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Invasive species

Invasive species
May 20, 2012, 03:12:35 PM
Are invasive species really so bad? One consequence of an invasive species is of course, reduction of diversity (in the non-political sense) which is of course undesirable. On the other hand, if a predator comes to a new continent and out-competes the inferior indigenous predator, isn't that furthering natural selection?

Re: Invasive species
May 20, 2012, 04:53:53 PM
Organisms are adapted to the specific environments in which they evolve.  Even where they are "successful" upon introduction into another ecosystem, that very "success" can thoroughly destabilize and degrade the ecosystems into which they are introduced.  It's not just—or even primarily—that they out-compete native species: the problem is the accretion of secondary effects that follows from the initial displacement of native species.  A lot of ecosystems have fairly tight tolerances, so relatively small changes can disrupt equilibrium to a degree sufficient to induce systemic decline.

Re: Invasive species
May 22, 2012, 11:14:24 AM
Organisms are adapted to the specific environments in which they evolve.  Even where they are "successful" upon introduction into another ecosystem, that very "success" can thoroughly destabilize and degrade the ecosystems into which they are introduced.  It's not just—or even primarily—that they out-compete native species: the problem is the accretion of secondary effects that follows from the initial displacement of native species.  A lot of ecosystems have fairly tight tolerances, so relatively small changes can disrupt equilibrium to a degree sufficient to induce systemic decline.
But won't eventually the ecosystem will stabilize, and have better adapted species? After all, if the native species can't adapt to the invaders, then they were too specialized. If invaders didn't kill the natives, eventually inevitable climate and ecological changes will.

Uffe den tuffe

Re: Invasive species
May 24, 2012, 12:43:00 AM
But won't eventually the ecosystem will stabilize, and have better adapted species? After all, if the native species can't adapt to the invaders, then they were too specialized. If invaders didn't kill the natives, eventually inevitable climate and ecological changes will.

Eventually the sun will swallow Earth.

We need time to adapt, develop and get the hell out of here.

The way there can be disrupted by "radical" species (or other natural forces for that matter). Why not avoid it if it can be?

Ecosystems will eventually stabilize, but that seems like a very long and unnecessary detour if adaptation is your thing.