Invasive species increase biodiversity and, therefore, services: An argument of equivocations

Conservation Science and Practice 553 (2021)
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Abstract

Some critics of invasion biology have argued the invasion of ecosystems by nonindigenous species can create more valuable ecosystems. They consider invaded communities as more valuable because they potentially produce more ecosystem services. To establish that the introduction of nonindigenous species creates more valuable ecosystems, they defend that value is provisioned by ecosystem services. These services are derived from ecosystem productivity, the production and cycling of resources. Ecosystem productivity is a result of biodiversity, which is understood as local species richness. Invasive species increase local species richness and, therefore, increase the conservation value of local ecosystems. These views are disseminating to the public via a series of popular science books. Conservationists must respond to these views, and I outline a method of rejecting such arguments against controlling invasive species. Ecological systems are valuable for more than local productivity and biodiversity is not accurately described by a local species count.

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Christopher Lean
Western Sydney University

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