Invasive species are species that have been introduced into a new area they have never been to before. They tend to do very well compared to the indigenous species in that particular area. This results in various negative outcomes for the species in the ecosystem.
Are invasive and exotic species similar?
They share some similarities but interact differently with the ecosystem.
Invasive species can be confused with the exotic species as they are both non-indigenous species. They are both species that have introduced to a new area they aren’t native to. Invasive species tend to displace the native species and even alter the entire ecosystem. While the exotic species tend to lend in causing no harm to the native species.
What gives the invasive species an upper hand?
- Invasive species have the ability to :
- Grow fast
- Reproduce rapidly
- Adapt easily to a new environment
- Withstand different environmental conditions
- Wide food preference
- Successful dominance
- Easily associate with human
So what are the effects of these invasive species?
They degrade crop productivity
They can spread faster. This helps them compete for resources that are already scarce. As a result, the productivity of the indigenous species is decreased.
They disrupt the ecosystem
These species tend to attack an already weak ecosystem. They create an imbalance in the ecosystem that is already vulnerable.
They reduce production
These species always dominate where they go. By doing so, they eliminate or reduce indigenous species populations. For instance, the common carp fish caused a serious decline of tilapia fish in Lake Naivasha. The decrease of tilapia affected fish production from this lake.
They can lead to endangerment of a species.
Their ability to colonize an area they occupy causes a decrease in the native species. With reduced populations and insufficient resources, the native species are vulnerable to endangerment.
Ways to curb the spread of invasive species
- Avoid discarding ornamental plant species into the forest or neighborhood.
- Not transporting species from one place to another without clearance.
- Always clean your boots after a hike.
- Practice safe aquaculture
- Avoid introducing new species in natural ecosystems.
Examples of Invasive Species