Professor Has Different Take On Invasive Species

January 25, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

“Learn to Love Them” says author Mark Davis, chairman of the biology department at Macalester College. According to Davis, the debate over exotic species usually is so imbued with political and economic associations that it skews our thinking about how best to control — or not control — them.
Greg Breining includes Davis and other eco-biologists in a discussion of what do about invasive species — particularly relevant given the battle to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. “But the carp are only two among the thousands of foreign organisms that have washed up on our shores, from deadly smallpox to annoying dandelions. Included are nearly 200 fish species, from the detested common carp to the prized brown trout.”
Speaking of carp, it turns out that they may have already slipped past sleeping lock attendants. “Last week University of Notre Dame scientists found Asian carp DNA in a Lake Michigan harbor. ‘I think there’s not another plausible explanation for the presence of DNA that we’ve found other than that there are live fish in the vicinity,’ said David M. Lodge, a professor of biological sciences at Notre Dame, whose team tested the water samples.” Susan Saulny in The New York Times.

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