Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invasive Species: A Few Bucks And A Click Away

Date:
April 12, 2004
Source:
Ecological Society Of America
Summary:
Much attention has been given to the role ballast waters (water used in ships for stability) play in transporting invasive and exotic species around the world, but a potential greater threat, is the commercial trade of aquaria and ornamental plants and animals.

Much attention has been given to the role ballast waters (water used in ships for stability) play in transporting invasive and exotic species around the world, but a potential greater threat, is the commercial trade of aquaria and ornamental plants and animals. So say the authors of "Beyond ballast water: aquarium and ornamental trades as sources of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems," which appears in the April issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Dianna Padilla (Stony Brook University) and Susan Williams (Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, Davis) highlight the potential risks posed by aquatic plants and pets.

"This largely unregulated industry poses a serious but mostly unrecognized threat to marine and freshwater ecosystems as a source of invasive species" according to the authors.

Water hyacinths, popular ornamental plants, are readily available for purchase from catalogues and on-line. Native to the Amazon basin, they were introduced into Florida in 1884 and by the late 1950's interfered with navigation in Florida's waterways and displaced many native species. It took millions of dollars to clean up the waterways, yet the plant continues to spread across the globe, establishing itself on every continent but Antarctica.

While recognizing the importance of aquaria and ornamental trade, the authors argue that few enforceable regulations have been established. With the increase in popularity of live rock, corals, and tropical and freshwater fish, the potential for a accidental or intentional release into the environment increases.

Unlike many of the organisms transported in ballast waters, aquarium species are usually traded as adults, with only the hardiest fish and plants surviving collection and transport. These conditions set the stage for hardy, sexually mature organisms invading US waters. Fully one-third of aquatic species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's list of 100 worst invasive species are from aquarium and ornamental releases.

Padilla and Williams make several suggestions for regulation, including listing native and/or safe alternative aquarium and ornamental species to encourage the trade of less invasive and aggressive species. They also suggest a trade-off using bonds equal to the estimated cost of repairing future damage that could occur in the worst-case scenario of a particular animal or plant escaping into the wild.

Deep Sea Corals

Also in this month's issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Santi Roberts and Michael Hirshfield (Oceana) discuss the diversity and biology of deep-sea corals. First observed over 200 years ago, scientific knowledge about these organisms continues to increase as new technologies allow researchers to delve deeper and farther into the ocean than ever before. Deep sea corals, much like their better-known tropical cousins, are found throughout the world, living in darker and colder places, and with equal diversity and reef building capabilities. These corals also provide habitat for economically important species of fish including grouper, bass, jacks, snappers and sharks.

Like all reefs, these corals are susceptible to damage by trawling. Roberts and Hirshfield make several suggestions for better protecting these resources, including protecting untrawled areas, enhancing the enforcement of current regulations, and more research into restoring damaged deep-sea coral communities.

###

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, 8000-member organization founded in 1915. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. ESA publishes four scientific, peer-reviewed journals: Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. For more information about the Society visit http://www.esa.org


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecological Society Of America. "Invasive Species: A Few Bucks And A Click Away." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412013918.htm>.
Ecological Society Of America. (2004, April 12). Invasive Species: A Few Bucks And A Click Away. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412013918.htm
Ecological Society Of America. "Invasive Species: A Few Bucks And A Click Away." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412013918.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins