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Old 12-28-2014, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Disturbing Article

This link was shared on the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society Facebook page:
http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/technology/...says-1.2861822
Quote:
Invasive species are often assumed to be driving native species to extinction when they spread into places that don’t have the predators and diseases that normally control their populations. But Professor Thompson suggests that the evidence to support this idea is often not very strong.
I wasn't sure how to title this thread...but, since I found it disturbing how this article may impact the public's understanding of our cause, I went with that.
As one of the members mentioned, it seems that the writer of the article is using the term "invasive" interchangeably with the term "alien".

I also noticed that the article referred to it as a controversial idea...so, is this guy's idea not supported by most scientists in the field?

Your thoughts?
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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I agree with the professor that humans are the basis of most other species' problems.
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
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I agree that we humans are negatively impacting the environment, my concern is that 5he article makes it seem that invasive plants aren't so bad and we should not try to fight off most invasive plants...is there actual science behind this?
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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That I don't know. Did the native plant society have anyone weigh in?
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Yes, it seems to be a fairly hot topic there.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:48 AM   #6
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I don't know what the definition of an "invasive plant or animal" is in England, but in the U.S. the definition consists of two main parts:
1. The plant or animal is alien to the ecosystem under consideration.
2. The plant or animal does damage to the ecosystem under consideration.

If those two conditions are not met the plant or animal is not classified as invasive.

Some invasives do more damage than others, but that doesn't mean that the one doing the lesser damage is a good thing, or that it's impact on the ecosystem should be ignored.

That the 'cure' could be worse than the 'disease' does not mean that a cure should not be sought, it means that the proposed solution should result in a better outcome than doing nothing. Doing nothing is always one of the choices, but in a situation where damage will continue to increase, doing nothing is not likely to be the best solution.

In this age of the internet anyone can call anything controversial, and no matter what the subject someone will. Calling something controversial is a tactic used by some to imply that there are two opposing but equal points of view. Let the science and your critical thinking skills be your guide on that.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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Very well stated and thoughtful post, NEWisc.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:09 AM   #8
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Thank you, Dapjwy. Sometimes reducing an argument to the basics can provide some clarity.

Needless to say I think Professor Tallamy got it right, and Professor Thompson has got it wrong.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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I agree, very well stated NEWisc and I also agree that Professor Thompson is wrong.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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I think it is very dangerous to use the words "alien" and "invasive" interchangeably! I don't worry so much about the alien dandelions in my yard...but I do work very hard to eradicate the invasive glossy buck thorn. BIG difference as far as I'm concerned. Same is true for things like garlic mustard - I am constantly on the lookout for that invasive alien. I agree that we are going to have to learn to live with some aliens, but I don't agree that we should just accept the invasives.
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