Invasive forest species
Illman, Barbara L. Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:April 2020
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- Transfer into new ecosystems
- Unintentional introduction
- Intentional introduction
- Impact on forests
- Forest fires
- Watershed and riparian areas
- Multiple invasions
- Island ecosystems
- Societal effects
- Prevention and control
- Risk assessment
- Public awareness
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause environmental or economic harm to forests. Nonnative organisms that cause a major change to native ecosystems are generally referred to as invasive species or invasives; they also are called foreign species, biological invasions, alien invasives, exotics, or biohazards. Invasives that primarily affect forests are termed invasive forest species (Fig. 1). In general, invasive species of insects, fungi, plants, fish, and other organisms threaten natural forest ecosystems worldwide. For example, invasive animals are often transferred to forest ecosystems in which there are no natural predators to keep them from spreading. In other cases, species escape into the new environment, where they become established, upsetting the ecological balance of the native forest ecosystem. Some forest invasives are competitors or predators of native species, whereas others cause disease. See also: Ecology; Forest; Forest ecosystem; Invasion ecology; Invasive species; Plant pathology
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