Biological Invasions in Forests and Forest Plantations

Authored by: Marcel Rejmánek

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447

10.4324/9781315818290.ch32

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Abstract

Biological invasions (spontaneous spread of non-native human-introduced taxa) have become a global phenomenon (Figure 32.1). Among the best-known examples are the spread of Africanized bees in the Neotropics, kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) in the southeastern US, opuntias (Cactaceae) in the Old World, pines in the Southern Hemisphere, Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) in North America, feral pigs in Hawaii and many other islands, brushtail possum in New Zealand, beavers in Tierra del Fuego, and brown tree snakes in Guam. Some invasions – e.g., Eurasian earthworms in North America or Argentine ants in southern Africa – are not so visible, but may have profound ecosystem effects. The economic and/or environmental impact of many invasions may be essentially inconsequential, but only time will tell.

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