Huge vines covered the southern United States, climbing over 30 meters high to devour buildings. A greedy snake can swallow a crocodile or rabbits to eat their own kind because of a famine. This is not a horror movie, they are real stories, but how can these things happen while nature is naturally balanced? The three examples above are examples of invasive organisms.
The Kudzu creeper grows modestly in East Asia because it is eaten by insects and gradually dies in the winter. But luck until it was imported into the southeastern United States to decorate the gate and make food for cattle. The planting of this crop has been subsidized by the Government to prevent soil erosion. With sunny fields, mild climates and no natural predators here, they grow indiscriminately uncontrollably throughout South America.
In Everglades, Florida, the release of Burmese pythons is a major cause of the decline in many species. They are not a problem in Asia because diseases, parasites and other predators help limit their numbers. But when it came to the United States, the python surpassed even the top food predators, such as crocodiles and leopards, that led to an ecological imbalance.
European rabbits are the species that have recently been intentionally brought to Australia by some who like to hunt them. Like the Burmese pythons, many factors in the native environment help control the numbers, but when in Australia, the lack of natural predators and the excellent climate for year-round reproduction helps their numbers increase rapidly. quickly. European rabbits eat so much that they destroy the food supply of other species and even them.
Most ecosystems in the world are the result of millennia of evolution of species, adapting to the environment until equilibrium is reached. Healthy ecosystems maintain their balance through environmental conditions that limit the number and extent of a species. It includes elements such as natural geography, climate, food reserves and predators.
For example, plant growth depends on light intensity and soil nutrition. The number of plants affects the number of individuals of herbivores and the number of herbivores affects predators. A balanced number of carnivores will keep the herbivores from increasing too much and consume all the plants. But even a small change in the above factors can disrupt the balance and one of the main causes is the sudden appearance of migratory organisms.
A species that has evolved from one place will be sensitive to other limiting factors, other predators, other energy sources and other climatic regions. If new environmental constraints cannot curb the growth of the species, it will continue to multiply, dominate native species, feed and destroy the entire ecosystem.
Creatures are sometimes brought to a new environment by nature such as storms, ocean currents or climate change. But most invasive species are affected by humans. Sometimes unintentionally, like zebra mussels brought to Lake Erie on freight trains. But most of them are intentional, especially in an era of globalization, people migrate around the world and intentionally bring plants and animals along but do not anticipate the consequences.
Now that countries know more about the dangers of invasive species on ecosystems, governments in many countries have controlled the movement of plants and animals and banned the import of certain species. But perhaps the invasive species that has the greatest potential to affect the environment is a group of primate originating in Africa and covering the Earth? Could it be that we are invasive?