definitions, causes, consequences and the way forward

The causes of biological invasion are multiple. No country is self-sustaining. Globalization has created a situation in which even the most prosperous countries in the world are now economically dependent on the goods and services provided by other countries. Increasingly, these global markets are not only driven by needs, but also by desires for “more” and things that are “new”, “better”, “different”, or “exotic”. Nearly every imaginable good and service is now traded internationally.

While globalization has brought social and economic benefits to many people, it has also brought new challenges and invasive alien species (IAS) are among the most significant. At no time in history has the rate of biological invasion, nor diversity and volume of invaders been so high and the consequences so great (McNeely et al. 2001).

Land-use and climate change can also facilitate invasion by making habitats more challenging for native species and more hospitable to IAS (Mooney and Hobbs 2001). Because disturbed habitats often favour rapid colonizers, they are particularly vulnerable to the invasion of non-native species (Bright 1998, Baskin 2002). From the perspective of the IAS, it does not matter whether the environmental changes are natural or human induced.

Author Reaser, J. K.
Date 15/10/2017
Year 2002
Secondary title Prevention and management of invasive alien species
Place published Conference Location
Publisher The Global Invasive Species Programme
Pages 14-17
Notes Notes