The Ecology of Non-Native and Invasive Species

The movement of species to location beyond their native ranges by humans presents interesting challenges. Modern agriculture, without which human society would not exist as we know it, is based on the husbandry of a very limited number of species that are largely cultured beyond their range of origin. By contrast, the Convention on Biological Diversity generally considers alien invasive species as the second most important threat, after habitat destruction, to indigenous biodiversity.

The movement on non-native species in the marine and estuarine environment has accompanied human exploration and continues today with marine trade. The continuing homogenization of global biota presents challenges to management and restoration of native ecosystems, and remains a relatively poorly understood element within ecology.

Links to ICES working group on Introductions and Transfers

Link to NEMESIS 

Related volumes

  • Rosenfield, A. and R. Mann. 1992. Dispersal of Living Organisms Into Aquatic Systems. Maryland Sea Grant College Press. UM-SG-TS-92-01. 436pp
  • Mann, R. 1979. Exotic Species in Aquaculture. 363 pp. The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA. 


Specific Topics

  • Invasive Oysters - Oysters have been distributed extensively for fishery enhancement and aquaculture purposes, and while these have contributed to extensive food production the introductions have also changed recipient ecosystems, especially where the introduced species have reproduced and become established as naturalized residents.

  • Rapana - The rapa whelk, Rapana venosa, is a large predatory gastropod native to the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, East China Sea and the Bohai Sea.