Rethinking Invasive Species Amid Climate Change

We’ve posted quite a few stories of how invasive species can wreck an ecosystem, but those stories represent a small minority of what we call invasive species. The truth is that species move all the time. About 90% of them die out in an unsuitable new environment. Of the remaining 10%, nine will settle in and cause no harm (like kudzu in America). That leaves only 1% of invasive species to make headlines for the damage they cause (like feral cats in Australia). Also, we usually assume that non-native species were transported by humans, such as the plant lovers who bought kudzu from Japanese merchants and the ship crews that carried rodent-hunting cats to Australia.

But there’s another kind of invasive species that moves more and more each year- they are climate refugees. As the planet warms up, plants, animals, and other organisms wander further into areas that are becoming more hospital than their original homes. Is this going to cause problems for existing species in those areas? Maybe, but it may also be the only way those refugee species can continue to exist. Read about this emerging phenomenon and its implications at Vox.

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Source: neatorama

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