Academic journal article The Science Teacher

What Is the Threat of Invasive Species?

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

What Is the Threat of Invasive Species?

Article excerpt

What Is the Threat of Invasive Species? By Eve Hartman and Wendy Meshbesher. $32.65. 48 pp. Heinemann Library. Chicago, IL. 2012. ISBN: 9781410944658.

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Invasive species are introduced into new areas, often accidentally, and grow rapidly, damaging the environment. In the United States alone, invasive species cause an estimated $12.6 billion in damages each year. Often, these species have no natural predators in their new environment, which helps them compete successfully with native populations.

Species can invade through natural processes such as movement of water and wind, in the case of plant seeds, or by walking, flying, and swimming, in the case of animals. Human activity also spreads invasive species. The book details the stories of well-known cases including kudzu, Eurasian milfoil, cane toad, emerald ash borer, water hyacinth, and Asian carp. Some invasive species breed with native species, causing the native populations to become more like the invaders.

Scientists and government agencies use a variety of methods to attempt to limit the invaders, including border security, barriers, predators, chemicals, bounties, and education. …

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