Transcript Slide 1

Invasive species:
Some observations on
needs and opportunities
for DNA barcoding
Scott Miller, CBOL and Smithsonian
Invasive species
Agents of ecosystem change,
especially when threatening biological
diversity; usually but not always an
alien (non indigenous) species
Efforts to manage invasive
species will be greatly enhanced
by bringing together knowledge,
tools, and approaches from a
range of relevant disciplines.
Global Invasive Species Programme
Invasives in news headlines in
North America
Asian longhorned beetle (NE USA)
Emerald ash borer (Michigan)
Snakehead fish (Maryland)
Mitten crab (New York)
Mosquitoes plus West Nile virus and Malaria
Fruit flies (California, Florida, Hawaii, Texas)
Avian flu
Invasives can be any species from anywhere
Why care ?
(annual figures from Costanza et al. 1997, Pimentel et al. 2000)
• Pollinators:
 1/3 of crop production insect pollinated
 Value ca $117 billion (world)
• Soil arthropods:
 $ trillion value to agriculture (world)
•Natural biological control:
 $400 billion value (world)
• >$100 billion loss to invasive species (USA)
Identification capabilities and systematics
research are the basis for the prevention
and control of invasive species, such as the
cassava mealybug in Africa
Accurate identifications vital
 Need to know what to keep out.
 Need to know what is present in other
countries in order to determine which
invasive species we want to keep out.
 Need to communicate about invasives,
their biology, and management.
Regulatory issues impeding
• Recognizing new invasives requires
interchange of specimens and data
• Need to protect rights of owners and countries
• Now insects often caught between agriculture
and wildlife regulations
• Need wildlife permit to get identification on
insect eating your crops?
A cross-sector challenge
The same species,
an ant or weed for example,
can be a pest of agriculture, livestock and
so we must recognize a continuum of
habitats, rather than separating agriculture
from conservation.
Good or bad
depends on your
point of view
Jackson’s Chameleon:
an invasive species in Hawaii
protected by CITES in East Africa
Can ants collapse the economy
of an island?
• Invasive ants disturb nesting birds
• sole source of tourist economy
• tiny island in Seychelles