exotic species



We explain what an exotic species is, its difference with the native species and pests. Also, examples of exotic species.

Exotic species are often used to modify certain habitats.

What is an exotic species?

In biology, it is called exotic species, introduced species, non-native species, foreign species or alien species to all those that come from a different geographical or ecological environment, that is, that are not native or autochthonous of the habitat they are in, but have come to it because of migrations or through the human being.

The arrival of exotic species tends to permanently modify the ecosystem receiver, often in unpredictable ways, and can become a species invasive or pest. This is because, coming from a totally different environment, it lacks predators natural and stable order in the Trophic chains. For this reason there are today in the world laws of ecological protection that limit the transport of animal and plant species from one place to another.

In many cases, however, exotic species are used as an instrument to modify certain habitats, generally to make them more productive for humans. This work is known as engineering of ecosystems.

Exotic species and indigenous species

An exotic species can cause the eradication of some native species.

The difference between Native species, also called native, and foreign or exotic species lies in their belonging to the ecosystem in which they are found. In other words, the same species can be indigenous in one geographic location or habitat, and exotic in another.

The dilemma between the two is competition for means. Native species are adapted to their environment and therefore are fully incorporated into food chains, in a certain state of balance: they have predators and at the same time resources to consume. When an exotic species is brought to that habitat, it can disrupt that balance and cause the eradication of some native species, taking its place in the trophic circuits, thus impoverishing the biodiversity region of.

Differences between exotic species and pests

Pests breed out of control in the absence of natural predators.

Exotic species that arrive at a new habitat or ecosystem and proceed to colonize it, causing the deterioration of the local trophic or ecological balance and the loss of biodiversity, or even the loss of agricultural or rural assets (plantations, flowers, etc.), they are called invasive species or more commonly pests.

This is the case of some species that have been punctually introduced in a certain place and ended up getting out of control, spreading disorderly and ending up with native species, as well as species that, as a consequence of the imbalance caused by an invasive species, reproduce outside. of control in the absence of natural predators and ends up being abnormally abundant, requiring the introduction of some other exotic species that plays the role of counteracting it and further unbalancing the ecosystem that was initially in peace.

Fortunately, not all exotic species become pests.

Examples of exotic species

The tiger salamander was introduced to the United States as bait for fishermen.

Some common exotic species in the world are:

  • Cows (Bostaurus). Cows are originally from South Asia, but were introduced to the entire world as part of the rise of the cattle raising and the farming human in all civilizations.
  • The wheat (Tricumspp). This Mesopotamian plant species became central to the European diet, and in its various species was introduced to America by the European colonizers, since there was no native variety.
  • The tiger salamanderAmbystomatigrinum). Introduced to the United States to serve as bait for fishermen, this species proliferated until risk to the native,AmbystomaCalifornian.
  • The royal maple (Acerplatanoids). An arboreal plant from Europe, the Caucasus and Asia Minor, was introduced into the United States and Canada.
  • The Asian ladybugHamoniaaxyridis). It is an insect native to Asia, but it was introduced in North America, Europe and South America for natural pesticide purposes, that is, for the biological control of aphids, later becoming a pest that has put native species in check.
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