The advent of alien species inhabiting lands that alter the ecosystem to their advantage or detrimentally affect the ecosystem they invade ha caught the attention of conservationalists. But is there reason enough to be so worried?
They are called invasive species because they cause damage to the agricultural or forest milieu. That would effect out livelihood, as we know it but what about change? What about the numbers of species that have come over without the publicity? They all affect the environment and only a few get to make headlines. Change comes in different forms including those that sailed across the Pacific to get to Vancouver after the tsunami hit a Japan a couple of years ago.
In the beginning I think the average person would be up in arms against the unwanted visitors, especially those who have to make a living on farming creatures or crops that they depend on. An introduction of species that competes for space and nutrients and which interrupts the normal passage of nutrients to the organisms or crops we depend on is invasive. Science is trying to find out a way to limit that invasiveness but is that the only means to prevent a process that has been going on for centuries?
Believe it or not invasive species have being traveling to Canada for centuries now so if alarm bells are ringing on the need to protect our food chains maybe our approach to solving the problem should not only be based on limiting the migration of unwanted species, that addresses the geographical invasion but finding ways to us other food sources or introducing beneficial microorganisms that would antagonize those invaders so that they do not get the upper hand.
As far as forestry is concerned it is now years that a Chinese worm, actually the larva of a fly has found its way to Canada also presumably by boat and has afflicted a lot of the trees by eating out their insides. There is a means to detect the passage of the worm from tree to tree but one may question the efficacy at marking the spread, delaying the cutting of the diseased tree and therefore delaying replanting of parks and other forested areas. At one point several years a tree in Park Lafontaine had keeled over and crashed into the pond. Going up to it, one could see that its core had gone rotten, evidence of the infestation. This was a park tree, easily accessible for testing but the happening is good evidence that not all trees are being tested and so the silent scourge is spreading. If this tree had gone unnoticed, others are not being noticed in a timely manner and we can only blame ourselves.