Like climate change, not all effects are human induced, but

What to do with alien species

Impacts of invasive alien plants and animals can pose serious threats to nature conservation on scales similar in severity and significance to human induced climate change. Once isolated faunas and floras of islands have been decimated, globalising world ecology cheap moncler jackets with ecosystems erased by European colonisation.

Environmental disruption (industrialisation, intensive farming, urbanisation and climate change) mean species that are unable to adapt decline dramatically, while those able to exploit changes spread globally the stuff moncler outlet sale of nature conservation nightmares.

Yet science and culture blur and blend for this interaction of people and nature. With rigorous scientific evidence, and issues seemingly clear cut, immediate ‘knee jerk’ responses are that we know which species are naturalised exotics, we know where they are, and we should eradicate.

Reality is more complex but effective debate is challenging. The media loves sound bites and ‘sexy issues’ so alien invasions with clear simple messages moncler outlet are easy. moncler outlet woodbury But subtle complex debates are less newsworthy. Alien species establishing and naturalising potentially wreak havoc amongst native ecosystems, yet with few exceptions, people are unwilling or unable to do much about this.

Most harmful invasions go unchecked; impacts run their natural course with global ecology ‘Disneyfied’ and local or regional character and distinction lost or diluted. This occurs in evolving and changing landscapes with both moncler outlet prices natural and human influences. Like climate change, not all effects are human induced, but subtle mixes of natural changes and those moncler online store catalysed by people. Species and ecologies are dynamic not static, changing over decades, centuries, or millennia.

Alien species are plants, animals or microorganisms not ‘native’ to an area but accidentally or deliberately introduced by humans. About 1 per cent becomes invasive and 0.1 per cent of aliens are uk moncler outlet damaging. Species spreading across the planet is not a new phenomenon but recent horror stories have triggered moncler uk outlet debates amongst ecologists, politicians, industry, and the public.

Some 15 per cent of Europe’s 11,000 aliens have environmental or economic impacts with damage to the UK economy estimated at 2bn annually. Behind the headlines are questions of what is native and where, what is alien and cheap moncler coats mens when: Spanish bluebell, eagle owls, Canada geese, ‘big cats’, beavers, signal crayfish and wild boar which get a free pass?

In a once biologically dead, urban industrial river for example, colonising plants like sycamore, Himalayan balsam, monclerdownjacket uk moncler sale Japanese knotweed, buddleia and giant hogweed, mix with native willows and alder and ground floras of native bluebells, wood anemones, woodrush and greater stitchwort. Under the shelter of the dense knotweed, play families of native otters in turn squeezing out invasive American mink.

The recombinant ecology, whether we like it or not, is here to stay in our changing world. If problems are caused, then the answer is to manage them, and that is a long term commitment and costs money. The moncler sale online issue is not whether species are ‘alien’, but whether they cause environmental problems. Invasive native bracken and birch, for example, can destroy heathland and grassland ecologies.

Brown hare is a celebrated Biodiversity Action Plan species but exotic. The humble rabbit, a cheap moncler jackets womens keystone ecological animal in Britain, vital to chalk grasslands and to predators like common buzzard, arrived with the Normans. Watch a clip from Autumnwatch where Chris Packham discusses the changing nature of urban rivers with Ian.

Comment number 1. At 18:43 18th Nov 2011, elegaer wrote: It may seem from the above article that cheap moncler jackets mens invasive species are just a terrestrial problem. This is far from true. At the moment, UK seas are experiencing an explosion of non native species, some of which are invasive and destructive to native wildlife.

Many creatures came across to the UK with the introduction of the Pacific oyster around our shores as a food source in the 1970s. Animals now common because of this include the cheap moncler sale slipper limpet, strewn over our beaches and in some places carpeting the sea floor to the exclusion of most other life, and wireweed, a brown seaweed that now can be so dense in rockpools and on the seashore that it prevents any animals and plants living underneath it from getting any light.

It’s not only the Pacific oyster, though, that is the villain moncler outlet online of moncler sale the piece.

Another major cause of animals and plants spreading around the world is them surviving long journeys on discount moncler jackets boat hulls, in ships’ ballast water and in the water in ships’ chests. Recent research shows that yachts and marinas in south east England contain, on average, nearly 11 non native species from seaweeds through to seasquirts and crabs that look like they are wearing mittens. Imagine every piece of grassland around you being so overtaken by so many species that aren’t native to the UK.

The other day I was walking along a beach actually looking for non natives as part of surveying our north Kent coasts for invasive species and I picked up an oyster shell.

It was a Pacific oyster a non native that had a slipper limpet a non native attached to it. The slipper limpet was sporting a frond of wireweed another non native that had attached to the shell, and to top the whole lot, there were 3 different types of invasive sea squirts that I found clinging to the seaweed frond.

Non natives around the Kent coast are ubiquitous and ever increasing, and unfortunately, many other places have similar conditions. The question now is only «what can we do about them?»

Do we leave our shores to be smothered and overrun by plants and animals that may take over from best moncler jackets loved and charismatic native shore life?

It’s a difficult question. An incredibly difficult question, with few answers.

Complain about this comment (Comment number 1)

Comment number 2. At 21:19 18th Nov 2011, Batmancaver wrote: I find it hard to believe the attitude of «they’re here now so learn to live with them» that Rotherham appears to have.

We need to act early against alien invasives because we don’t know the long term effects of these alien species on our native wildlife. Although not a clear cut case, just look at the situation between our native red squirrel and the introduced grey. When these were introduced I’m sure that those responsible would never have envisaged the problems that exist now between these two species. If they had of known would they have tried to eliminate the problem they had caused?

On the show Rotherham moncler usa stated that we will not be able to get rid of Himalyan balsam. This incredibly invasive plant attracts our native insects to it in preference to our native plants therefore there are pollination concerns. It grows incredibly rapidly along river banks moncler womens jackets to the detriment of our native plants, they can get shaded out and locally eliminated. Then once it dies off and rots away at the end of it’s season it leaves bare river banks that can suffer intense erosion in our winter floods whereas our native plantlife tends to bind the banks together and reduce erosion.

Can it be eliminated? YES, very easily. We are involved in a partnership project along the River Alyn in north Wales. This is our third year and we have already seen a moncler outlet store dramatic reduction in Himalayan Balsam numbers along the river. We moncler outlet envisage that in just a few more short years we will have eliminated this plant from the upper stretches to the benefit of our environment and moncler sale outlet our native wildlife. The main workforce behind this work are local volunteers! It takes a lot of man hours but it’s all worthwhile.

It’s never too late to take a stand against these alien invasives, but we really do need to take a stand against them and to act sooner rather than later.

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