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Invasive and Introduced Plants and Animals
Human Perceptions, Attitudes and Approaches to Management
Ian D Rotherham
Robert A Lambert
352 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Earthscan from Routledge
There have been many well-publicised cases of invasive species of plants and animals, often introduced unintentionally but sometimes on purpose, causing widespread ecological havoc. Examples of such alien invasions include pernicious weeds such as Japanese knotweed, an introduced garden ornamental which can grow through concrete, the water hyacinth which has choked tropical waterways, and many introduced animals which have out-competed and displaced local fauna.
This book addresses the broader context of invasive and exotic species, in terms of the perceived threats and environmental concerns which surround alien species and ecological invasions. As a result of unprecedented scales of environmental change, combined with rapid globalisation, the mixing of cultures and diversity, and fears over biosecurity and bioterrorism, the known impacts of particular invasions have been catastrophic.
However, as several chapters show, reactions to some exotic species, and the justifications for interventions in certain situations, including biological control by introduced natural enemies, rest uncomfortably with social reactions to ethnic cleansing and persecution perpetrated across the globe. The role of democracy in deciding and determining environmental policy is another emerging issue. In an increasingly multicultural society this raises huge questions of ethics and choice. At the same time, in order to redress major ecological losses, the science of reintroduction of native species has also come to the fore, and is widely accepted by many in nature conservation. However, with questions of where and when, and with what species or even species analogues, reintroductions are acceptable, the topic is hotly debated. Again, it is shown that many decisions are based on values and perceptions rather than objective science.
Including a wide range of case studies from around the world, this book raises critical issues to stimulate a much wider debate.
PART I: Setting the Scene
Balancing species history, human culture and scientific insight: Introduction and Overview
Human Interactions with Non-Native Species PART II: Attitudes and perceptions
Over Here: American Animals in Britain
How the Concept of Alien Species Emerged and Developed in Twentieth-Century Britain
Nativeness and Nationhood: What species 'belong' in post-devolution Scotland?
Who is the invader? Alien species, property rights, and the police power
Whales, Whitefellas and the Ambiguity of 'Nativeness': Reflections on the emplacement of Australian identities
The rise of modern invasion biology and American attitudes towards introduced species
Anekeitaxonomy: Botany, Place and Belonging
The other Side of Bio-Invasion: The Example of Acclimatization in Germany PART III: Case Studies and Case Histories
Strangers in a familiar land: the return of the native 'aliens' and the (re)wilding of Britain's skies, 1850-2010
Public perception of invasive alien species in Mediterranean Europe
The Human Dimensions of Invasive Plants in Tropical Africa
The Rise and Fall of Japanese Knotweed?
History and Perception in Animal and Plant Invasions - The case of acclimatisation and wild gardeners
Factors Affecting People's Response to Invasive Species Management
The paradox of invasive species in ecological restoration: Do restorationists worry about them too much or too little?
A View from Continental Europe: The case-study of Prunus serotina in France in comparison with other invasives
Native or Alien? The case of the Wild Boar in Britain
Exotic and Invasive Species: An Economic Perspective
Satisfaction in a Horse: The perception and assimilation of an exotic animal into Maori custom law
Fire and Loathing in the Fynbos: Notions of indigenous and alien vegetation in South Africa's Western Cape, c.1902-1945
Biological Invasion and Narratives of Environmental History in New Zealand, 1800-2000s
PART IV: The Way Ahead: Conclusions and Challenges
Good Science, Good History and Pragmatism: Managing the way ahead
Ian Rotherham is a leading researcher and writer on ecological history with a long-standing interest in exotic and invasive animals and plants. He is a Reader, Director of the Geography, Tourism, and Environment Research Unit, and International Research Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Rob Lambert has a dual appointment at the University of Nottingham, UK, as lecturer in environmental history and lecturer in tourism and the environment. He is also a Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and co-editor of the journal Environment and History.