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Invasion of non-native species UPSC NOTE

 Invasion of non-native species and ecosystem shifts

  • At a Kenyan conservancy, the invasive big-headed ant species disrupted a mutualism between native ants and acacia trees. 

  • In which the native ants protected trees from grazers in exchange for a place to live. 

  • When the invasive ants pushed out the native ants, the trees were left vulnerable to overgrazing by elephants.

  • Who browsed and broke trees at five to seven times the rate in areas with invasive ants

  • Due to a more open landscape, lions were left without hiding places stalk their preferred prey of zebras.

Native species and ecosystem shifts – examples

  • Ecosystems are constantly changing, but the introduction of non-native species and human activities like climate change can accelerate these shifts.

  • Sometimes with negative consequences for native species

  • 1. Burmese Pythons in the Everglades:

  • Native species: American alligator, bobcat, deer, wading birds, fish

  • Introduced species: Burmese python

  • The pythons are voracious predators and have decimated populations of small mammals, reptiles, and birds

  • This has disrupted the food chain and impacted the entire ecosystem.

2. Kudzu Vine in the Southeastern United States:

  • Native species: Oaks, hickories, maples, dogwoods, native grasses and wildflowers

  • Introduced species: Kudzu vine

  • Impact: The fast-growing kudzu vine smothers native vegetation, preventing sunlight and nutrients from reaching other plants. 

  • This has led to the loss of biodiversity and habitat for native animals.

3. Cane Toads in Australia:

  • Native species: Quolls, marsupial frogs, snakes, lizards, small mammals


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Invasion of non-native species UPSC NOTE
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