What is it about?

Invasive species pose a threat to the environment worldwide, particularly with increasing globalisation. Most existing biosecurity measures are unable to check the introduction and growth of invasive species, with consequent adverse effects on biodiversity, natural resources, economy, and human health. This suggests a lack of understanding and preparedness to tackle species invasions, despite steady progress made over the years in dealing with the causes and consequences of these biological invasions. Now, researchers have tried to identify four priority areas to address existing knowledge gaps and advance invasion science. These include developing a framework for predicting the ecological impact of non-native species invasion, understanding the impact of using these species to restore environment, developing the taxonomic framework to accurately distinguish between non-native and native species, and enhancing biosecurity strategies through international cooperation.

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Why is it important?

Invasion science is a rapidly growing multidisciplinary field encompassing ecology and related fields like population biology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, physiology, biosecurity etc. But it is a relatively young discipline with immense potential for improvements. Focusing research and governance efforts on priority areas under the banner of this discipline to tackle the growing menace of species invasions is important, particularly, since there are gaps in our current understanding and response to invasions. KEY TAKEAWAY The challenge of tackling the intensive growth and spread of non-native species calls for a collaborative effort involving diverse disciplines. Applying technologically advanced and innovative solutions based on interdisciplinary knowhow is particularly important for addressing the peculiar problems of this increasingly globalized world, including invasion. Although scientific advancements can produce an effective theoretical framework for understanding the behavior and impacts of invasive species, managing them successfully rests with society. There also needs to be international cooperation across economies to address this threat and develop effective transboundary biosecurity policies.

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This page is a summary of: Four priority areas to advance invasion science in the face of rapid environmental change, Environmental Reviews, June 2021, Canadian Science Publishing, DOI: 10.1139/er-2020-0088.
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