Managing the side effects of invasion control

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Science  30 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6187, pp. 975-976
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254662

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Invasive species can threaten the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources and incur considerable economic losses. Invasive species management programs therefore aim to reverse or mitigate the impacts of invasion, but these programs can have severe negative impacts on native species and ecosystems (1, 2), because invasive species integrate into their new ecosystems and can assume ecological functions previously carried out by native species. Indirect effects of management are likely to become more common as existing invaders form new interactions and new species continue to be introduced. On page 1028 of this issue, Lampert et al. report an optimal management model that shows how invasive species control can be combined with other ecosystem goals (3).