Thursday, August 02, 2007

Invasive Species Gone Good?

Two articles about good invasive species, which provide beneficial services to the environment in one week, are a writer’s dream-come-true. In my last post, Invasive Species; Wickedly Inconvenient Still, I noted the complexities of dealing with invasive species issues. Now I find in the posting, Zebra mussels cleaning up water in Lake Eerie, a similar theme describing the positive unintended consequence of invasion. Setting aside my inability to source the science, an argument usually found in those who think there is no problem to be uncovered in the issues of invasive species, reading about the positive contributions of water hyacinth, zebra mussels, and snake heads certainly makes for interesting conversation and presentation to the general public. When this is added to the general elasticity of invasive species definitions and the challenge of explaining that, for example, in Maryland poison ivy is not invasive by definition, mostly, or that, to be invasive a species must cause harm, and I see my public speaking continuing for quite some time.


Anonymous said...

Eventually, we will come to see that all this "evil-invasive-nonnative-exotic" mindset is all hot air. The terms native/non-native/exotic have absolutely NO biological meaning whatsoever, and the efforts to eradicate introduced species are an exercise in futility. Live and let live.

Brian Debasitis - Mauby All Natural said...

Apparently Anonymous has not had to deal with the choking encroachment of African Ivy or Morning Glory that will pull down trees and fences because it does not belong where it is. Of course there's biological meaning. The rapid repatriation of plants, animals and microbes is not a natural phenomenon.