Invasive Species impact threatened and endangered species, biodiversity, and the economy. Once established, these non-indigenous invaders have the ability to displace or replace native plants and animal species, disrupt nutrient and fire cycles, and cause changes in the pattern of plant succesion. (Lovich, JE)"Biodiversity is our most valuable, but least appreciated resource." - E.O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
The Invasive Species Threat to Nebraska
Biological invasions are a growing threat to both human enterprise and ecological systems. The rate of introductions continues to increase, and many countries are developing organized plans to strengthen bio‐security in the face of these threats. The negative impacts of biological invasions are economically and ecologically significant, and while they remain incompletely quantified, they are clearly substantial. In 2000, David Pimental of Cornell University, and colleagues, estimated that the economic costs of invasive species for the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, and Brazil exceeded US 314 billion dollars per year. David Pimental and colleagues made conservative estimates of costs associated with invasive species in the United States, which exceeded US 120 billion dollars per year in 2005. Ecological and environmental costs are considerably more difficult to quantify, but include the extinction of native biota, disruption of community structure, and changes in ecological processes, with associated losses of ecosystem services and capital. Some of these ecosystem services we may not yet have identified, such as human health and medical applications or fuel innovations.
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