Parker, Ingrid M. Department of Biology, Earth and Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, California.
Last reviewed:January 2020
Show previous versions
- Routes of entry
- Sites of invasions
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of the establishment, spread, and ecological impact of species translocated from one region or continent to another outside their normal range, particularly when the translocation is the result of human activity (intentional or otherwise). When organisms establish new, enduring populations in areas outside their native ranges, they are called invasive species (also called nonindigenous, exotic, alien, or nonnative species). Because invasive species often disrupt the sensitive interactions within the ecology of preexisting communities, they can pose a significant threat to the integrity and maintenance of ecosystems (Fig. 1). In particular, the invasion of nonindigenous species is a serious concern for those charged with managing and protecting natural as well as managed ecosystems. Therefore, the study of biological invasions, termed invasion ecology, has gained much attention as a basic research tool, investigating the ecology and evolution of populations and of novel biotic interactions. It also encompasses conservation and is tied to the preservation of biodiversity. For example, invasive species negatively affect more than 40% of all endangered species. Invasion ecology must therefore be understood properly to prevent the elimination of native species whose populations are threatened. See also: Biodiversity; Biogeography; Conservation of species; Ecological communities; Ecology; Ecosystem; Endangered species; Invasive forest species; Invasive species; Population ecology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information