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Environmental Values

Exotic Species, Naturalisation, and Biological Nativism

Ned Hettinger

Environmental Values 10(2001): 193-224. doi: 10.3197/096327101129340804

Contrary to frequent characterisations, exotic species should not be identified as damaging species, species introduced by humans, or species originating from some other geographical location. Exotics are best characterised ecologically as species that are foreign to an ecological assemblage in the sense that they have not significantly adapted with the biota constituting that assemblage or to the local abiotic conditions. Exotic species become natives when they have ecologically naturalised and when human influence over their presence in an assemblage (if any) has washed away. Although the damaging nature and anthropogenic origin of many exotic species provide good reasons for a negative evaluation of such exotics, even naturally-dispersing, nondamaging exotics warrant opposition. Biological nativists' antagonism toward exotics need not be xenophobic and can be justified as a way of preserving the diversity of ecological assemblages from the homogenising forces of globalisation. Implications for Yellowstone National Park policy are explored.


KEYWORDS: Exotics, native, nativism, naturalisation, Yellowstone National Park

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Ecosystem Health: Some Preventive Medicine. Dale Jamieson

Nativism and Nature: Rethinking Biological Invasion. Jonah H. Peretti

Strangers in a Strange Land: The Problem of Exotic Species Mark Woods and Paul Veatch Moriarty

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Strangers in a Strange Land: The Problem of Exotic Species Mark Woods and Paul Veatch Moriarty

Native Species, Human Communities and Cultural Relationships. Paul Knights

The Nazi Comparison in the Debate over Restoration: Nativism and Domination.Eric Katz

Human and Non-Human Migration: Understanding Species Introduction and Translocation through Migration Ethics. David Switzer and Nicole Frances Angeli


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