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Invasive species

Non-native organism causing damage to an established environment / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An invasive or alien species is an introduced species to an environment that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment.[2] Invasive species adversely affect habitats and bioregions, causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage.[3] The term can also be used for native species that become harmful to their native environment after human alterations to its food web  for example, the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) which has decimated kelp forests along the northern California coast due to overharvesting of its natural predator, the California sea otter (Enhydra lutris).[4] Since the 20th century, invasive species have become a serious economic, social, and environmental threat worldwide.

North American beaver dam in Tierra del Fuego
Kudzu, Atlanta
Canada goldenrod as a roadside weed in Poland
Vinca in a garden[1]

Invasion of long-established ecosystems by organisms is a natural phenomenon, but human-facilitated introductions have greatly increased the rate, scale, and geographic range of invasion.[5] For millennia, humans have served as both accidental and deliberate dispersal agents, beginning with their earliest migrations, accelerating in the Age of Discovery, and accelerating again with international trade.[6][7] Notable examples of invasive plant species include the kudzu vine, Andean pampas grass, English ivy, Japanese knotweed, and yellow starthistle. Examples of invasive animals include New Zealand mud snails, some water fleas (such as Daphnia), feral pigs, European rabbits, grey squirrels, domestic cats, carp, and ferrets.[8][9][10]

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