Toward a global information system for invasive species

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The growing frequency and impact of biological invasions worldwide threaten biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, resource availability, national economies, and human health (Ruesink et al. 1995, Simberloff 1996, Vitousek et al. 1997). Organisms are spreading into new regions at unprecedented rates. As a result, hundreds to thousands of nonindigenous species of invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, bacteria, and fungi have become established in all but the most remote areas of the planet (Vitousek et al. 1997). Recent examples are abundant and, in some cases, alarming. Cholera bacteria and toxic dinoflagellates have been discovered in the ballast waters of cargo ships (McCarthy and Khambaty 1994, Hallegraeff 1998). Asian tiger mosquitos—vectors of yellow fever and encephalitis—have spread to new continents in imported truck tires (Moore et al. 1988). Pasture and crop lands in Australia are being invaded by Parthenium, an aggressive Caribbean weed that causes severe allergic reactions in livestock and humans (Evans 1997). Rapid and widespread dieoffs of native freshwater mussels are occurring in the wake of the zebra mussel invasion in North America (Ricciardi et al. 1998). [[AQ4]Hardwood trees in American cities are being killed by Asian long-horned beetles introduced with wooden packing crates (Haack et al. 1997).

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Toward a global information system for invasive species
Series title BioScience
DOI 10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0239:TAGISF]2.3.CO;2
Volume 50
Issue 3
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher American Institute of Biological Sciences
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 239
Last page 244
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