F&ES 694b / 2017-2018
The Ecology, Economics, and Politics of Species Invasion
Humans are moving species outside of their native ranges at unprecedented rates, and the resulting biological invasions present challenges for ecologists, conservationists, and policy makers alike. Through course readings, in-class discussions, and debates, seminar participants will learn to critically assess contemporary conservation and policy decisions regarding the regulation and management of nonnative species using information gained from the ecological study of biological invasions. We will explore the major scientific questions in biological invasions, including ‘What makes a species invasive?” and ‘What makes a habitat invasible?” as well as more nuanced questions of how invasive species interact with native and other invasive species and how these interactions alter ecological consequences of biological invasions. Throughout the semester we will discuss how invasion biology research informs policy decisions, assessing relevant policy questions such as ‘Should biocontrol agents be used against species invasions?’ or ‘Should we eat invasive species to control their abundance?’ This course is appropriate for graduate students (Masters and PhD) interested in learning how species introductions and anthropogenic change interact on a global scale, and how to use the science of species invasions to inform policy and management decisions. By the end of the course, students will have a solid background in the ecology and social dimensions of biological invasions.
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