This blog is intended to discuss relevant publications and ideas related to “novel ecosystems” research and management. I expect that through the open, rational and informed discussion of this topic we can generate a better knowledge around the management of these “new ecological entities”.
Novel Ecosystems is a term that was formally proposed by Ricard Hobbs and others in 2006. This publication more or less mark the beginning of a still-ongoing debate in invasion ecology. See a great compendium and examination of the origins and evolution of the “novel ecosystems” term in this book chapter by Joseph Mascaro.
After the publication by Hobbs et al in 2006, and apart from seminal papers discussing the managerial issues of adopting the term -and the ecological aspects of accepting novel ecosystems definition in the conservation agenda- (papers like Davis et al Nature 2011 and responses about it definitely raise a debate around this issue), many other investigations have emerged presenting ecological information (i.e. ecosystems functioning of novel systems) that help understanding the real impacts caused by these “novelties”.
This blog will present an updated summary of such publications and will try to highlight the main conclusions within these scientific products that can be used for better and more efficient managerial practices.
Ariel Lugo from University of Puerto Rico and USGS has a significant amount of publications around the topic. This opinion article summarizes many of his own work and others regarding novel ecosystems.
Is the overall debate still necessary?….or should we accept that ecosystems are changing due to human influences and therefore take the necessary actions for good managerial practices regarding ecological novelties?
I am personally interested in answering the second question by generating ecological information about ecosystems dominated by non-native species (i.e. fall under novel ecosystems definition) in the Galapagos Islands. My expectation overall is to generate rigorously-generated scientific information about the ecology of dominant non-native plants in this world famous archipelago that can be used by managers to take the best possible decisions regarding the sustainability of this fragile and unique biome.
Discussions on invasive plant species issues
Native and invasive plants of the Galapagos class-APR 2015
Below you will find comments on main topics regarding native and invasive plant species management, focused mainly on the Galapagos. These comments are uploaded by students from the “Ecology and management of native and introduced plants of the Galapagos” class, that I am currently teaching in this archipelago.
First, below we are commenting on two papers one by Castro et al 2010 and the other by McKinney 2008 regarding the issue of homogenization on islands caused by human related activities including the introduction of invasive species.