Invasive species: Invasive species are also known as non-native species, exotic species, or most importantly alien species. It is defined as an introduced species.
Introduction of Invasive species: The exotic species are introduced in a particular location that has adverse impacts on the new environment. The exotic species have some advantages but their effects are severe on the ecosystem.
CAUSES OF INVASIVE SPECIES
There are two key causes of invasive species introduction that are intentional and unintentional anthropogenic activities.
a) Intentional Causes of Invasive Species Introduction: Intentional causes are listed below with a brief description.
- Controlling Pests: Exotic species are introduced in an area to control pests that are ruining the standing crops.
- Import Pets: Some people import various kinds of animals and keep them as pets. These imported animals are nonnative and often considered alien species.
- Trading Alien Species: This point represents the economic situation. People are intentionally involved in the international trade of animals, plant species for economic benefits.
b) Unintentional Causes of Invasive Species Introduction: Unintentional causes also include human activities.
- Natural Migration: This is also included among many other reasons. Invasive species migrate to new environments where they don’t have competitors/predators.
- International Trade of Goods: Trading goods inside or outside has also resulted in invasive species introduction.
- Transportation Vehicles: Transportation vehicles carry invasive species such as ships. They carry aquatic invasive species to new environments.
EFFECTS OF INVASIVE SPECIES
Invasive species have negative effects on the ecosystem, surrounding environment, and humans. Few effects of invasive species introduction have been mentioned below.
1. Biodiversity Loss: Introduction of aliens species has negative impacts on biodiversity and resulted in biodiversity loss.
2. Eliminate Native Species: The invasive species compete with native species for food/nutrients and ultimately lead to the elimination of native species.
3. Human Health: Invasive species have negative consequences on human health. The biggest example is HIV in humans.
4. Interfere with Natural Ecosystem: The introduction of invasive species has resulted in interference with the natural ecosystem. Pollination is highly affected by this method.
5. Economic Problems: Invasive species introduction is also associated with economic losses. The water pollution due to invasive species can affect recreational services. For example golden algae, eurasian water milfoil, and hydrilla are few examples of invasive species that grow in freshwater, reduce water flow, restrict sunlight and release toxins in the water that affect fish population.
You might also wish to read: Anthropogenic Factors That Cause Species Decline
SOLUTIONS TO INTRODUCTION OF INVASIVE SPECIES
Solutions to invasive species introduction are listed below.
1. Avoid growing non-native species at Gardens: One should avoid growing non-native plant species at gardens.
2. Service Transportation Vehicle: Servicing transportation vehicles is a suitable solution to prevent carrying invasive species along with vehicles.
3. Prevent Introduction of Invasive Species: There should be effective strategies to prevent the introduction of invasive species. The ports should be monitored.
4. Ban on Illegal Trade of Invasive Species (Pets): There should be a ban on the illegal trade of invasive species such as pets.
5. Habitat Rehabilitation: Restoring habitats for native species is a good way to prevent the introduction of invasive species.
Exotic species are nonnative species that become adaptive to a particular location and pose threats to native species. This method is used for economic, ecological, and social purposes. However, there are negative outcomes associated with the introduction of invasive species. Climate change is making living conditions worse for native species. The aliens species compete with native species and create environmental problems. This process should be prevented in order to save biodiversity loss.
Also check out: Conservation of Biodiversity – Importance and Methods
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