Non-native or alien species present a range of threats to native ecosystems and human well-being. Many such species have selective advantages over native species, such as faster growth and reproduction rates, higher ecological tolerance, or more effective dispersal mechanisms. However, these species are often inadvertently demonised without sufficient awareness of the ecological principles—disturbance, niche and competition—that contribute to species dominance in an ecosystem. Non-native species can provide services useful to humans, particularly in facilitating many contemporary needs of modern civilisation. In the present paper, the available records on the influence of non-native invasive species and the relationship between services lost and new services acquired due to their presence will be discussed.
Part of the book: Ecosystem Services and Global Ecology