Presentation on theme: "A Comedy of Errors: The Environment, Humanity, and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species. ENVR 610 Final Paper Presentation December 1 st 2010 Christie Lovat."— Presentation transcript:
A Comedy of Errors: The Environment, Humanity, and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species. ENVR 610 Final Paper Presentation December 1 st 2010 Christie Lovat
Introduction Traditional view of exotic species is negative. –Environmental damage –Economic costs (Sherburne 1972; Blossey 1999; Ewel et al. 1999; McNeely 2000; Knight et al. 2007) We are better off without invasive species
Exotic invasive plant species are an integral part of our environment and society, whose use we could not do without. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_doorman/517478820/
Introduction Definition exotic invasive plant species. –Many confusing terms. Why plants? –Generalist organism group of invasives. Problems inherent in cost-benefit analysis. –Anthropocentric. –What defines ‘good’ for society or environment? (Elton 1958; Pearce 1998; Naylor 2000; Davis et al. 2001)
Agriculture Caloric production 70% caloric intake from nine crop plants. Majority grown outside of their native range. Economic gain Exotic invasive plants = ~$800 billion US/yr http://cchronicle.com/2010/06/flex-your-power-lessons-learned- from-an-inovative-awareness-campaign/ (Ammann et al. 2000; Burger et al. 2006; Martínez-Ghersa and Ghersa 2006; Smith et al. 2006; Gilbert 2010) The most caloric-dense plants are the most important in agriculture, regardless of invasive status
Industry Non-food plant resources: –Forestry: Profit from invasive species alone $1.14 billion US in New Zealand. –Horticulture and Floriculture: Combined profit from both industries in the United States = $11.2 billion US/year (Evans 1992; Ewel et al. 1999; Dufour 2001; Reichard and White 2001; New Zealand Timber Industry Federation 2005; Howell 2008) Plants with the most desirable traits for their respective industries are the most valuable, regardless of invasive status
Environment Conservation: –Restoration of ecosystem services Northern Guam –Phytoremediation http://ideonexus.com/2008/05/02/let-the-phytoremediation-begin/ (Blossey 1999; Ewel et al. 1999; Wilcove et al. 2000; Wolfe and Bjornstad 2002; Ewel and Putz 2004; Gurevitch and Padilla 2004) The best species for ecosystems are those that provide the greatest ecosystem services, regardless of invasive status
Conclusion Exotic invasive plant species have achieved an undeserved reputation. Benefits from exotics are greatest when native plants do not suffice for the desired use or need. The costs or benefits of a novel species is different for each situation. –Echium plantagineum : Salvation Jane and Patterson’s Curse Each new introduction should be treated in an unbiased way, so that society and the environment can reap the greatest benefits
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