Advertisement

Biology & Philosophy

, 34:49 | Cite as

Logical fallacies and reasonable debates in invasion biology: a response to Guiaşu and Tindale

  • David M. FrankEmail author
  • Daniel Simberloff
  • Jordan Bush
  • Angela Chuang
  • Christy Leppanen
Article
  • 137 Downloads

Abstract

This critical note responds to Guiaşu and Tindale’s “Logical fallacies and invasion biology,” from our perspective as ecologists and philosophers of science engaged in debates about invasion biology and invasive species. We agree that “the level of charges and dismissals” surrounding these debates might be “unhealthy” and that “it will be very difficult for dialogues to move forward unless genuine attempts are made to understand the positions being held and to clarify the terms involved.” Although they raise several important scientific, conceptual, and ethical issues at the foundations of invasion biology, we believe Guiaşu and Tindale’s attempts to clarify the debate were unsuccessful. Like some other critics of the field, they tend to misrepresent invasion biology by cherry-picking and constructing “straw people,” inaccurately portraying invasion biology, and thus failing to elevate the dialogue. In this critique, we clarify areas in the invasion biology literature misrepresented by Guiaşu and Tindale. We attempt to provide a more balanced view of areas of reasonable debate within invasion biology, including disputes about empirical evidence, diverse risk attitudes, and other diverse ethical commitments.

Keywords

Invasion biology Invasive species Ecology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Jordan Bush and Angela Chuang are supported by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship DGE-2015213059 and DGE-201315897, respectively.

References

  1. Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (2015) Final risk analysis for the release of Tachardiaephagus somervillei for the biological control of yellow lac scale (Tachardina aurantiaca). Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/biosecurity/risk-analysis/policy-scientific-reviews/final-ra-tachardiaephagus-somervillei.pdf. Accessed 13 Aug 2019
  2. Bacher S, Blackburn TM, Essl F, Genovesi P, Heikkilä J, Jeschke JM, Jones G, Keller R, Kenis M, Kueffer C, Martinou AF, Nentwig W, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Rabitsch W, Richardson DM, Roy HE, Saul W, Scalera R, Vilà M, Wilson JRU, Kumschick S (2017) Socio-economic impact classification of alien taxa (SEICAT). Meth Ecol Evol.  https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12844 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker DG, Barker TM (2012) A discussion of two methods of modeling suitable climate for the Burmese python, Python bivittatus, with comments on Rodda, Jarnevich and Reed (2011). Bull Chicago Herp Soc 47(6):69–76Google Scholar
  4. Barney J, Davis A, Porter R, Simberloff D (2016) A life-cycle approach to low-invasion potential bioenergy production. CAST Commentary QTA 2016-1. CAST, Ames, IowaGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellard C, Cassey P, Blackburn TM (2016) Alien species as a driver of recent extinctions. Biol Let 12(2):20150623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buckley YM, Catford J (2016) Does the biogeographic origin of species matter? Ecological effects of native and non-native species and the use of origin to guide management. J Ecol 104:4–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Capelli GM (1982) Displacement of northern Wisconsin crayfish by Orconectes rusticus (Girard). Limnol Oceanogr 27:741–745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carey CJ, Blankinship JC, Eviner VT, Malmstrom CM, Hart SC (2017) Invasive plants decrease microbial capacity to nitrify and denitrify compared to native California grassland communities. Biol Invasions 19(10):2941–2957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clavero M, Garcia-Berthou E (2005) Invasive species are a leading cause of animal extinctions. Trends Ecol Evol 20(3):110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crooks JA (2011) Lag times. In: Simberloff D, Rejmánek M (eds) Encyclopedia of biological invasions. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 404–410Google Scholar
  11. Davis MA (2009) Invasion biology. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Davis MA et al (2011) Don’t judge species on their origins. Nature 474:153–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doherty TS, Glen AS, Nimmo DG, Ritchie EG, Dickman CR (2016) Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113(40):11261–11265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edwards BA, Jackson DA, Somers KM (2009) Multispecies crayfish declines in lakes: implications for species distributions and richness. J N Am Benthol Soc 28:719–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Frank DM (2019) Disagreement or denialism? ‘Invasive species denialism’ and ethical disagreement in science. Synthese SI: Disagreement in Science.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02259-w
  16. Guiaşu RC (2016) Non-native species and their role in the environment: the need for a broader perspective. Brill Publishers, LeidenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guiaşu RC, Tindale CW (2018) Logical fallacies and invasion biology. Biol Philos 33:34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA). www.hpwra.org. Accessed 12 Oct 2018
  19. Hill MP, Chown S, Hoffmann AA (2013) A predicted niche shift corresponds with increased thermal resistance in an invasive mite, Halotydeus destructor. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 22:942–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jo I, Fridley JD, Frank DA (2017) Invasive plants accelerate nitrogen cycling: evidence from experimental woody monocultures. J Ecol 105(4):1105–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kauppi L, Norkko J, Ikonen J, Norkko A (2017) Seasonal variability in ecosystem functions: quantifying the contribution of invasive species to nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 572:193–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kumschick S, Richardson DM (2013) Species-based risk assessments for biological invasions: advances and challenges. Divers Distrib 19(9):1095–1105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kumschick S, Gaertner M, Vilà M, Essl F, Jeschke JM, Pyšek P, Ricciardi A, Bacher S, Blackburn TM, Dick JTA, Evans T, Hulme PE, Kühn I, Mrugala A, Pergl J, Rabitsch W, Richardson DM, Sendek A, Winter M (2015) Ecological impacts of alien species: quantification, scope, caveats, and recommendations. Bioscience 65:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leclerc C, Courchamp F, Bellard C (2018) Insular threat associations within taxa worldwide. Sci Rep 8(1):6393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lodge D, Shrader-Frechette K (2003) Nonindigenous species: ecological explanation, environmental ethics, and public policy. Conserv Biol 17(1):31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. MacDougall AS, Turkington R (2005) Are invasive species the drivers or passengers of change in degraded ecosystems? Ecology 86(1):42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McLeod ML, Cleveland CC, Lekberg Y, Maron JL, Philippot L, Bru D, Callaway RM (2016) Exotic invasive plants increase productivity, abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrogen availability in intermountain grasslands. J Ecol 104(4):994–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. NAPRA Network (2010) Risk assessment scheme for non-native species in Great Britain. Non-native species secretariat, http://napra.eppo.org/index.php. Accessed 18 June 2015
  29. Olsen TM, Lodge DM, Capelli GM, Houlihan RJ (1991) Mechanisms of impact of an introduced crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) on littoral congeners, snails, and macrophytes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 48(10):1853–1861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pejchar L, Mooney HA (2009) Invasive species, ecosystem services and human well-being. Trends Ecol Evol 24:497–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pyron RA, Burbrink FT, Guiher TJ (2008) Claims of potential expansion throughout the US by invasive python species are contradicted by ecological niche models. PLoS ONE 3(8):e2931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rodda GH, Jarnevich CS, Reed RN (2009) What parts of the US mainland are climatically suitable for invasive alien pythons spreading from Everglades National Park? Biol Invasions 11(2):241–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Secord D, Kareiva P (1996) Perils and pitfalls in the host specificity paradigm. Bioscience 46:448–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Simberloff D (2011) Charles Elton—neither founder nor siren, but prophet. In: Richardson DM (ed) Fifty years of invasion ecology. Wiley, New York, pp 11–24Google Scholar
  35. Simberloff D (2012a) Nature, natives, nativism, and management: worldviews underlying controversies in invasion biology. Environ Ethics 34(5–25):2012Google Scholar
  36. Simberloff D (2012b) Integrity, stability, and beauty: Aldo Leopold’s evolving view of non-native species. Environ Hist 17(3):487–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Simberloff D (2014) Biological invasions: what’s worth fighting and what can be won? Ecol Eng 65:112–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Simberloff D, Souza L, Nunez MA, Noelia Barrios-Garcia M, Bunn W (2012) The natives are restless, but not often and mostly when disturbed. Ecology 93(3):598–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Van der Putten WH, Bardgett RD, Bever JD, Bezemer TM, Casper BB, Fukami T, Kardol P, Klironomos JN, Kulmatiski A, Schweitzer JA, Suding KN (2013) Plant–soil feedbacks: the past, the present and future challenges. J Ecol 101(2):265–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Van Driesche R, Simberloff D, Blossey B, Causton C, Hoddle M, Marks C, Heinz K, Wagner D, Warner K (eds) (2016) Integrating biological control into conservation practice. Wiley, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  41. Vituousek P (1986) Biological invasions and ecosystem properties: can species make a difference? In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer, New York, pp 163–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Williamson M, Fitter A (1996) The varying success of invaders. Ecology 77:1661–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Young AM, Larson BMH (2011) Clarifying debates in invasion biology: a survey of invasion biologists. Environ Res 111:893–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations