Bioinvasion of Foreign and Genetically Engineered Species

Enviroment

An incident of invasion by a living species into entirely new habitat thereby threatening the existence of native species is called as bioinvasion or Biological Invasion.

Biological invasions take place when species are deliberately or accidentally introduced and become established in environments that they have not been previously occupied.

These so-called ‘invasive species’ may set in, spread and ecologically alter the invaded community.

Biological invasions by animals, plants, pathogens or vectors are one of the greatest environmental and economic challenges and, along with habitat destruction, a leading cause of global biodiversity loss.

Invasive species are organisms that are usually transported by human beings from foreign areas. These species successively colonize native ecosystems. These have been a major threat to native species because these species show predatory behavior, cause changes in habitat and often disrupt the process of ecosystems.

One example of Bioinvasion is the introduction of Australian Brush Tail Possum which caused decline in the number of native birds in New Zealand.

Australian Brush Tail Possum

There are a number of other examples also that justify the degrading impacts of invasive species in a new habitat. The spice cardamom is a problem in the lowland moist forests of Sri Lanka and Southern India.

cardamom in the wild

On the other hand, the invasion of Black Pepper is causing serious threats to the biodiversity in the forest edges of Malaysia.

Black Pepper in the wild

The Chromolaena odorata which is a shrub and which has its own values as a fallow crop in Indonesia has become the single most invasive plant in the Nature Reserves of the Tropical Regions.

The Parthenium hysterophorus, a noxious weed which competes with crop plants, causes health hazards to humans and cattle. This weed is highly allergic and reportedly causes asthma and other diseases in human beings. This exotic species was introduced from the tropical America. It was first reported in 1957 from Maharashtra.

Parthenium hysterophorus

The increasing applications of genetically engineered microorganisms and their establishments in the natural habitats are causing potential risks to the existing plants and animals.

Some traits of the genetically engineered microorganisms harm the species on which most of the natural organisms depend for their survival.

Secondly, the mixing of the genetic stock and the subsequent loss caused by this event and, the general competitive superiority of the genetically modified organisms lead to the degradation of biodiversity in a region.

Environmental biologists argue that invasive species pose one of the most important global threats to ecosystems, often spreading quickly through their new habitat so that native species become vulnerable.

It is no wonder; the increasing recognition of the invasion-related problem has resulted in a rapid growth of research into the dynamics of non-native species and their effects on native ecosystems. 

Dr. MP Mishra

Dr. M. P. Mishra is a noted environmentalist of India. He is known for his researches in environment conservation, wildlife activism, and for his writings. He has been internationally known for his Bird Housing Project which was devoted to protection and conservation of terrestrial bird species especially in Jharkhand. He has a deep study of the people of Jharkhand, their rituals, arts and crafts and has wandered extensively to study their conditions, their agriculture, their modes of lives, and their skills. Since last many years he has been continuously writing about various environmental and social issues of Jharkhand and has forty six books to his credit. His articles are regularly published in local and national dailies of India. His books on Environmental Awareness, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, General Science, and biology are widely read and many of his books have been adopted in the schools of foreign countries. His books on Environmental Science have been adopted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Orissa, and the Council of Higher Secondary Education Nagaland and Meghalaya. Dr. Mishra is an excellent teacher with innovative ideas and new teaching methodologies. It was due to his commendable services to education that the Department of Human Resources Development, State Government of Jharkhand offered him State Award in the year 2009-010.Dr. Mishra has been awarded with the Presidential Medal and the National Award for the year 2012 for his outstanding Researches in and great contributions to Science and Environment. He has been an active Science Communicator and coordinator of National Council of Science and Technology Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. He is a member of the Environmental Monitoring Committee under the Jharkhand Academic Council, Jharkhand, Ranchi. It was due to his voluntary services in the field of environment that he has been selected as a nominee of the Committee for Ethical Treatment to Animals, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. He has been the Chief Editor of ECOSOC the Environmental Newsletter of International Circulation for more than ten years. He has been the President of the People for Animals for about ten years. As a teacher he is always admired by his students and the academic community across the globe.

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