Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in Ecology, 80(5), 1999, pp. 1782–1783. Copyright (c) 1999 by the Ecological Society of America. Used by permission.


The timeliness of Conservation biological control, edited by Pedro Barbosa, is striking. Invasive exotic species often represent an economic cost for agriculture and sometimes an environmental threat to the integrity of native vegetation in national forests, parks, and reserves. Problems caused by the most obvious noxious species are bringing more public awareness of invasives. As a consequence, on 3 February 1999, President Clinton issued an executive order to coordinate and stimulate research and management of invasive exotic species. ... The suggested alternative approach to biological-based management of invasive species is exciting in its ecological justification and its sustainability. Environmental risks associated with pest management in production agriculture and management of invasive species in open lands can be reduced by application of what we know. Enough is presently known to advocate increased use of natural enemy conservation methods in long-lived, perennial crops, for example. Yet, this is a nascent field, and there is clearly much to be learned. More research is warranted on this exciting, important interface between theory and its application for the management of invasive species. This book is an excellent introduction to the current state-of-the-art in the preservation, facilitation, and augmentation of native natural enemies as biological controls.

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