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Human-Induced Invasion of Species

  • By: Pere Bover & Josep Antoni Alcover
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

An invasion of a species is defined as the introduction, establishment, and subsequent spread of that species in a geographic area different from its original or native geographical range. Once a species has been introduced into a new habitat, it can be naturalized; that is, it can adapt to the new environment and expand its population, usually producing negative effects on native species and on the whole ecosystem structure. Not all human-induced introductions of species are successful, and invasive populations can become extinct shortly or even after a long time. There are two aspects to consider in the ecological study of invasions: (1) the susceptibility of a territory to an alien invasion (i.e., the suitability of a territory to the ecological requirements of an invasive ...

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