Must we suppress aliens to restore nature?March 15, 2021 Off By admin
Professorial Lecture by Carla Catterall
Environmental changes are nowadays often viewed through a moral prism which classifies plants and animals as “native = good” and “non-native = bad”. But is it ecologically effective to vilify species whose recent immigration and establishment have been catalysed, and often actively encouraged, by human activities and land uses? In fact, both native and non-native species can play a range of helpful, neutral or damaging roles in human-dominated landscapes. I will illustrate these issues using case studies of forest biodiversity, to show the need for a more nuanced and realistic approach to conservation and restoration, based on scientific evidence of species’ functional roles in ecosystems.