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Are invasives worse in freshwater than terrestrial ecosystems?

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Several lines of evidence suggest that the effects of invasive species may be greater in aquatic freshwaters than in terrestrial ecosystems. We argue that freshwaters are significantly more invasible—from a number of poorly regulated sources—and also more susceptible to negative biodiversity, physical ecosystem, and socioeconomic impacts when invaded, than their terrestrial counterparts. Moreover, the nature of freshwaters appears to result in impacts that are wide ranging and severe while being indirect, diffuse, and difficult to both detect and predict. For these reasons, we conclude that freshwater invasive species represent a special case, when compared with terrestrial invasives, in which the likelihood of negative impacts, and their effects, is disproportionately severe. We suggest that future approaches to research in this area should aim to audit the full array of impacts of a number of representative invasive species, with a view to building an evidence base to support the global implementation of a precautionary approach to the release of aquatic freshwater non‐native species. WIREs Water 2015, 2:1–8. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1059 This article is categorized under: Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness Water and Life > Stresses and Pressures on Ecosystems
A conceptual model of the impacts of American signal crayfish on the physical structure of river systems, from the microscale to the catchment scale, demonstrating how the behavior of individuals might influence the local environment, which in turn may lead to impacts on sediments at the reach and catchment scale. CPOM and FPOM stand for coarse and fine organic particulate matter, respectively. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright Sage Publications 2011)
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Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness
Water and Life > Stresses and Pressures on Ecosystems

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