"Don't Sweat the Invasion" is the attention-getting title of a conventional-wisdom-knocking article on Slate.com that we somehow missed when it was first published last year. Thankfully it was republished in Landscape Architecture Magazine, where it naturally provoked a few letters to the editor.
The author names a few scientists who are "challenging what they consider old prejudices about 'alien' species. They point out the inevitability of change and the positive roles that nonnatives can play in ecosystems, while describing eradication projects as often wasteful and even counterproductive." The prime example given is the invasive tamarisk, which turns out to be the favorite nesting site for the
endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.
The article proceeds to even hotter topics, like challenging "native" and "nonnative" distinctions as meaningless, proposing a difference between harm and change and, on the other side, debunking the nativist/Nazi comparisons. Fun stuff!
Mother Nature proves once again to more complicated than we think she is.