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A More Sophisticated Perspective on Native vs. Non-Native Species

posted Jun 22, 2011, 6:09 AM by michele biscoe   [ updated Jun 22, 2011, 3:14 PM ]
According to commentary in Nature magazine by Mark A. Davis, DeWitt Wallace professor of biology at Macalester College, and an international group of 18 other environmental scientists "Classifying biota according to their adherence to cultural standards of belonging, citizenship, fair play and morality does not advance our understanding of ecology."  The authors advise "it is time for scientists, land managers and policy-makers to ditch this preoccupation with the native–alien dichotomy and embrace more dynamic and pragmatic approaches to the conservation and management of species — approaches better suited to our fast-changing planet."

The Nature article is available to subscribers only, but Annalee Newitz excerpts from it in a post on "novel ecosysytems" on io9 ("End the prejudice against non-native species! Embrace the new nature.").

During the initial public process for the Resource Management Plan for the Middlesex Fells Reservation we heard a lot about non-native species.  See for example the presentation made by Bryan Hamlin, President of the Friends of the Fells at the Flora and Fauna Workshop on February 9, 2011.

It is interesting to learn that there are more sophisticated and nuanced ways to think about "how a species interacts with its environment".


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