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Invasive Species Definition

An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to a given area. For example, a plant introduced by humans can grow unchecked, impacting native species.

View Lesson on Competition in Ecosystems
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Competition in Ecosystems

Fun Facts

  • Feral pigs are an invasive species that were introduced by early explorers as a food source.
  • Animals can spread seeds of invasive species to non-native areas via fur or waste.
  • Invasive species can be accidentally or purposely carried by humans.

Why Do We Need To Know About Invasive Species

Learning about invasive species helps us understand how important it is to keep ecosystems balanced and protect different kinds of life. Invasive species are plants or animals that humans have brought to new places, often by accident, where they can harm local plants and animals. A good example is feral pigs that can cause a lot of damage. It’s important to manage these invasive species to keep nature in balance.

Wildlife biologists are very important in dealing with invasive species. They keep an eye on how these species affect local wildlife and the environment. They help control the number of these invasive species and sometimes even find new species. Their work is very important for protecting nature and shows how studying ecosystems can be used to solve real-world problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are food webs used to help explain ecosystem interactions?
Food webs are models of the interactions that happen between producers and consumers in an ecosystem. They can be used to explain how matter and energy are transferred, and they are useful in making predictions about food resources.
How does the lizard-and-cricket example explain competition in an ecosystem?
In the example, there was a limited food source. If one lizard didn’t get any food because it was too slow, eventually it would die. This can also happen out in nature when food is limited.
Explain how an environmental factor might affect an ecosystem.
One possible answer could include a flood as an example. Flooding in an ecosystem affects an ecosystem’s resources. Animals may not get enough to eat because all the plants have been washed away, or some animals may lose their shelters and become prey for other animals.
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