Invasive plant and animal species live in virtually all areas of the globe. The reason for their unnatural presence is because humans have accidentally or deliberately introduced them to new ecosystems. Because they have been introduced to new habitats they are not initially meant to be in, invasive species have negatively impacted their new homes. How extensive is their damage and are all invasive species harmful?
Invasive species harm native animals
Invasive species have a negative reputation for good reason. They have ruined ecosystems by eating native plants and animals. Because of their negative effects, invasive species should be relocated or eradicated.
Invasive species eat native animals
Invasive species eat native animals. Without native species, the ecosystem they reside in will suffer.
Invasive species eat native prey and kill native predators. Without prey, predators will starve. Without natural predators, the invasive species will reproduce, and their population will grow out of control.
Invasive plants can be very aggressive. Because of their aggressive growth rates and appetite, they choke out and overgrow native plant species. Without the native plant species, the plant’s environment would fail.
Although invasive species have negative reputations, some invasive species are harmless and help their new habitats. The new plants and animals are an extra source of nutrients to the native habitat and its inhabitants. Helpful invasive species should stay in the habitats they currently reside in.
Invasive species are a new food source
Invasive species can provide a new food source to the surrounding native animals and plants. For example, new types of pests could be eaten by predators if a native species starts to run out.
Pests are a universal problem. No one likes them, and they often carry diseases. Invasive species have often been introduced into habitats where pests run rampant. Because of the invasive species, the pests’ populations have successfully diminished.