Invasive Species in a Changing World / Edition 3

Invasive Species in a Changing World / Edition 3

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Island Press


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Invasive Species in a Changing World / Edition 3

<p>Changing patterns of global commerce are leading to the breakdown of biogeographic barriers that have historically kept the floras and faunas of different continents separate. Some introduced species not only take hold in their new foreign habitat but also become aggressive; these &quot;invasives&quot; can exact a serious toll on ecosystem diversity and processes. Global changes - including changes in atmospheric composition, land use patterns,and fire regimes - are likely to foster the success of invaders in coming decades.<p>Invasive Species in a Changing World brings together leading scientists from around the world - including Carla M. D'Antonio, Jeffrey McNeely, Robert Sutherst, David Richardson, and others - to examine the invasive species phenomenon and to consider the mutual interactions between global change and invasives that are likely to occur over the next century.The book: <ul> <li>offers a comprehensive look at the status of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems in relation to invasives</li> <li>examines physical factors that will influence the future success ofinvading species</li> <li>considers the tools available to track changing patterns and movements</li> <li>looks at human dimensions including human health effects, and effects oncrops</li> <li>describes the problem in different parts of the world</li> </ul>.<p>Contributors focus on the proposition that global change will exacerbatethe invasive species problem, and set forth the idea that invasives are themselves a global change element that need to be considered in global change scenarios.<p>Invasive Species in a Changing World provides readers with the background and knowledge they need to begin developing strategies to combat the invasive species problem, and is essential reading for anyone concerned with the impact of invasive species on ecosystem health and functioning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781559637824
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 08/01/2000
Edition description: 1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard J. Hobbs is Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Restoration Ecology.

Table of Contents

Part IDimensions of the Problem
Chapter 1.Freshwater Nonindigenous Species: Interactions with Other Global Changes3
Chapter 2.Global Change and Biological Invasions in the Oceans31
Chapter 3.Land-Use Changes and Invasions55
Chapter 4.Fire, Plant Invasions, and Global Changes65
Chapter 5.Will the Increasing Atmospheric CO[subscript 2] Concentration Affect the Success of Invasive Species?95
Chapter 6.Microevolutionary Influences of Global Changes on Plant Invasions115
Chapter 7.Assessing the Extent, Status, and Dynamism of Plant Invasions: Current and Emerging Approaches141
Part IISocietal Impacts
Chapter 8.The Future of Alien Invasive Species: Changing Social Views171
Chapter 9.Global Changes, Invasive Species, and Human Health191
Chapter 10.Climate Change and Invasive Species: A Conceptual Framework211
Chapter 11.The Economics of Alien Species Invasions241
Chapter 12.Valuing Ecosystem Services Lost to Tamarix Invasion in the United States261
Part IIIRegional Examples
Chapter 13.Invasive Alien Species and Global Change: A South African Perspective303
Chapter 14.Plant Invasions in Germany: General Aspects and Impact of Nitrogen Deposition
Chapter 15.Invasive Species and Environmental Changes in New Zealand369
Chapter 16.Plant Invasions in Chile: Present Patterns and Future Predictions385
Part IVSummary
Chapter 17.Global Change and Invasive Species: Where Do We Go from Here?425


Increasing attention is being directed toward the issue of biological invasions. Almost daily we read in newspapers about another outbreak of some organism that is new to our area. We are actually seeing a massive biotic homogenization of the Earth's surface as a result of the breakdown of the major biogeographic barriers that have historically kept the floras and faunas of the various continents quite distinctive. This mixing has resulted in many aggressive species having extraordinarily wide distributions across the globe, or locally very high population densities, and the consequent devastation of the endemic biota of specific regions. Native species, too, can become invasive under certain conditions, but normally, biotic controls keep their populations in check.

Not all species that are transported among continents are damaging, and in fact many are important to our welfare and economy. This book concentrates not on benign introductions but rather on alien species that are exacting a toll on ecosystem diversity or ecosystem processes or "services." Invasives-alien species that not only take hold in their new foreign habitat but also become aggressive, or invasive-are the focus here. The invaders go by many names-exotics, aliens, pests, weeds, introduced species, nonindigenous species-and the list is not short.

There are now a large number of technical and popular volumes discussing various aspects of the invasive species problem. These point to the nature of the problem, the invasion process, our capacity to predict which species might become invasive, the damage that they are doing, and how to control them. Building on that base, this book takes a different tack: Itexamines the proposition that the invasive species problem will be getting worse as a result of global change. We are spending a lot of time and energy predicting what kinds of new climates we will see with an atmosphere that is increasing in the composition of greenhouse gases. We are also studying how climate change will impact biotic systems and how biotic changes will in turn feed back to atmospheric processes. In these studies it is more or less assumed that the biota that we see on the continents is essentially a constant and will simply be shuttled around with a changing climate. The premise here, however, is that invasives themselves are a global change element and that their extent and impact should be considered in global change scenarios.

So the focus is on what we see today in terms of invasive species, globally, and what we may expect to see in the next hundred years, given the changing climate, commerce, land-use patterns, fire regimes, and atmospheric composition, including CO Z and nitrogen deposition. This book examines not only the many drivers of global change that can have an impact on invasives but also how invasives can affect our health, welfare, and economy today and in the future.

It is curious that more attention is paid to global climate change than to the other global changes that are occurring, such as land cover changes, and biotic change caused by invasives. The case can certainly be made that in many ways biotic change is of a similar nature to climate change. In both cases the rates of change are unprecedented in geological history. Further, both climate change and biotic changes are subject to international concern that is embedded in the Climate Convention on the one hand and in the Convention on Biological Diversity on the other. Although both climate change and biotic change have large economic consequences, the former probably has the potential to dwarf the latter in the future but certainly not at the present. Both changes have the capacity to alter the nature of ecosystems. This is already occurring for invasive species and to a limited extent for climate change. A big difference between these two issues is that even though it will be difficult, there is the possibility of reversing the trend of increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere through modification of energy use. At present there is no "recall" of alien invasive species once they become established in large numbers. Perhaps in the future with better biological control or new applications of biotechnology, more general control, and even eradication, of invasives will be possible.

The task of the land (or coastal) manager is a daunting one. Successful management depends on knowing the detailed characteristics of the biota of a given landscape and how that biota responds to climate variability and to land-use patterns. Both climate change and biotic change present even further challenges to the stewards of the land because neither change respects nature reserve borders. Biotic change constantly introduces new biotic players into the landscape that will interact in an unknown manner with the existing biota and a changing climate.

It is easy to become pessimistic about dealing with the challenges of biotic change, but good science, adequate resources, and the proper tools can win the day. The resolve to develop the tools and to bring the resources needed to deal with invasives is becoming more widespread as the consequences of doing nothing are appreciated to an ever greater extent. It is hoped that this volume provides the incentive for us all to work harder to deal with the invasive species problem in an aggressive and successful manner. Clearly, however, we have a very difficult task ahead.

Part I first lays out the dimensions of the invasive species problem with a comprehensive look at the status of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems in relation to invasive species. It then examines a number of physical factors that will influence the future success of invading species, including changing fire regimes and the changing composition of the atmosphere. It also looks at how these changing physical factors will influence the success of invasives as well as their evolutionary pathways. Finally, it discusses what tools we presently have to keep track of the changing patterns and movements of invasive species.

The human dimensions of invasive species, such as society's diverse views about them and how they affect human health as well as the crops upon which we depend, are discussed in Part II. This section concludes with an analysis of the not inconsiderable costs of invasives.

Part III looks at the problem of invasives in different parts of the world, showing their current global prevalence and large impacts, and makes projections for future.

Finally, Part IV summarizes what we have learned and proposes a plan for dealing with invasive species at the global level. The road ahead will not be an easy one, but there are many actions that can be taken that will give us more choices of how the new biotic world will look in the future.

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