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A Comedy of Errors: The Environment, Humanity, and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species. ENVR 610 Final Paper Presentation December 1 st 2010 Christie Lovat.

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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:

1 A Comedy of Errors: The Environment, Humanity, and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species. ENVR 610 Final Paper Presentation December 1 st 2010 Christie Lovat

2 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

3 Exotic invasive plant species are an integral part of our environment and society, whose use we could not do without.

4 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)

5 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 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

6 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

7 Environment Conservation: –Restoration of ecosystem services  Northern Guam –Phytoremediation (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

8 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

9 Thank you Any Questions?

10 Literature Cited oAmmann K, Jacot Y, Al Mazyad PR Weediness in the light of new transgenic crops and their potential hybrids. Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection. Online at: force.org/web/Weeds/weeds1.pdf [last accessed November 12th 2010].http://www.ask- force.org/web/Weeds/weeds1.pdf oBlossey B Before, during and after: the need for long-term monitoring in invasive plant species management. Biological Invasions 1: oBurger JC, Lee S, Ellstrand NC Origin and genetic structure of feral rye in the western United States. Molecular Ecology 15: oDavis MA, Thompson K, Grime JP Charles S. Elton and the dissociation of invasion ecology from the rest of ecology. Diversity and Distributions 7: oDufour D The lumber industry: crucial contribution to Canada’s prosperity. Manufacturing overview research papers. Online at: psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/Statcan/31F0027M/31F0027MIE pdf [last accessed November 26th 2010].http://dsp- psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/Statcan/31F0027M/31F0027MIE pdf oElton CS The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. Methuen, London. oEvans J Plantation Forestry in the Tropics. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press. oEwel JJ, O’Dowd DJ, Bergelson J, Daehler CC, D’Antonio CM, Gómez LD, Gordon DR, Hobbs RJ, Holt A, Hopper KR, Hughes CE, LaHart M, Leakey RRB, Lee WG, Loope LL, Lorence DH, Louda SM, Lugo AE, McEvoy PB, Richardson DM, Vitousek PM Deliberate introductions of species: research needs. BioScience 49: oEwel JJ, Putz FE A place for alien species in ecosystem restoration. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2: oGilbert N GM crop escapes into the American Wild. Nature. Online at: [last accessed October 27th 2010]. oGurevitch J, Padilla DK Are invasive species a major cause of extinctions? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19:

11 Literature Cited oHowell C Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. Doc Research and Development Series 292. oKnight SK, Kurylo JS, ENdress AG, Stewart JR, Reich PB Ecology and ecosystem impacts of common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica): a review. Biological Invasions 9: oMartínez-Ghersa MA, Ghersa CM The relationship of propagule pressure to invasion potential in plants. Euphytica 148: oMcNeely JA The future of alien invasive species: changing social views. In: Mooney HA, Hobbs RJ Invasive Species in a Changing World. Island Press: Washington. oNaylor RL The economics of alien species invasions. In: Mooney HA, Hobbs RJ Invasive Species in a Changing World. Island Press: Washington. oNew Zealand Timber Industry Federation New Zealand Export Summary. Online at: [last accessed November 26th 2010]. oPearce D Cost-benefit analysis and environmental policy. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 14: oReichard SH, White P Horticulture as a pathway of invasive plant introductions in the United States. BioScience 51: oSherburne JA Effects of seasonal changes in the abundance and chemistry of the fleshy fruits of northeastern woody shrubs on patterns of exploitation by frugivorous birds. Dissertation, Cornell University. 157pp oSmith RG, Maxwell BD, Menalled FD, Rew LJ Lessons from agriculture may improve the management of invasive plants in wildland systems. Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment 4: oWilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J, Phillips A, Losos E Leading threats to biodiversity. In: Stein BA, Kutner LS, Adams JS (eds) Precious Heritage. The Status of Biodiversity in the United States. Oxford University Press, Oxford. oWolfe AK, Bjornstad DJ Why would anyone object? An exploration of social aspects of phytoremediation acceptability. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 21:


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