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Invasive Species and Biodiversity loss

Posted by S.P.ANANDAN on April 13, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Invasive alien species areconsidered to be a main direct driver of biodiversity loss throughout the world.  This is a serious problem especially in thebiodiversity hot spots in developing countries with a high level of endemicspecies.  After five years of research ina biodiversity hot spot (The Western Ghats Mountains) in southern India, I haveconcluded that biodiversity loss is mainly caused by introduced and invasivealien species. Natural enemies to these invasive species are conspicuously absent! Non-native trees were deliberatelyintroduced near evergreen forests and Sholaforests (tropical montane forests). It was amazing to note our ancient forestsin southern Tamilnadu, India have been colonized by Lantana camara and introduced non-native exotic trees. Restorationof our ancient forests has become a Himalayan task today in the WesternGhats.  Due to the loss of nativebiodiversity, several flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats have becomerare and endangered.  Scientists say thatmountain plant communities are not particularly resistant to invasion by exoticspecies. The scientists also warn that these may become more aggressive asglobal warming gets a grip.(Science Daily -Jan. 21, 2010).

 

I agree with Arévalo. He says,"Biological invasion is not a fact, but rather a process of speciesoverlapping within a habitat, which means prevention is much more effective andviable than eradication."

 


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1 Comment

Reply Malavika Vipin
7:48 AM on February 10, 2012 
So very true and totally shocking too. Of course I dont have your experience in the field, but some of my preliminary readings suggested that, in earlier times invasive species were introduced even for fun. For eg. the grey squirrell was deliberately introduced in Britain so that the royalty could maintain the "Victorian" look. now they are everywhere..Invaded the area and interbred with the original red squirrell of Britain. So human activity is partially responsible for this increasing dilemma.