Sunday, January 18, 2009
But really this isn't about people, or indigenous people (or is it?). This is about plants(and animals if you so wish). So what is an invasive species? Wikipedia claims there are three definitions. The first being:
The first definition expresses the phrase in terms of non-indigenous species (e.g. plants or animals) that adversely affect the habitats they invade economically, environmentally or ecologically.
broadens the boundaries to include both native and non-native species that heavily colonize a particular habitat.
is an expansion of the first and defines an invasive species as a widespread non-indigenous species.
Most people, when talking about invasive species are talking about the first one. But, there are those that argue that there is no such thing as an invasive species. Let's refer to Darwin, let's go back to evolution. Survival of the Fittest!
Most argue that invasive species take over already established ecologies, choke out existing species and possibly cause extinction. But hasn't that always been happening? Hasn't that been happening for billions of years? Where are the dinosaurs? where are the Saber Toothed Tigers!? Evolution occurs when one species becomes extinct in favor of another. So where does that put invasive species?
Humans can very well be considered invasive, not just to each other but also to other environmental issues. An article I just read, states that (while human induced evolution has always been known) trophy hunting is also speeding up the process, causing some animals to reproduce sooner and remain smaller. Humans are also known to bring plants and animals from for away lands that are invasive.
But then there is the natural process, it's a very grey area. for example, I did a post a while back about California Fan Palms and Mexican Fan Palms in Pomona. Mexican Fan Palms are considered invasive, they take over California Sycamores' natural breeding grounds. However, Mexico is RIGHT NEXT DOOR! Wouldn't birds naturally bring seeds over during migration patterns? Absolutely! At some point the evolutionary process would eventually bring the MFP's all the way up to California anyways, the border is just an imaginary line!
Confusing? Well, I am definitely confused, I am in no way making an official stance on invasive species. Invasive species affect already established ecological systems. but maybe it's part of the evolutionary process. who knows!? I sure as hell don't!
In Australia the removal of one invasive species allows for the explosion of another even MORE invasive species. Maybe if we allow all the invasive species to move in to this tiny island, it would balance itself out? If one goes deep enough into it, it becomes a can of worms. I'm going to stay on the surface for now.