Invasion of foreign species is affecting ecosystems from all over the globe, even the vast kingdom of ice at Antarctica is no longer exception to this rule. The invasive species are not only causing major environmental but also major economic damage because they disrupt vital services that ecosystems provide, causing economic losses of billions of dollars.
The latest negative example involving invasion of foreign species refers to England's longest river Thames. The latest study done by researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London says that river Thames is invaded by at least 100 non native freshwater species.
The researchers say that the main reason behind this large number of invasive species is globalization. Dr Michelle Jackson, the lead author of the study, says that there is a positive correlation between shipping activity and population size and the growth in number of invasive species.
Invasive species usually have major impact on biodiversity of affected ecosystems because they compete with native species for food and resources, which often leads to serious decline in population of many native species. The loss of native species leads to loss in many of vital ecosystems services, which in turn causes major economic damage.
The 2010 CABI report claims that invasive species cost British economy £1.7bn every year.
The main problem with this major environmental issue is the fact that it often gets overlooked. Other environmental issues such as climate change and pollution receive lot more public attention than the problem of invasive species.
If we continue this trend of ignorance invasive species will continue doing harm to many native species, which will result in even bigger biodiversity loss. Solving this issue, however, is anything but easy because of the complex interaction between the species and numerous factors that play their role in spreading invasive species all over the globe.