An invasive species is any non-native species which gets introduced to a habitat well outside the realm of its normal distribution. This can occur via the pet trade, or when animals stowaway on human transportation — or even via direct, intentional introduction. Bottom line, most ecosystems are not prepared for the sudden insertion of a new species — they’ve gradually adjusted for the suite of species that usually live there. So, the suddenly introduced species is often able to run rampant and wreak havoc on native species. With increased globalization, invasive species are becoming even more of a problem, and they’re definitely a hot topic in conservation biology these days. I recently wrote a story about invasive species for Northern Woodlands magazine — check it out in the citation.
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