Invasive species? Better act local.February 13th, 2012 at 10:20
A recent study in the journal Biological Invasions, When are eradication campaigns successful? A test of commonly held assumptions, yielded some invasivore-friendly conclusions. Pluess et al. (2012) analyzed 136 eradication campaigns against 75 different species of invertebrates, plants, and plant pathogens to see what the successful campaigns had in common. The review examined several factors, including how long it took after the invasive organism arrived before the eradication campaign started, the spatial extent of the eradication campaign, how much previous biological knowledge was available on the invader, biogeographic region of the world, and if the invasion was on an island or a continent. The authors were surprised to find that the extent of the eradication campaign was the only significant predictor of a campaign’s success. Campaigns to eradicate an invasive species at the local scale were much more likely to be successful than those at the national scale. The authors suggest this is because local campaigns assess a smaller area and thus perhaps occur before the invader has become established in the ecosystem.
So, act fast. Act local.