Wisconsin researchers find invasive species usually don’t dominate

By on November 6, 2013

Eurasian water milfoil (Credit: USFWS - Pacific Region, via Flickr)

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Limnology say that invasive species often don’t take over areas as commonly thought, according to a release. Their research into the topic was published in PLOS ONE, an online journal.

Instead of dominating a new area, invasive species are more likely to take a good foothold, the researchers say. They note that overabundance is rare even for native plants and animals, so it’s not surprising that invasives rarely take over.

In new areas, invasive species usually exist at low numbers. They usually occupy niche roles in local food chains and are in numbers so low that their presence may not be apparent, the researchers say. For any species to take over, conditions have to be near perfect for its expansion.

Image: Eurasian water milfoil, an widespread invasive plant in the United States (Credit: USFWS – Pacific Region, via Flickr)

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