Review: Alien Species and Evolution: The Evolutionary Ecology of Exotic Plants, Animals, Microbes and Interacting Native Species

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Review: Alien Species and Evolution: The Evolutionary Ecology of Exotic Plants, Animals, Microbes and Interacting Native Species By G.W.Cox Reviewed by Nana Nehrbass Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany George W. Cox. Alien Species and Evolution: The Evolutionary Ecology of Exotic Plants, Animals, Microbes, and Interacting Native Species. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2004. 377 pp. ISBN: 1-55963-009-4. US$ 75 (paperback). Recycled, acid-free paper.

Alien Species and Evolution leads the reader toward an eye penning recognition of the evolutionary potential of alien species. In his extensive work, Cox illustrates that evolution is not just a theoretical controversy about the history of life on earth, but is also occurring here and now. The book starts off with a substantial discussion about invasions and provides the reader with insights on the techniques of genetic analyses. Equipped with this sound background it is easy even for nonspecialists to follow the argumentation in each chapter. The author leads the reader through all aspects of alien invasions, pointing out the significance of evolutionary adaptation in each instance. He raises awareness of the fact that many invasions are sped up and facilitated by human activities; that is, "accelerated evolution" takes place. The book stresses that although ecosystems might be restored through control measures, evolutionary adaptation is usually irreversible. …