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3375RE: [beemonitoring] Invasive species are...nice?

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  • Weber, Don
    May 20, 2014


      You are right that a number of very misguided introductions have been made by governmental entities.    That could go back to Spanish conquistadores introducing human disease to the New World.

      And, you are also correct in saying that invasive plants, though viewed by many as passive, can be very damaging in the long run.

      Taking the example of the mute swan though, this species was not introduced by either academics or government personnel, and is not a plant, but is very damaging to wetland ecosystems, so your dismissing it as a problem hard for me to understand. 

      Please, let’s steer clear of that ecological intellectual disease which is the urge to over-generalize!  There are animals and plants and fungi and other organisms which when introduced to new continents or regions are very damaging, and this introduction process has been abetted by goverments and other institutions including universities, private companies, and individuals.

      Don Weber


      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com]
      Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:27 AM
      To: Alicia Basilio
      Cc: Bee United
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Invasive species are...nice?



      Dear Alicia:


      Funny you should mention this.  According to a geneticists and entomologists, the introduction of alien bumblebees to Argentina introduced viruses that wiped out native species of Bombus.  The findings were presented at Washington U. a year ago in a symposium honoring the retirement of Allan Templeton.  


      The idea, that it's OK to introduce alien species to check erosion, and other things, comes back to bite conservationists in the ass over and over.  Here's an embarrassing case in point.  The crown vetch of Eurasia (Securigera varia) was so popular as an erosion stopper in Pennsylvania it was voted as the state conservation flower in 1982.  Now check up this species on the web and see how illegal it is to import and grow it in most states.  Isn't it interesting how people are quick to condemn the introduction of animals (starlings, cane toads, gypsy moths etc.) but turn blind eyes to plants.  How could a plant do any damage to the environment?  Plans are so... passive.


      And Leo, it's naughty to blame academics for negative research on introduced species.  The fact remains that state and federal scientists/bureaucrats (not those employed by any university) have ultimately made the biggest and most expensive decisions as to what to bring in then (as years pass) what to extirpate (without much success).  The biggest sick joke right now is a pending decision in New York to shoot every mute swan (Eurasian species) because they supposedly compete with native ducks and geese for limited food.  It could become illegal to feed a swan in a public park (check the New York TImes).




      On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM, Alicia Basilio <apis1b@...> wrote:

      Hi, "The habitat" are not all equal. 

      Invasive species have been used for habitat restoration. Where nothing is growing, coverage and biomass are valuable. 

      But, to my knowledge, the dynamics of invasive species make good competitors against native species in more stable habitats. Bumbus terrestris, or Vespula germanica for example, seem to have some desfavorable impact on native bees in Patagonia.


      De: "Peter Bernhardt bernhap2@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Para: Bee United <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Enviado: martes, 20 de mayo de 2014 10:04
      Asunto: [beemonitoring] Invasive species are...nice?



      The following link will take you to the latest stage in the ecological propaganda wars.  The argument here is that introduced species that become invasive make habitats more diverse, not less.  The author is unfamiliar to me and I must read the publication but this is an argument that goes back to one of the first books that spooky old Michael Pollan wrote.






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