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ENVS504: Society, Economy, and the Environment

Unit 6: Invasive Species, Globalization, and Trade   With the era of industrialization and fossil fuel use, humans have been able to move themselves, their cargo, and some unwanted stowaways much farther and faster than was possible historically.  Organisms such as zebra mussels, cane toads, and mountain pine beetles may be too small to do much damage individually, but as their populations explode in new areas, they have taken over ecosystems with dire consequences for the societies that depend upon them.  Migration of humans from one society to another has had both positive and negative social and environmental effects, as has the trade in the goods and services they produce.  The movement of cargo ships, trucks, and airplanes has created a wave of new organisms to new areas, increasing the risk of invasive species and the disruptions they can cause.

This unit will review the flows of humans, species, and resources across the planet.  This unit will explain how these flows are creating threats, stresses, and consequences that substantially decrease the resilience of many societies.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 12.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 8 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 6.1.1: 1 hour

☐    Sub-subunit 6.1.2: 3.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 6.1.3: 2 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 6.1.4: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 1 hour

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Define and discuss terms such as: biotic homogenization, exotic, globalization, and invasive. - Discuss the rates of increase of movement of humans, species, and traded goods across the planet, and state the increasing distances over which these movements have taken place during the past 200 years. - Identify a variety of social and environmental impacts that a globalized workforce and trading system have incurred, both positive and negative. - Construct the routes of loss of resilience in local societies due to outbreaks of invasive species (e.g., from ecosystems to natural capital to human communities). 

6.1 Invasive Species: Definitions and Trends   6.1.1 What Makes a Species Invasive?   - Reading: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: David Richardson and Petr Pyšek’s “What Is an Invasive Species?” Link: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: David Richardson and Petr Pyšek’s “What Is an Invasive Species?” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and then select the
“Invasiveness” link.  On this webpage, locate the article titled
“What Is an Invasive Species?” and click on “View Full Text” to
download the PDF.  Please read the report for background a
description of the terminology used to describe different kinds of
invasive and non-native species.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Routes of Invasion   - Reading: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: Nick Pasiecznik’s “Pathways for Plant Introduction” Link: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: Nick Pasiecznik’s “Pathways for Plant Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and then select the
“Invasiveness” hypertext link.  On the new webpage, locate the
article titled “Pathways for Plan Introduction” and click on “View
the Full Text” to download the PDF.  Please read the report for
brief descriptions of the many ways that plants can be moved
(intentionally or unintentionally) from their native ranges to new
areas, where they may become invasive.  Many of these routes are the
same ones that introduce animal species to new areas.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 45
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: American Natural History Museum, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: C Finlayson and A Alyokhin’s “Invasive Species and Mechanisms of Invasions” Link: American Natural History Museum, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: C Finlayson and A Alyokhin’s “Invasive Species and Mechanisms of Invasions” (DOC)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and download all materials.  You may have to register a free account by clicking the “register” link at the top of the page to download these files.  The materials will be downloaded into a zipped folder on your hard drive, so you will need to extract the files to see them (you may be able to right click on the folder icon and follow the extraction instructions).  The files include a synthesis report, a Power Point presentation, and an Exercise file.  The report provides a great deal of information on the life history characteristics that successful invasive species possess and the types of ecological communities that are the most vulnerable to invasion.  The report also provides a description of the specific kinds of disturbances that invasive species create in ecosystems, along with their economic costs to local communities.  The presentation describes the main points of the report.  The exercise instructs you to examine your local habitats and ecosystems for invasive species, prompting you to collect data and conduct a basic analysis.  Of course, there are no “correct” answers, because each student will be conducting the survey in a different place, so you may find the exercise interesting but of limited use.  However, this exercise might be a good starting point for a discussion of invasive species in the Saylor Foundation’s discussion forums.

    Reading these materials and taking notes should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

6.1.3 Consequences of Invasive Species   - Reading: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Henry Lee II and John Chapman’s “Nonindigenous Species – An Emerging Issue for the EPA, Volume 2: A Landscape in Transition: Effects of Invasive Species on Ecosystems, Human Health, and EPA Goals” Link: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Henry Lee II and John Chapman’s “Nonindigenous Species – An Emerging Issue for the EPA, Volume 2: A Landscape in Transition: Effects of Invasive Species on Ecosystems, Human Health, and EPA Goals” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and read the report
but not the Appendices.  The report provides a summary of the
impacts that invasive plants and animals have had and will likely
have on ecosystems and industries in the United States.  Part V
provides examples of how the EPA’s mission to uphold particular laws
and regulations will be negatively affected by invasive species; all
governmental agencies face similar problems.  (The appendices
describe, in much more detail, the impacts of invasive species that
are specific to the EPA’s mission and goals).  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 2
hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: Sean Murphy’s “Impacts of Invasive Plants” Link: Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Invasive Species Compendium: Sean Murphy’s “Impacts of Invasive Plants” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and then select the “Invasiveness” hypertext link.  On the new webpage, locate the article titled “Impacts of Invasive Plants,” and click on “View the Full Text” to access the PDF.  Please read the report for a description of the many negative impacts that invasive plants can have on ecosystems, agriculture, and human communities.

    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.4 Case Studies   - Reading: National Academy of Science: Michael E. Dorcas et al.’s “Severe Mammal Declines Coincide with Proliferation of Invasive Burmese Pythons in Everglades National Park” Link: National Academy of Science: Michael E. Dorcas et al.’s “Severe Mammal Declines Coincide with Proliferation of Invasive Burmese Pythons in Everglades National Park” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and read this paper to
learn about how the invasive Burmese python has been implicated in
the decline of several species of native mammals in Everglades
National Park, Florida (USA), many of which had been quite common
prior to the invasion and increase in python populations.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The National Invasive Species Council: “Biofuels: Cultivating Energy, Not Invasive Species” Link: The National Invasive Species Council: “Biofuels: Cultivating Energy, Not Invasive Species” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and read this report for a description of the general concerns for the widespread use of particular plant species as biofuel crops in North America.  Several of these species are already invasive in some areas or have characteristics that are common to many invasive species.  The report issues recommendations that serve as a good summary of the precautions that must be implemented as biofuel production increases.

    Reading this report and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: American Natural History Museum, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: Joseph Atkinson and Helen Domske’s “Great Lakes under Stress: Invasive Species as Agents of Ecosystem Change” Link: American Natural History Museum, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: Joseph Atkinson and Helen Domske’s “Great Lakes under Stress: Invasive Species as Agents of Ecosystem Change” (DOC and TXT)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and download the README file (with copyright information) and the synthesis report (GreatLakes_CS_VI-25-12).  You may have to register a free account by clicking the “register” link at the top of the page to download these files.  The report will be downloaded into a zipped folder on your hard drive, so you will need to extract the file to see it (you may be able to right click on the folder icon and follow the extraction instructions).  The report provides a background of the ecological characteristics and processes of the Great Lakes (USA).  The most problematic invasive species are then profiled, although with their impacts on the Great Lakes, and the methods used to try to control or eliminate them.  Discussion questions are provided throughout the report, and while answers to them are not provides, the questions might be a good starting point for a discussion of invasive species in the Saylor Foundation’s discussion forums.

    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2 Globalization: Definitions and Trends   - Lecture: University of Oxford: Pascal Lamy’s “Global Governance, Local Governments” Link: University of Oxford: Pascal Lamy’s “Global Governance, Local Governments” (MP4)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and listen to the
lecture.  Pascal Lamy discusses the challenges that international
trade poses to leadership in general as well as national governments
and policy in particular.  

 Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take
approximately 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Environmental Sciences Europe: Reuben Keller et al.’s “Invasive Species in Europe: Ecology, Status, and Policy” Link: Environmental Sciences Europe: Reuben Keller et al.’s “Invasive Species in Europe: Ecology, Status, and Policy” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and read this article.  Keller et al. discuss the mechanisms by which invasive species spread through Europe, and the mechanisms by which trade and travel modes encourage spread of terrestrial versus aquatic plants and animals.

    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3 International Trade   6.3.1 Biological Impacts   - Lecture: The National Academies: Charles Perrings’ “Trade and Invasive Species: A Global Perspective” Vimeo: The National Academies: Charles Perrings’ “Trade and Invasive Species: A Global Perspective” (MP4)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and watch this video.
 Charles Perrings discusses how increased integration and distance
of trade flows have and will continue to increase the number of and
damage caused by invasive species.  

 Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.2 Economic Impacts   - Lecture: Vimeo: PopTech: Nils Gilman’s “Deviant Globalization” Link: Vimeo: PopTech: Nils Gilman’s “Deviant Globalization” (MP4)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and watch this
lecture.  Nils Gilman discusses the negative impacts of
globalization and international trade on communities around the
world, particularly those involved in natural resource extraction or
waste treatment.  

 Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Direk Patmasiriwat et al.’s “International Trade, Environmental Issues and the Impact on Sustainability of Shrimp Culture in Thailand” Link: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Direk Patmasiriwat et al.’s “International Trade, Environmental Issues and the Impact on Sustainability of Shrimp Culture in Thailand” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the above link and read this article.  Shrimp farming has always been an important industry in Thailand; however, new technology and the growth of shrimp exports are threatening to damage local environments and economies.

    Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.3 Social Impacts   - Reading: Vimeo: Cross-Border Issues Group: Ann Theisen and Miguel Pickard White’s “North American Trade Policies and Migration” Link: Vimeo: Cross-Border Issues Group: Ann Theisen and Miguel Pickard White’s “North American Trade Policies and Migration” (MP4)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link and watch this
lecture.  Ann Theisen and Miguel Pickard White describe how trends
in trade and agricultural production impact labor and migration
throughout North American countries.  

 Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

6.4 Resilience Implications of Invasive Species, Globalization, and Trade   - Reading: Ecology and Society: Derek Armitage and Derek Johnson’s “Can Resilience Be Reconciled with Globalization and the Increasingly Complex Conditions of Resource Degradation in Asian Coastal Regions?” Link: Ecology and Society: Derek Armitage and Derek Johnson’s “Can Resilience Be Reconciled with Globalization and the Increasingly Complex Conditions of Resource Degradation in Asian Coastal Regions?” (HTML or PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article.
 You can click on the “Go to the PDF version of this article” link
to see the PDF version.  The authors discuss the difficulty of using
resilience to both measure the impacts of globalization on a
combined social-ecological system and to determine whether those
impacts are sustainable or not.  They use two case studies (one in
India and one in Indonesia) to demonstrate their arguments.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and the terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.