A chapter on exotic species is included in this text for several reasons. The systems they come to dominate are not consciously designed by humans, but they are still human-generated systems due to increased dispersal and disturbance. In fact, exotic-dominated ecosystems represent the ultimate in self-organization, one that can become a threat to certain human values. Exotic species often dominate systems because of their high degree of preadaptation to new conditions created by humans. Thus, these species embody several of the important ecological engineering principles introduced in Chapter 1.
Under certain conditions, invasive exotic species provide a significant challenge to environmental managers because of their explosive growth. However, there is potential to take advantage of the successful qualities of these species. It is possible to imagine designs that utilize exotic species under appropriate circumstances, but this use must be carefully employed so as not to increase the problems these species
Was this article helpful?