What is an invasive species? This is actually an area of debate, but generally a species is considered invasive when it is non-native, and disrupts the ecosystem and/or economy. You may hear the term ‘introduced species,’ which can be distinguished as a species that is non-native, but has not become well-established in the new environment. Not all species that arrive at a new location are actually well-adapted to live there. Yet some do quite well in the new environment for various reasons, including lack of native predators.
The vectors, spread and effects of invasive species are all hot topics and for good reason – with the increased connections between different parts of the globe (airplanes, boats, cars…), there are increased ways for life to move around.
Picture: Heather Spence (modeling spread of the asian shore crab)