Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Ten Invasive Species

My mom (who gets all of her news from AOL, we'll forgive her though) sent me this article about the top ten invasive species in the United States. The species were ranked based on the financial impact they have on the United States each year, but I think invasive species are interesting because of the environmental questions they raise.

What constitutes a truly natural environment?
Are all invasive species bad?
How do ecosystems interplay with each other?
How do humans affect wildlife through other organisms?
What kind of legacy has the presence of humans left the world?

Things to think about, if you like that sort of thing.


  1. Interesting post! I wrote an article on invasives (if you're interested:

    I think ecosystems are far too delicate to handle our global travel and recklessness. Apparently, ballast water from ships can carry organisms across the world by ship and introduce them to new environments. Microorganisms are even harder to track and can be transported on clothing and shoes. It's a bit depressing, honestly.

  2. I do like to think about this sort of thing, and not just because we weren't allowed to bring fruit on an international flight from Ireland to the US so we had to sit in a special locked room and eat our apples and bananas as fast as we could so we wouldn't miss our flight. Also whenever anyone talks about invasive species I think of the bumper sticker on the Ocone's car with a picture of a beetle with a slash through it. True story.

  3. Marianne - I attended a lecture two years ago about the ballast water from ships transferring invasive species, I still can't believe that with all the money that gets invested in engineering bigger and better transportation mechanisms that we can't seem to fix the problem. I agree with you about being depressing...

    Cassi- I'm surprised that you were even caught with your fruit, we weren't supposed to bring any flowers or plants back with us from mexico, but I think we all had bowls and such woven from palms in our bags, they definitely didn't check very hard for that sort of thing. But, now that I am more informed I really see the need for checking what passengers are bringing back and forth who knows what sorts of insects or things could have been lurking!