Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive alien plant species: their impact on environment, ecosystem services and human health.

Abstract

Ecological perturbations caused by biotic invasion have been identified as a growing threat to global sustainability. Invasive alien plants species (IAPS) are considered to be one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss and thereby altering the ecosystem services and socio-economic conditions through different mechanisms. Although the ecological impacts of IAPS are well documented, there is a dearth of studies regarding their economic quantification, livelihood considerations, biotechnological prospects (phytoremediation, bioenergy, phyto-synthesis of nanoparticles, biomedical, industrial applications etc.) and human health risk assessments of IAPS. In this context, the current panoramic review aimed to investigate the environmental, socio-ecological and health risks posed by IAPS as well as the compounded impact of IAPS with habitat fragmentation, climate and land use changes. To this end, the need of an integrated trans-disciplinary research is emphasized for the sustainable management of IAPS. The management prospects can be further strengthened through their linkage with geo-spatial technologies (remote sensing and GIS) by mapping and monitoring the IAPS spread. Further, the horizon of IAPS management is expanded to ecological indicator perspectives of IAPS, biosecurity, and risk assessment protocols with critical discussion. Moreover, positive as well as negative implications of the IAPS on environment, health, ecosystem services and socio-economy (livelihood) are listed so that a judicious policy framework could be developed for the IAPS management in order to mitigate the human health implications.