David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):507-519 (2001)
Within the last 20 years, the US has mounted amassive campaign against invasions bynon-indigenous species (NIS) such as zebramussels, kudzu, water hyacinths, and brown treesnakes. NIS have disrupted native ecosystemsand caused hundreds of billions of dollars ofannual damage. Many in the scientificcommunity say the problem of NIS is primarilypolitical and economic: getting governments toregulate powerful vested interests thatintroduce species through such vehicles asships' ballast water. This paper argues that,although politics and economics play a role,the problem is primarily one of scientificmethod. Even if commercial interests werewilling to spend the necessary funds to controlNIS, and even if government were willing toregulate them, ecological theory is notadequate to provide clear direction for eithereffort. The paper argues there is nocomprehensive, predictive theory ofinvasibility, as part of a larger theory ofcommunity structure, that might guideecological decision making regarding NIS, andfor at least three reasons. (1) There is nofirm definition of NIS, native, exotic,and so on, and ecologists do not use the termsconsistently; as a result, biologists debatingvarious accounts of community structure andecological explanation often do not even makelogical contact with each other. (2) Thedominant theory used to understandinvasibility, island biogeography, has noprecise predictive power and is unable toclarify when NIS might promote biodiversity andwhen they might hinder it. (3) There are nofirm, empirical generalizations that revealwhen a colonizer or a NIS might be likely totake over a new environment, and when it mightnot succeed in doing so. As a result,scientists have only rough rules of thumb toshore up their arguments against NIS. Given theincompleteness of current ecological theory,the paper closes with several suggestions forways that study of NIS might enhanceunderstanding of basic commmunity structuresand vice versa.
|Keywords||biodiversity colonize exotic explanation invasion island biogeography method native non-indigenous species|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
David Ridgway (1990). Gilda Bartoloni: La cultura villanoviana: all'inizio della storia etrusca. (Studi NIS Archeologia, 9.) Pp. 224; 78 figures and 4 tables in text. Rome: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1989. Paper, L. 28,000. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 40 (02):519-520.
Alan Douglas (1988). Maurizio Bettini: Antropologia E Cultura Romana: Parentela, Tempo, Immagini Dell'anima. (Studi Superiori NIS, 19.) Pp. 271. Rome: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1986. Paper, L. 32,000. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 38 (02):432-.
Mark Sagoff (2005). Do Non-Native Species Threaten the Natural Environment? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):215-236.
Daniel Simberloff (2005). Non-Native Species DO Threaten the Natural Environment! Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (6):595-607.
C. G. Prado (1989). Linguistic Responsibility Cyril Welch Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1988. Pp. 400. $20.00. Dialogue 28 (04):667-.
Erik Nis Ostenfeld (1982). Forms, Matter, and Mind: Three Strands in Plato's Metaphysics. Distributors for the United States, Kluwer Boston.
Branimir Stojkovlc (1992). Building a Future on the Past: The Cultural Image of Nis Region. World Futures 33 (1):95-103.
M. Zisenis (2012). EU DAISIE Research Project: Wanted—Death Penalty to Keep Native Species Competitive? [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (4):597-606.
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #160,794 of 1,018,179 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #65,321 of 1,018,179 )
How can I increase my downloads?