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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Ewel, John
item O'dowd, Dennis
item Bergelson, Joy
item Daehler, Curtis
item D'antonio, Carla
item Gómez, Luis Diego
item Gordon, Doria
item Hobbs, Richard
item Holt, Alan
item Hopper, Keith
item Hughes, Colin
item Lahart, March
item Leakey, Roger
item Lee, William
item Loope, Lloyd
item Lorence, David
item Louda, Svata
item Lugo, Ariel
item Mcevoy, Peter
item Richardson, David
item Vitousek, Peter

Submitted to: Bioscience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Ewel, J.J., O'Dowd, D.J., Bergelson, J., Daehler, C.C., D'Antonio, C.M., Gómez, L., Gordon, D.R., Hobbs, R.J., Holt, A., Hopper, K.R., Hughes, C.E., Lahart, M., Leakey, R.B., Lee, W.G., Loope, L.L., Lorence, D.H., Louda, S.M., Lugo, A.E., Mcevoy, P.B., Richardson, D.M., Vitousek, P.M. 1999. Introductions of non-indigenous organisms: research needs to evaluate costsand benefits. Bioscience. 49:619-630.

Interpretive Summary: The potential benefits and risks of non-indigenous species are difficult to quantify, so it is not surprising that views diverge regarding the value of introductions. For example, some believe that the need to restore produc- tivity to degraded lands is so great that, in some places, concerns about potential invasions are frivolous. In contrast, others stress the biologic- -al, economic, and social costs of some introductions. This paper, a prod- uct of an international workshop on appropriate and inappropriate introduc- tions on non-indigenous organisms held in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii, in June 1997, has two goals. First, the 21 participating scientists and managers, with expertise ranging from plant domestication to biological control to conservation biology, and including advocates and opponents of introduc- tions, sought to identify aspects of introductions for which there was general agreement. Second, discussions focused on how research can contribute to resolution of remaining differences. Consensus was reached on key areas of where research is needed and a set of specific research questions necessary to evaluate and address the issues.

Technical Abstract: This paper presents results of an international workshop on introductions of non-indigenous organisms held in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii, in June 1997. Eight areas of consensus were identified: (1) Further introductions of non-indigenous organisms can provide maintenance of productivity in agricultural systems, environmental remediation , and new economic development; (2) Inadvertent introductions on non-indigenous organisms will continue in the future; (3) Benefits and costs of introductions are unevenly distributed among ecosystems and sectors of society; (4) Biological invasions are a natural process, but human activity has accelerated the rate of invasions. (5) Most invasions are irreversible; (6) Human alteration of ecosystems often increases the probability that introduced organisms will become invasive; (7) A time-lag of several decades or more may exist between the initial introduction of an organism and evidence that it is invasive and having unanticipated effects; (8) A strong predictor of invasiveness is whether the organism has been invasive elsewhere. Three specific needs were identified: (1) Development of a broadly accessible information system to support evaluation of organisms proposed for import; (2) Evaluation of potential impacts of introductions based on the attributes of the recipient environment as well as the introduced organism; (3) Organisms considered for introduction classified by their potential effects and proposed for regulation accordingly.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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