Introduced species overlooked in biodiversity reporting

A UNIGE researcher demonstrates that the biodiversity indicators used in reports on the evolving state of nature are incomplete: they only include indigenous species, deliberately excluding introduced species.

The giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) is a species introduced from North America. It is considered invasive in Switzerland because it can dominate environments bordering agricultural fields. But favourable biological interactions with pollinators take place and the plant has medicinal properties. Current biodiversity and sustainability indicators ignore these positive contributions. © UNIGE
The giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) is a species introduced from North America. It is considered invasive in Switzerland because it can dominate environments bordering agricultural fields. But favourable biological interactions with pollinators take place and the plant has medicinal properties. Current biodiversity and sustainability indicators ignore these positive contributions. © UNIGE

Nature is personally associated with the human prosperity of present and future ages – which is the reason a variety of reports track the condition of biodiversity and foresee the effect of our lifestyle on its development. These reports depend on a few markers that lone take indigenous – i.e. “unique” – species into representing every area.

However, today present-day situations are comprised of indigenous and presented species. The presentations are either consider – similar to the case, for instance, with rural harvests – or incidental, just like the case with the Asian hornet or the crate tree moth. Despite the fact that these presented species assume critical parts, they are overlooked by masters, a reality that halfway mutilates the global nature reports.

The investigation by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), distributed in the journal PLOS Biology, prescribes that the positive and negative commitments made by these species ought to be incorporated with the goal that general society has an exact view over the encompassing nature and its development.

Biodiversity security at the exhibit is personally connected to ensuring the indigenous species and conditions that are particular to every area around the world, the point being to protect the “legitimacy” of scenes and their biological communities. The indicators utilized by scholars are constructed solely with respect to types of beginning; at the end of the day, they ignore the nearness of presented species.

These indicators advise universal reports on biodiversity, presenting an inclination at the source, contends Martin Schlaepfer, an analyst at UNIGE’s Institute of Environmental Sciences (ISE). To put it plainly, a segment of nature is intentionally overlooked. Why?

Martin Schlaepfer, a researcher at UNIGE’s Institute of Environmental Sciences (ISE) said, “Biologists generally favour the protection of native species. By contrast, introduced species are viewed as undesirable by the conservation community because a subset can generate undesirable effects. “But around 88% of species introduced to Europe are not problematic.”

“And among those that do create a problem, we generally only look at their flaws, without factoring in the positive features they can also generate. For example, the giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) is a species of plant introduced from North America. It is considered invasive in Switzerland because it can dominate environments bordering agricultural land. However, in addition to boasting medicinal properties, the giant goldenrod also facilitates favorable biological interactions with pollinators. In a similar manner, American crayfish – which are invasive in European lakes – provide the catering industry with an important source of food.”

“By deliberately omitting introduced species, biodiversity reports do not accurately reflect nature as it really is. If you focus on trees in the Canton of Geneva, there are 88 indigenous species. But there are 597 introduced tree species in the canton.”

In 2012, the High-Level Group on Global Sustainability created an UN-approved report that distinguished 12 pointers for estimating planetary limits, i.e. the limits that mankind must not surpass so as to empower life to proceed on Earth. One of these markers is biodiversity. Scientists watch the normal wealth of species initially show in a district; i

Iy6 the normal plenitude drops by over 10%, specialists consider that nature has been modified too widely and that the strength of future ages is in danger.In 2012, the High-Level Group on Global Sustainability created an UN-approved report that recognized 12 markers for estimating planetary limits, i.e. the limits that mankind must not surpass keeping in mind the end goal to empower life to proceed on Earth.

One of these pointers is biodiversity. Scholars watch the normal plenitude of species initially show in a district; if the normal wealth drops by over 10%, specialists consider that nature has been modified too broadly and that the strength of future ages is in peril.

In 2012, the High-Level Group on Global Sustainability created an UN-approved report that recognized 12 pointers for estimating planetary limits, i.e. the limits that mankind must not surpass with a specific end goal to empower life to proceed on Earth. One of these markers is biodiversity.

Scientists watch the normal wealth of species initially exhibit in a district; if the normal plenitude drops by over 10%, specialists consider that nature has been changed too widely and that the strength of future ages is in danger.In 2012, the High-Level Group on Global Sustainability delivered an UN-approved report that recognized 12 pointers for estimating planetary limits, i.e. the limits that mankind must not surpass so as to empower life to proceed on Earth.

One of these pointers is biodiversity. Scholars watch the normal plenitude of species initially introduce in a locale; if the normal wealth drops by over 10%, specialists consider that nature has been modified too widely and that the strength of future ages is in risk.

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