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Defining an invasive species

Author(s) : F. Moutou & P.-P. Pastoret

Summary :

The definition of an invasive species will depend on the viewpoint of the observer, who in some cases may be responsible for introducing the species. History has taught us that humans are the species that has invaded the largest surface area of the planet. So, before going on to propose a few definitions, this article describes three different examples or types of example in which domestic animal species, wild animal species and microorganisms (for biological pest control) have been transported intentionally. By doing so, this paper uses a variety of situations to support the definitions. A contemporary argument would counter a strictly biogeographical definition with a more ecological definition. The two are probably complementary. In any case, these definitions should remain practical. The consequences of species movements vary. However, their health impacts should not be underestimated.
Alien species – Casual species – Invasion process – Invasive species – Naturalised species.

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