The Potential Conservation Value of Non‐Native Species

  title={The Potential Conservation Value of Non‐Native Species},
  author={Martin A. Schlaepfer and Dov F. Sax and Julian D. Olden},
  journal={Conservation Biology},
Abstract:  Non‐native species can cause the loss of biological diversity (i.e., genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity) and threaten the well‐being of humans when they become invasive. In some cases, however, they can also provide conservation benefits. We examined the ways in which non‐native species currently contribute to conservation objectives. These include, for example, providing habitat or food resources to rare species, serving as functional substitutes for extinct taxa, and… 

Rare species and aliens: reconsidering non‐native plants in the management of natural areas

It is suggested greater emphasis be placed on the role species play in ecological settings regardless of their origin, recognizing that only some non-native plants are invasive, that the risk of causing ecological harm varies considerably, and that distributions will change as species migrate in response to climate change.

The biodiversity impacts of non-native species should not be extrapolated from biased single-species studies

It is argued that meta-analyses of the impacts of individual non-native species on natives, no matter how meticulous or objective, should not be generalized beyond the set of ‘training’ species, and two meta-Analyses that make general conclusions from impact studies skewed towards ‘transformers’, the most extreme invaders are discussed.

Do non-native species contribute to biodiversity?

It is argued that biodiversity and sustainability indices should include all species, not only consistent with definitions of biodiversity but also will promote the idea that long-term, sustainable, human well-being is intricately tied to benefits derived from nature.

Non-Native Invasive Species as Ecosystem Service Providers

Non-native or alien species present a range of threats to native ecosystems and human well-being. Many such species have selective advantages over native species, such as faster growth and

Defining the Impact of Non-Native Species

It is argued that explicitly defining the impact of non-native species will promote progress toward a better understanding of the implications of changes to biodiversity and ecosystems caused by non- native species; help disentangle which aspects of scientific debates about non-Native species are due to disparate definitions and which represent true scientific discord; improve communication between scientists from different research disciplines and between scientists, managers, and policy makers.

Contrasting ecological roles of non-native ungulates in a novel ecosystem

This study examined the effects of two long-established non-native species—Philippine deer and feral pigs in Guam, Micronesia, where native vertebrate frugivores are functionally absent leaving forests devoid of seed dispersers, suggesting that ecological function may be more important to consider in managing novel systems.

An invasive foundation species enhances multifunctionality in a coastal ecosystem

It is demonstrated that in areas where native foundation species are absent, nonnative habitat formers can amplify the production of diverse ecosystem functions that underpin provisioning of services to humans, such as food production.

Implications of non-native species for mutualistic network resistance and resilience

It is shown that non- native species in networks enhance network redundancy and may bolster the ecological resistance or functional persistence of ecosystems in the face of disturbance, and implies that functional diversity may be retained but taxonomic diversity decline as non-native species become established in networks worldwide.

Invasive plant species in the Swedish flora: developing criteria and definitions, and assessing the invasiveness of individual taxa

In this study, all 721 presently established vascular plant and bryophyte taxa known to have been introduced to, or to have immigrated to, Sweden since the year 1700 are assessed for their invasive potential.



Do Non-Native Species Threaten The Natural Environment?

To assert that non- native species threaten biodiversity or undermine ecosystem health, however, may be to draw conceptual entailments or consequences from definitions of “biodiversity” and “integrity” that arbitrarily exclude non-native species or make the presence of exotic species a per se indicator of decline.

Can Invasive Species Facilitate Native Species? Evidence of How, When, and Why These Impacts Occur

Evidence is presented for several mechanisms that exemplify how exotic species can facilitate native species and predict that facilitative impacts on native species will be most likely when invasive species provide a limiting resource, increase habitat complexity, functionally replace a native species, or ameliorate predation or competition.

Invasive Non‐Native Species’ Provision of Refugia for Endangered Native Species

  • S. Chiba
  • Environmental Science
    Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
  • 2010
The thick and dense litter of Casuarina appears to provide refugia for native land snails by protecting them from predation by rats; thus, eradication of rats should precede eradications of CasUarina.

Characterizing ecosystem‐level consequences of biological invasions: the role of ecosystem engineers

Recognition of engineering as a major means by which invasive species affect ecosystems provides a unifying theme for invasion biology and offers a chance to consider more fully the general role of species in ecosystems.

Scale, connectivity, and incentives in the introduction and management of non‐native species: the case of exotic salmonids in Patagonia

It is proposed that three interrelated properties of these case studies (scale, connectivity, and incentives for conservation) determine the ability to identify and promote situations that balance production and the integrity of nature.

Evolutionary biology and practical conservation: bridging a widening gap

Improved methods for integrating the work of scientists and policymakers is recommended, from the beginning to end of the planning process, to help maintain evolutionary processes in natural populations.

The Paradox of the Long‐Term Positive Effects of a North American Crayfish on a European Community of Predators

This work investigates the potential facilitative effects of the North American red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) on the community of predators in southwestern Spain and reports the first case in which one non-native species is both beneficial and detrimental because it can drive species at lower trophic levels to extinction.

Park Management of Exotic Plant Species: Problems and Issues

: Vegetation management policies in public parks in the United States call for the removal of exotic species to the extent feasible. The underlying goal is to preserve samples of wilderness by

Invasive species, ecosystem services and human well-being.


Understanding this complexity, while taking strong steps to minimize current losses of species, is necessary for responsible management of Earth's ecosystems and the diverse biota they contain.