Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Human activities like moving people and things from place to place and cultivating plants and animals result in the accidental or purposeful introduction of species outside their native range. Many of these nonnative organisms cause no harm in the invaded ecosystem. The subset of nonnative organisms that cause undesirable changes in the invaded ecosystem, spread widely, become overly abundant, or reduce native organisms are termed invasive species. Considered "biological pollutants," invasive species are a major cause of biological diversity loss throughout the world. Invasive species are the focus of a new research initiative at the UMESC.
Scientists at the UMESC are conducting research that increases our understanding of these species. Their research is aimed at finding possible tools for controlling these pests, predicting the identity and effect of potential invaders, understanding the life history and biology of invasive species, and developing strategies for reestablishing native plant and animal communities.
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