Should we count alien species as biodiversity?


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Globalization and human activities as drivers of species movement make sometimes difficult the distinction between native and non-native biodiversity.  The real impact of non-native species on ecosystems takes time to be understood in depth. In many cases, it is not possible to revert the negative effects, especially in the more sensitive habitats such as coastal areas and islands. It is well documented in scientific literature how non-native species homogenize ecosystems and can cause local extinction of native populations. Target 15.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for preventing the introduction of alien species, reduction of their impact and control of key species by 2020.  To attain this goal, the approach for a better understanding of alien species risks and management needs to consider also the social aspects, including people’ attitudes towards native biodiversity and perceptions on alien species ecosystem services.

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