Alien Species and Evolution: The Evolutionary Ecology of Exotic Plants, Animals, Microbes, and Interacting Native Species

Alien Species and Evolution: The Evolutionary Ecology of Exotic Plants, Animals,
Author: 
George W. Cox
Publisher: 
Island Press
Publication Date: 
2004
ISBN: 
1–559–63009–4

paper, 377 p., $40.00

An expert on invasion biology, educator and scientist George Cox presents in this technical study of the subject a warning of the effects of the rapid evolutionary processes involving alien and interactive native species that include plants, animals, and microbes. After a review of basic concepts in the evolutionary process, the author considers the potential pattern of behavior of an alien in a new habitat and presents documented examples of their adaptation, many seriously harmful to native species. He concludes by cautioning that alien invasions are a critical component of global environmental change. Whether knowingly or not, humans bear much of the responsibility for the introduction of alien species, the rapid evolutionary processes and habitat destruction that threaten the world.

Despite its technical nature, the text is quite readable and interesting. The useful information elicited from DNA analyses is awesome: emerging data will settle many scientific squabbles over origins. Although this publication is meant as a text for students and researchers in this biology field, anyone concerned with environmental changes will gain greater insight into the world’s future.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden

Volume: 
7
Number: 
4