• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The consequences of introducing alien species into a ecosystem

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐The Consequences of Introducing Alien Species The introduction of non-native species to an ecosystem is one of the major causes of decreased biodiversity. Termed alien species, they are also known as exotic, introduced, non-indigenous, or invasive species. As the names imply, these species do not belong to ecosystems in which they are either intentionally or unintentionally placed. They tend to disrupt the ecosystem's balance by multiplying rapidly. These species are often plants, fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, algae, bacteria or viruses. Many alien species are transferred into marine ecosystems through the ballast water transported during commercial shipping operations. ...read more.

Middle

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are fingernail-sized, fresh water mussels native to the Caspian Sea/Black Sea region of Asia. They are believed to have been transported to the Great Lakes via ballast water from a trans-oceanic vessel. The ballast water, taken on in a fresh water European port was subsequently discharged into Lake St. Clair, near Detroit, where the mussel was discovered in 1988. They are now down to the Gulf of Mexico, and made it into Connecticut as well. They are major pests, covering large areas of lakes and rivers, preventing the establishment of other species, cover water intakes and clog pipes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once established in a new region, non-native species may invade new areas adjacent to the occupied area by natural dispersal, such as transport in water currents in the case of many seaweeds and phytoplankton. Non-native species may displace native organisms by preying on them or out-competing them for resources such as for food, space or both. In some cases this has led to the elimination of indigenous species from certain areas. Occasionally non-native species can reproduce with native species and produce hybrids, which will alter the genetic pool (a process called genetic pollution), which is an irreversible change. When an invasive species has established itself in the marine environment, it is likely to be impossible to get rid of it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Biology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Biology essays

  1. IB Genetic Unit Notes

    Genetic engineering is the deliberate manipulation of genes. Genetic code can be translated from species because the code is universal. This means that for every organism, the same RNA codon codes for the same amino acid in an mRNA strand.

  2. Biology- Extended essay. For this research, I investigated the effects of DDT and ...

    The results should be recorded in a manner like the result tables shown below. INVESTIGATION I: TO STUDY THE OPERCULAR RESPONSE OF CIRRHINUS CIRRHOSUS UNDER DIFFERENT DOSES OF DDT IN LABORATORY CONDITIONS. After carrying out the procedure suggested for Investigation 1.

  1. Should Animals have the same rights as Humans? Both animals and humans exhibit behaviours ...

    Therefore, the dogs associated lab coats with food. In a series of experiments, he tried to figure out how these phenomena were linked. Pavlov's discovery was that factors that previously had no relation to a given reflex could, through experience, trigger that reflex .

  2. A Local Ecosystem, Patterns in Nature,Life on Earth,The Australian Biota ...

    It is also referred to as cellular respiration. Glucose and oxygen are converted to carbon dioxide and water and water, with the release of energy. * Examine trends in population estimates for some plant and animal species within an ecosystem The number in a population may vary throughout the year because eof seasonal changes.

  1. Modeling an Ecosystem's Carrying Capacity

    (Carrying Capacity) Ecological models are mathematical representations of ecosystems. Typically, the models simplify complex food webs down to their major components or trophic levels, and they quantify these as either numbers of organisms, biomass, or the concentration an element. Ecosystem models are a development of theoretical ecology that aim to

  2. Biotechnology Assignment: Genetic Screening/Testing

    Research testing: Research testing includes finding unknown genes, learning how genes work and advancing our understanding of genetic conditions. The results of testing done as part of a research study are usually not available to patients or their healthcare providers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work