News FocusPREDICTING INVASIONS

Biological Invaders Sweep In

Science  17 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5435, pp. 1834-1836
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5435.1834

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Summary

Globalization may be the mantra of the new economy, but for the environment it may spell disaster, as international travel and trade are creating a tidal wave of exotic species that is transforming ecosystems worldwide. If ecologists could identify likely invaders, governments could simply restrict imports of those treacherous species, and managers could mercilessly weed them out or trap them. But the few predictive models are still hotly debated, and they apply to only a narrow range of organisms at best.